A Shell logo is seen at a gas station in London on January 20, 2016. Shell Canada is letting carbon-conscious customers get their two cents in for the environment while filling up at one of its 1,400 stations across Canada.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kirsty Wigglesworth

Shell gives customers option to offset their carbon emissions for two cents per litre

Shell gives customers option to offset their carbon emissions for two cents per litre

CALGARY — Shell Canada is letting carbon-conscious customers get their two cents in for the environment while filling up at one of its 1,400 stations across Canada.

The Canadian branch of Royal Dutch Shell is launching its Drive Carbon Neutral program on Thursday to allow customers to help it buy offset credits to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions from the production, refining and burning of fossil fuels.

“We see a lot of demand from customers to start helping. How can a customer who maybe can’t afford to buy an electric car, but wants to do something to help the environment, get involved?” said Shell Canada president Michael Crothers in an interview.

“This is part of the transition while we continue to shift our energy mix as a company towards renewable power and renewable fuels.”

The program offered through Shell’s EasyPay app will be free of charge until the end of December when those who choose to continue will be asked to contribute two cents per litre.

When customers opt-in via the app, Shell says it calculates the amount of carbon emissions that will be produced by the fuel they purchase and buys the equivalent in carbon credits to offset the emissions. It said it is sourcing carbon credits from the Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project, an initiative of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

It’s believed the program is the first of its kind in Canada, Crothers said, adding Shell’s similar offerings in Europe have been well-received, with nearly 20 per cent of customers in Netherlands, for example, signing up.

The move was denounced as “pure greenwashing” by Keith Brooks, program director at Environmental Defence.

“Not only does it put the onus on the individual consumer instead of a massive polluter like Shell, it also offers them the chance to seek absolution for their climate sins rather than grappling with the fact that we need to get off of fossil fuels, gasoline included,” he said in an email on Thursdayl.

“And yet more insidious, the green veneer is obscuring Shell’s ongoing efforts to stymie and scuttle climate policy through their membership in Canada’s regressive climate lobby group, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.”

Shell also announced Thursday it will provide funding for a B.C. Interior reforestation project in partnership with Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation, a Tsilhqot’in forestry company, to plant 840,000 native trees.

“Our communities were devastated by the wildfires in 2017, which were the result of poorly managed forests,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman for the Tsilhqot’in National Government, in a statement.

“The reforestation project is an opportunity for economic growth within our nation and will help to ensure that the forests are properly managed for the benefit of all here now, and for future generations.”

The cost of the two-year tree-planting project isn’t being released. Crothers said the funding has been approved even though the current regulatory system doesn’t allow Shell to obtain carbon offset credits from it, although the hope is that could change in the future.

Royal Dutch Shell plans to invest US$200 million in 2020 and 2021 in natural ecosystems as part of its global climate change program. The company has set a target of being a net zero emitter by 2050.

Shell’s presence in Canada was reduced in 2017 when it sold most of its Alberta oilsands assets to Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., although it is the operator and retains a 10 per cent interest in the Scotford upgrader and Quest carbon capture and storage project near Edmonton, located next to its 100 per cent owned refinery and chemicals plants.

It also heads up the consortium building the $40-billion LNG Canada export project on the West Coast and retains interests in conventional oil and gas production.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNQ)

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

Shell Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman checks out a jobs advertisement sign during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto in April. Alberta’s unemployment rate this past month was 11.1 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. This is nearly half a point lower than October when the unemployment rate was 10.7 per cent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Job recovery in Alberta remains uneven: ATB Financial

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, employment in Alberta’s hospitality sector remains down the… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels winger Arshdeep Bains had two assists in the first period Monday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in WHL action in Lethbridge. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Hurricanes hand Red Deer Rebels ninth straight loss

Hurricanes 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Hurricanes 8 Rebels 5 (Monday) The goals… Continue reading

Red Deer City Hall. (File photo)
Red Deerians will see a slight tax increase, but the municipal portion is at zero per cent

The provincial educational requisition went up by about half a per cent

The length of grass on people’s lawns could be part of the new Community Standards bylaw being considered by Red Deer city council. (Black Press file photo).
Loitering, noise complaints, swearing covered in proposed bylaw

A few old rules could be dropped and new rules added

Letters
Letter: Leaders like MLA Jason Stephan should work towards greater good

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan talks about the devastating social and… Continue reading

Opinion
Opinion: Women, hit hardest by pandemic, key to economic recovery

Events of the past year have laid bare the many disparities and… Continue reading

Children at the Port Angeles Boys & Girls Club practice social distancing throughout the day to minimize the spreading of germs and potentially the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula
Opinion: Teach young people these five principles

At all ages, young people may be the subject of mean behaviours… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: MLAs need to think about all Albertans

I was surprised to find more than a dozen UCP MLAs were… Continue reading

Sweden skip Niklas Edin makes a shot against Scotland in the Men's World Curling Championship gold medal final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Curling's Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day due to the delayed finish of the men's world championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 12, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Most Read