Shell set to drill for new fossil fuels for decades to come

Shell is planning to extract oil and gas for decades to come. A decision that spells disaster for the climate. A new study by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) and Oil Change International highlights the continuing importance of climate litigation against big polluters such as Shell.

Shell continues to invest in oil and gas projects

In 2021, we won our groundbreaking climate case against Royal Dutch Shell. The lawsuit made clear that there is no room for new oil and gas exploration if we are to keep global warming below 1.5°C and avoid dangerous climate change. Our new study, shows that Shell’s doing the opposite.

> Click here to read our full report

These are our main findings

  1. Shell has plans to develop over 800 new oil and gas projects in the coming years.
  2. The emissions stemming from these projects would equate to 38 times the emissions of the Netherlands in 2021.
  3. Since the court’s verdict in 2021, Shell has approved 20 new fossil fuel projects and given the green light to initiate drilling.


At the same time, the fossil fuel company has cut back its green ambitions by scaling down funding for their sustainability department and is even investing in new oil and gas projects (approximately 37 billion euros up to 2030). This shows that Shell is not taking the urgency of the climate crisis or its role in preventing climate catastrophe seriously. The company is continuing to put people’s lives at risk.

This is our second study of Shell’s plans carried out in collaboration with Oil Change International, using data from Rystad Energy. It was already abundantly clear in our first publication in 2022, that Shell had committed to the exploitation of new oil and gas. Read about our findings in the first study from 2022.

Shell: stop the new oil and gas projects

Shell is looking to initiate new projects with enormous expected carbon emissions in Brazil, Australia and Qatar (amongst other places). The company plans to operate these new fields until 2050 and beyond. If Shell continues to drill for oil and gas at this rate, the consequences will eventually affect all of us.

We’re calling on Shell to:

  • stop exploring new oil and gas reserves;
  • put a stop to fossil fuel projects currently under development;
  • permanently end most of its running fossil fuel projects.

People vs Multinationals

Without climate cases, governments and polluting multinationals would continue business as usual. Our lawsuits against ING and Shell are the last hope in getting big polluters to act before it’s too late. Polluters are strong, but together we are stronger. You and thousands of others will have their voices heard. We’ll be louder than company CEOs and shareholders.

Photo at top: someone wearing a safety helmet is working at an oil or gas facility.