Photo: Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell unveiled wide-ranging new climate goals Thursday that would see the oil-and-gas giant become a "net-zero emissions energy business" by 2050.

Why it matters: It's the latest and among the biggest moves by European-based majors on global warming — one that would require a major transformation of their businesses to succeed.

Driving the news: Shell said it aims to have net-zero emissions from the extraction and manufacture of its products, and the energy for those operations, by 2050.

  • But Shell acknowledges that so-called scope 3 emissions — that is, emissions from use of their products in the economy — are a vastly larger source of Co2, representing about 85% of the emissions linked to the company.

How it works: The plan calls for cutting a large amount of scope 3 emissions in several ways.

  1. Changing their product mix over time to become more climate friendly via ore emphasis on renewables, hydrogen and biofuels. Shell aims to reduce the "net carbon footprint" of products they sell by 30% by 2035 and 65% by 2050.
  2. Expanding use of carbon capture and natural ways to mop up CO2 like reforestation.
  3. Overall, Shell said this will involve working with customers on their emissions-cutting efforts, and developing a method to track those reductions.

The big picture: Shell must "must pivot over time towards serving the businesses and sectors that, by 2050, are net-zero emissions themselves," the announcement states.

What we don't know: "The company did not disclose the financial impact of meeting its new climate targets and said the new goals were not yet reflected in its operating plan and budgets," per FT.

What they're saying: Bloomberg reports on criticism of the plan...

"Shell has taken a step in the right direction, but it falls short of aligning with the Paris climate agreement’s goals, Dutch investor group Follow This said. Shell’s target of reducing scope 3 carbon intensity by 65% by 2050 equates to an absolute cut in emissions of 50%, the group said."

Go deeper: Oil giants announce steep cutbacks

Go deeper

Newsrooms abandoned as pandemic drags on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facing enormous financial pressure and uncertainty around reopenings, media companies are giving up on their years-long building leases for more permanent work-from-home structures. Others are letting employees work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: Real estate is often the most expensive asset that media companies own. And for companies that don't own their space, it's often the biggest expense.

52 mins ago - Technology

Dark clouds envelop feel-good Pinterest

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Pinterest set out to be a bright spot in cutthroat Silicon Valley, but now stands to see its reputation forever tarnished by allegations of mistreatment and a toxic culture by women who held senior roles at the company.

Why it matters: Even a company known for progressive policy decisions and successfully combatting hateful and otherwise problematic content isn't immune to the systemic problems that have plagued many tech companies.

Big Tech pushes voter initiatives to counter misinformation

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Tech giants are going all in on civic engagement efforts ahead of November's election to help protect themselves in case they're charged with letting their platforms be used to suppress the vote.

Why it matters: During the pandemic, there's more confusion about the voting process than ever before. Big tech firms, under scrutiny for failing to stem misinformation around voting, want to have concrete efforts they can point to so they don't get blamed for letting an election be manipulated.