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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

Updated 26 mins ago - Sports

Live updates: Olympics formally kick off with "sobering" opening ceremony

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway. But this year's largely spectator-less opening ceremony is a "sobering" event focused primarily on the athletes.

The latest: Japan's Emperor Naruhito officially opened the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.

53 mins ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its nickname to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.

Alabama governor: "It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks"

Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A frustrated Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) told reporters Thursday that "it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks" for the state's continued surge in new COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: Alabama has reported nearly 8,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week. It's one of the few states in the country with fewer than 40% of residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19.