If we are serious about radically restructuring Shell, we should have all the options on the table. Suing, taxing, regulating, nationalising, bankrupting; what are the pathways to a Future Beyond Shell?
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Responsibly restructuring or dismantling a century old economic sector isn’t a piece of cake. By putting a focus on Shell we hope to make a broad and complex discussion on the transition away from oil accessible to the public. // mapping out ‘pressure points’ / fields of intervention in Shell’s infrastructure in order to inform movement strategies → facilitating action
The Covid pandemic shows us how an uncontrolled unravelling of the oil and gas sector has disastrous impacts particularly on communities at the front lines and workers. In 2020 alone, Shell has cut 9,000 jobs in the context of its large restructuring program. What we witness is that, similar to the financial crisis in 2008, the only action with which governments seem to be able to respond to these massive shocks is by bailing out an industry that is factually doomed to die. Thereby, they fail to effectively create incentives for the big carbon majors to become key players in remodelling our energy sector so that it is fit for the future.
This is why we need to investigate all the options we have to enable a socially and economically just recovery. We believe that we can and need to do better than keeping dying oil corporations artificially on life support with subsidies and bailouts. Are court cases an effective way to contain oil majors, and if so, on what grounds? Can we expect any government to effectively tax and regulate them out of existence? What happens if no action taken, what are the risks of bankruptcy of a company deemed “too big to fail”? What are the possibilities for public ownership, and what different strategies exist to nationalise, socialise or communalise?
This podcast aims to identify and discuss legal, political and economic tools ranging from existing, conventional approaches to more experimental, speculative propositions. We have to shift incentives and business models of the major oil corporations so that they can be part and maybe even facilitators of a sustainable future. We will thereby refer to cutting edge research, look back at historic examples and ask for the expertise of selected interview partners.