Shell released its first quarter (Q1) earnings announcement today, revealing significant success in growth for the company. The oil and gas giant announced Q1 2024 adjusted earnings of $7.7bn, above the $6.25bn that many analysts predicted.  

Shell reported adjusted earnings of $3.68bn from integrated gas operations, $1.93bn from upstream operations, and just $163m from renewables and energy solutions.  

Following this, Shell also announced a massive $3.5bn share buyback programme. According to a press release, shares will be purchased from both London and Netherlands stock exchanges, with the buyback concluding on 26 July 2024. 

Shell CEO Wael Sawan said: “Shell delivered another quarter of strong operational and financial performance, demonstrating our continued focus on delivering more value with less emissions. We continue to deliver on our capital markets day targets, giving us the confidence to commence another $3.5bn buyback programme for the next three months.”   

With the announcement of these massive profits, many environmental groups have revealed their scepticism about Shell’s renewables policy. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a progressive think-tank, has issued a statement criticising the share buyback and demanding Shell invest more heavily in renewables.  

Dr George Dibb, associate director at the IPPR, said: “It is crystal clear that left to its own devices, Shell can’t be trusted to drive the green transition. For every £1 they spent on renewables in the last quarter, they spent £11 transferring excess cash to shareholders. 

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“It is time for the government to step in and introduce a share buyback tax, so the UK has the funds to deliver a large programme of green investment.”  

This is far from the first backlash Shell has faced from environmental campaigners. In February 2024, it was revealed that Shell’s spending on renewables had “flatlined”, and last year, the company was sued by investors for failing to meet Paris Agreement targets.