Shell foresaw climate dangers in 1988, and possibly earlier.

This article discusses what Shell Oil Company knew about its role in causing global warming.

A Dutch journalist has uncovered Royal Dutch Shell documents as old as 1988 that showed the oil company understood the gravity of climate change, the company’s large contribution to it and how hard it would be to stop it.

The 1988 report titled “The Greenhouse Effect” calculated that the Shell group alone was contributing 4 percent of global carbon-dioxide emissions through its oil, natural gas and coal products. “By the time global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation,” the report warned.

The report, written by members of Shell’s Greenhouse Effect Working Group, said that scientists believed that the effects would become detectable late in the 20th or early 21st century.

It was based on a 1986 study, although the document reveals that Shell had commissioned “greenhouse effect” reports as early as 1981.

The documents were found by Jelmer Mommers, a reporter with De Correspondent. They were posted on the Climate Files website, which is sponsored by the Climate Investigations Center, an environmental activist group.

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