The document was found by Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers and published online by the Climate Files, a website sponsored by environmental advocacy group Climate Investigations Center.
The report, titled “The Greenhouse Effect,” said the effects of climate change would be notable by the late 20th Century and early 21st Century.
It cautioned that by then it may be too late to reverse its effects.
“By the time the 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 states.
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Written by Shell’s Greenhouse Effect Working Group, the report was based off a study conducted in 1986, and contains specific predictions on carbon emissions, political responses to climate change, and how society will be affected.
Some of its predictions include rising sea levels, changing temperatures and human migration.
More notably, the report reveals that Shell knew decades ago that fossil fuels, and the oil and gas industry in particular, would play a major role in greenhouse gas emissions.
It estimated that in 1981, 44 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions came from oil.
“With fossil fuel combustion being a major source of CO2 in the atmosphere, a forward looking approach by the energy industry is clearly desirable,” the report urged.
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