The Framing of Climate-Change Discourse by Shell and the Framing of Shell’s Climate Change-Related Activities by The Economist and The Financial Times


  • Oleksandr Kapranov University of Bergen



conceptual metaphor, corporate discourse, climate change, Shell


This article presents a qualitative study of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s corporate image building in relation to climate change and how this image is represented in the British financial press. The material of the study involves the official 2014 Shell’s annual report (AR) and online coverage of Shell’s climate change-related activities by the leading British financial newspapers, The Economist and The Financial Times. Shell’s image of climate change is investigated by means of identification of conceptual metaphors viewed through the lenses of the methodological apparatus of cognitive linguistics. Conceptual metaphors identified in the 2014 AR are subsequently juxtaposed with conceptual metaphors associated with Shell’s climate-change activities in The Economist and in The Financial Times. The results reveal that Shell’s 2014 AR involves the following conceptual metaphors associated with climate change: ‘Climate Change as a Journey’, ‘Climate Change as a Battle’, ‘Shell as a Responsible Citizen’, ‘Shell as a Caring Corporation’, ‘Climate Change as Growth’, and ‘Climate Change as Money’. In contrast to these conceptual metaphors, The Economist represents Shell’s climate change activities in 2014 via ‘Shell as an Immoral Corporation’ and ‘Shell as a Sinner’. The Financial Times frames Shell’s climate change agenda in 2014 by means of conceptual metaphors ‘Climate Change as Growth’, ‘Climate Change as a Journey’, and ‘Climate Change as Money’ respectively. The discrepancies between Shell’s self-image of climate change and its representations by The Economist and The Financial Times are further presented and discussed in the article.


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How to Cite

Kapranov, Oleksandr. 2017. “The Framing of Climate-Change Discourse by Shell and the Framing of Shell’s Climate Change-Related Activities by The Economist and The Financial Times”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 7 (September).