Shell Gets Some Breathing Room on Climate Targets From Activist Investors

Date : 04/08/2019 @ 2:38AM
Source : Dow Jones News

Shell Gets Some Breathing Room on Climate Targets From Activist Investors

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By Oliver Griffin

Follow This, a Netherlands-based group of investors, said it will withdraw its climate resolution from Royal Dutch Shell PLC's annual general meeting this year.

The group of some 4,600 shareholders, which urges oil companies to set and publish targets aligned with the 2015 Paris climate accord, said in a statement Sunday it will withdraw its climate resolution from the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company's AGM.

This is to give Shell more time to align its emissions targets with the 2015 agreement, the group said.

The decision follows discussion with six of Shell's top-10 Dutch investors, including Aegon, NN Investment Partners and Van Lanschot Kempen.

Follow This member Mark van Baal said it was due to support for the group's climate resolutions by these six companies that Shell had developed its "industry-leading" goals.

"Our mission is to have the entire oil and gas industry, which can make or break the Paris Climate Agreement, commit concretely to Paris and actually begin to invest in a sustainable energy supply," he said.

Follow This said its climate resolutions, which call for oil companies to align their long-term targets with the Paris agreement regarding greenhouse-gas emissions, remain on the agendas of the AGMs of Equinor ASA, BP PLC and Chevron Corp.

Shell is regarded as industry leading by Follow This in part because it includes so-called Scope 3 emissions in its greenhouse gas reduction targets. These are emissions generated by the fuels burned by Shell's customers all over the world.

"Oil and gas companies had previously always taken the position that the emissions of their products fell outside the domain of their own responsibility," Mr. van Baal said.

In March, Shell said it aims to cut its net carbon footprint by up to 3% by 2021, compared with 2016, as it works toward meeting its goal of halving its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.

Last year, the company said it would provide three- to five-year targets beginning in 2020 to reduce its net carbon footprint on an annual basis. The company said it plans to incorporate the targets into a revised remuneration policy, which will be subject to a shareholder vote in 2020.

Follow This said that while the group said it is withdrawing its resolution from Shell's AGM, it pledged to keep up the pressure on emissions targets.

Mr. van Baal said: "Shell hasn't heard the last from us. We want Shell's investments to be aligned with Paris."

-- Write to Oliver Griffin at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 07, 2019 21:23 ET (01:23 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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