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A ‘Greener’ Shell Means Richer Executives? That’s the Oil Giants Radical New Plan


A year ago, Royal Dutch Shell said it was going to halve the carbon intensity of its operations and products by the middle of the century. That followed investor pressure, and now the energy giant’s shareholders have scored another major win.

Shell issued a big announcement Monday: Not only will it be setting short-term targets in line with its longer-term “Net Carbon Footprint” ambition, but it will also be linking these targets with executive remuneration. Greener Shell = richer executives, or at least that’s the plan — the link will be subject to a shareholder vote at the company’s 2020 AGM.

The move is not entirely unprecedented — Statoil’s head of Norwegian production and development gets more money when absolute carbon emissions fall — but the scale of Shell’s proposal, which reverses a previous aversion to hard targets, is something else. According to the Financial Times, the link between long-term financial incentives and emissions reductions could affect up to 1,200 Shell executives.

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