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December 5th, 2018:

Carl Mortished: Shell’s great incentive is to oil the wheels of transition

Ben van Beurden

The linkage of carbon reduction targets to bonuses will not just apply to the top team but to a thousand or more senior Shell managers.


It’s tough setting pay incentives for the boss. You want him to have an eye on the big prize — more profits, more dividends. But you also want him to invest well, to run a tight ship and not sacrifice the long-term in pursuit of a quick buck. But what incentive is right when you worry that the core business might be banned within several decades?

Big oil companies wrestle with this. Investors adore the cash dividend from crude. But many want to know what the oil majors will do if petroleum-based fuels are phased out in order to reduce carbon emissions. Shell has been playing cat and mouse with some saintly shareholders who want their dividends free of soot and CO2. In order to achieve that, these investors want carbon-reduction targets embedded in the bosses’ bonus plans. read more

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