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Shell calls on investors to vote for its new climate strategy

Jillian Ambrose: Thu 15 Apr 2021 13.58 BST

Royal Dutch Shell has urged investors to vote for its strategy to shift the business towards cleaner energy sources, despite warnings that the plan does not go far enough to meet the Paris climate agreement goals.

The oil company set out its energy transition plan before its annual shareholder meeting in May, when investors will be able to take part in an advisory vote on Shell’s climate plans for the first time. The vote will not be binding.

Shell’s strategy includes plans to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy it produces by 20% before the end of the decade, by producing less oil and more renewable energy, and further steps to become a carbon neutral company by 2050.

Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, said the company was asking shareholders to vote for an energy transition strategy “designed to bring our energy products, our services, and our investments in line with the temperature goal of the Paris agreement and the global drive to combat the climate crisis.

“It is a strategy that we believe creates value for our shareholders, our customers and wider society,” he said.

However, Follow This, the shareholder activist group, said the plan’s focus on carbon intensity (the average carbon footprint of all Shell’s products), rather than the total emissions produced, would put it at odds with the Paris climate agreement in the medium term. The Paris accord is considered crucial to avoid an irreversible climate crisis.

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