Shell sets out climate plan, rejects shareholder resolution

Royal Dutch Shell has set out plans to become a net zero company by 2050 and urged shareholders to reject a resolution calling for tougher action at its annual general meeting.
The FTSE 100 oil company said it would be the first energy group to submit its transition strategy to an advisory shareholder vote at the AGM on 18 May.

Shell said it would reduce its own emissions and encourage customers to take up green energy products to help meet the aims of the Paris agreement on climate change, which seeks to limit the increase in the global temperature to 1.5 degree Celcius over pre-industrial levels.

It published targets to cut carbon intensity from a 2016 baseline by 2-3% in 202, 6-8% by 2023, 20% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Shell said it had worked with climate action groups to formulate its proposals, which will form a resolution at the AGM.

Shell said its plan made an additional shareholder resolution filed by the Follow This campaign calling for tougher action, especially in the short term, “redundant” and advised shareholders to reject it.

“Your directors consider that resolution 21 is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders as a whole and unanimously recommend that you vote against,” the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This, a group of more than 6,000 shareholders, said Shell had failed to set absolute reduction targets and that its medium-term goal of 20% less carbon intensity would not cut emissions enough to achieve the Paris goals.

“Shell doesn’t plan to shift investments substantially away from fossil fuels to renewables, and plans to increase natural gas production” Van Baal said. “This is a novelty, but it is a distraction from the serious issue of acting to curb emissions and drive renewables.”

He said Shell had not followed up on commitments made four years ago when the company started working with campaigners to produce a plan. BP also faces a showdown at its AGM after rejecting Follow This’s resolution.

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