Despite concerns that the scheme would not go far enough to fulfill the Paris climate agreement targets, Royal Dutch Shell has encouraged investors to be able to vote for its proposal to move the company to renewable energy sources. Until its yearly shareholder meeting in May, where investors would be willing to participate in an advisory vote on Shell’s environment policies for the first time, the oil giant laid out the energy change agenda. The outcome of the ballot would not be binding.
Shell’s agenda involves efforts to decrease the carbon intensity of electricity it consumes by 20% by the completion of the decade by consuming less oil and more solar energy, as well as further measures to become carbon-free by 2050. Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, stated the firm was requesting shareholders to be able to vote on an energy change plan “planned to align our energy goods, facilities, and finances with the Paris Agreement’s temperature target and the global push to tackle the climate crisis.” “We agree it is a policy that generates value for our owners, consumers, and community as a whole,” he added.
The plan’s reliance on carbon intensity (the overall carbon impact of all Shell’s brands), rather than overall pollution made, according to Follow This, the shareholder advocacy organization, would place it at clashes with the Paris climate agreement in the medium term. The Paris Agreement is seen as critical to averting an irreversible climate catastrophe.
At the AGM, shareholders would be presented with a competing environment plan by Follow This. Shell’s agenda outlines stricter steps to get the company in line with the Paris targets, which call for absolute emissions to drop by 25 to 45 percent by the completion of the decade.
Shell also urged its shareholders to vote no on the Follow This resolution and also support its plan. Despite its own “more detailed approach,” the firm claimed the competitor’s scheme was “redundant.” “If Shell’s goals were Paris-consistent, we might just require one resolution,” Follow This’s Mark van Baal said. Under that situation, we’d rescind our resolution and back Shell’s.
“Shell’s medium-term carbon intensity reduction plan of 20% would not have adequate absolute pollution reductions to meet the Paris targets. Shell still has no intentions to move significant expenditures from fossil fuels to the renewables, as well as plans to expand natural gas production.” The company’s environment policy, first announced in February, calls for a small reduction in oil demand, either by the sale of oilfields or the gradual depletion of supplies and an expansion in gas output and exports to the international market.