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Resolution calling for Shell to set tougher emission targets in line with Paris climate agreement rejected at co's shareholders meeting

Oil_platform_credit_US_dept_of_energy_via_wikicommons

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Article
22 May 2018

Investors turn up heat on Shell over climate targets

Author: Ron Bousso, Reuters

Top investors in Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) on Tuesday put pressure on the oil and gas giant to commit to hard targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to battle climate change.  Shell has set out “ambitions” to halve carbon emissions by 2050 and expand in renewables, goals Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said were ground breaking for the oil industry.  But he clashed with shareholders who had pushed climate to the forefront of the annual general meeting (AGM) and demanded Shell give specifics on how it would turn promises into action.  However, a motion that proposed setting targets was defeated...But a growing number of major shareholders... urged the Anglo-Dutch company to commit to firm targets to reduce carbon emissions from its oil and gas production, as well as from fuels it sells around the world.  “We call for this ambition to be translated into firm medium and short term targets, aligned with the Paris Agreement,” a group of 27 investors managing $7.9 trillion in assets said in a statement read at the AGM.  The group includes HSBC, BMO Capital Markets, AXA and UBS.  Shell’s board has urged shareholders to vote against a resolution brought forward for a vote at the AGM by activist group Follow This that called on Shell to set targets to reduce emissions and meet the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement goal that aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.  The resolution was rejected by a majority of 95 percent...Although the Follow This motion was defeated, van Baal said companies were under more pressure to set clear goals...

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Article
22 May 2018

Shell investors revolt over pay and maintain pressure over climate change

Author: Adam Vaughan, The Guardian

Shell investors have rebelled over the company’s executive pay, as the Anglo-Dutch oil company came under pressure to take stronger action on climate change.  While chief executive Ben van Beurden’s €8.9m (£7.79m) pay package for 2017 was approved, more than a quarter of shareholders voted against the firm’s remuneration report at its annual general meeting on Tuesday.  Influential shareholder adviser ISS had urged investors to reject the pay award because of the company’s performance on sustainable development targets...Shell also faced a grilling from investors over how sincere its action is on reducing carbon emissions, with about half the questions related to climate change...However, the company defeated a resolution calling for it to set tougher emissions targets in line with the Paris climate deal.  The resolution was backed by 5.54% of shareholders; a similar resolution in 2017 was backed by 6.3%.  “Investors are sending a clear signal to Shell and all oil and gas companies, that they will not accept a goal of halving net carbon emissions by 2050 [set by Shell],” said Mark van Baal of Follow This, the group which brought the proposal.  He noted that seven of the Netherland’s 10 biggest asset owners had supported the resolution...Van Baal accused the chief executive of misleading investors that Shell’s carbon targets were aligned with a sub-2C world...

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Article
22 May 2018

Shell investors vote down global-warming proposal

Author: Sarah Kent, Market Watch (USA)

Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDSB shareholders voted down Tuesday a proposal requiring the company align its strategy with efforts to limit global warming, signaling support for steps the company has already taken on climate change.  The resolution, put forward by Dutch activist shareholder group Follow This, won just 5% of the shareholder proxy vote.  It called on the company to set emissions targets in line with international ambitions to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  A similar resolution last year garnered support from 6% of investors who voted, but still helped push the company to set some wide-ranging emissions goals...The company had recommended investors vote against the resolution on the grounds its ambitions are already more wide ranging.  It also warned targets are too rigid a tool given the uncertainty around how efforts to limit climate change will play out.  Several investors held back from putting their support behind the resolution in recognition of the company's efforts over the last year, but they still signaled their desire for more action on climate change.  At Tuesday's meeting, a group of 27 investors with nearly $8 trillion under management put their names to a statement calling on the company and others in the industry to do more...Signatories included Legal & General Investment Managers, Aviva Investors and UBS Asset Management, which count among the company's top twenty shareholders, as well as the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest pension fund in the U.S...

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Article
20 May 2018

Shell faces shareholder challenge over climate change approach

Author: Adam Vaughan, The Guardian

Royal Dutch Shell faces a shareholder challenge over climate change this week, as investors insist oil and gas firms should offer more transparency and action on carbon emissions.  A growing number of pension funds have backed a resolution at Shell’s AGM on Tuesday that calls on the company to set tougher carbon targets that are in line with the goals of the Paris climate deal.  The proposal has been backed by the Church of England, the Dutch pension fund Aegon and...Nest, the workplace pension scheme...Mark van Baal, the founder of Follow This, a Dutch campaign group that brought the resolution, said: “Investors have a choice: vote for Shell’s ‘whatever world’ or vote for the world of the Church of England, a world in which all companies set targets to limit climate change to well below 2C.”  The resolution has been highlighted by 60 large investors managing more $10.4tn (£7.72tn) in assets, though they stopped short of publicly backing it...It is the third year in a row that Follow This has brought a climate resolution to Shell’s AGM.  Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, has admitted the resolutions played a role in convincing the firm to announce a plan to halve the carbon footprint of the energy it sells by 2050.  Follow This has welcomed the move but said it is not enough...

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