Greenpeace, ShareAction, Follow This, Reclaim Finance, ACCR and Oil Change International ask a $54 trillion investor group to vote against Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s energy transition plan, claiming it does not go far enough to control global warming.
In a letter sent on February 26th after the energy giant raised its transition ambitions, the six environmental and shareholder organizations denounce that Shell’s strategy falls short of what is needed to keep warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Among others, the letter was sent to the Church of England Pensions Board and Dutch asset manager Robeco, which engage with Shell on behalf of the influential Climate Action 100+ initiative.
Shell’s effortless strategy
Shell’s emission reduction targets are intensity-based rather than absolute and, despite the need to wind down oil and gas production, the company plans to continue to invest billions of dollars in upstream oil and gas and excludes petrochemicals from its targets. Shell plans to increase its gas production significantly, to reach over half of its business by 2030.
Shell justifies such high levels of fossil fuel production betting on an improbable scale-up of carbon capture and storage and of offsets.
Moreover, according to last month’s Climate Action 100+ analysis of 159 companies’ climate ambitions, Shell have failed to set medium-term targets or goals consistent with a global reduction in emissions of 45 per cent by 2030 relative to 2010 levels.
Investors can take action now
Shell transition plan is expected to be published this week, which poses a unique opportunity for action. As Shell proposes to update its Energy Transition Plan only every three years, investors may not have another chance to vote on the substance of Shell’s plan until 2024.
Investors who are serious about using their power to transform high-emitting companies should publicly say that they believe Shell’s current strategy is so inconsistent with the Paris Goals and with the announced Climate Action 100+ benchmarks, that they will vote against Shell’s plan as outlined on 11th February.