Campaign groups Follow This and ShareAction say they anticipate shareholder support for their new climate change resolution at Royal Dutch Shell, which the oil major has confirmed will go to the vote at the 2018 AGM.
The new resolution, which follows on from last year’s proposal which won support from institutional investors including MN, Actiam, Achmea IM, Van Lanschot Kempen, the Church of England and Aviva, has been coordinated by Netherlands–based Follow This and co-filed by ShareAction of the UK.
Last year’s proposal won more than 6% despite some leading investors voting against it. The campaign groups hope they have addressed their concerns over the wording of the resolution this time round.
The new resolution asks Shell to set long-term (2050) and quantitative targets aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The campaigners say the resolution will act as a “test” of investors’ commitment to Paris.
The two groups say the company has “changed course in response to the previous resolution” and that the new resolution overcomes “all practical objections” that investors had to the previous resolution. This relates to setting a target for the emissions of its end products (Scope 3), a sticking point for some investors before.
Although Shell resisted the previous resolution – calling it “unreasonable” and saying it showed a “basic misunderstanding” – last month it pledged to cut the carbon footprint of its end products.The shift in stance was reflected when CEO Ben van Beurden told the Guardian last month that there was “a kernel of truth and relevance” in the Follow This resolution.
“We sincerely hope that this will be our last Shell resolution and that we can shift our efforts to the rest of the oil industry.”
“We hope that Shell and its shareholders will embrace this resolution,” said Follow This founder Mark van Baal.
“Our mission remains the same: to see to it that Shell feels—and continues to feel—enough support that it will throw its brains & billions behind the energy transition to a renewable energy system. We sincerely hope that this will be our last Shell resolution and that we can shift our efforts to the rest of the oil industry.”
Meanwhile, Shell and Italy’s Eni have been ordered to stand trial over alleged corruption in Nigeria.
A judge in Milan has ruled that they and current and former executives would have to face a trial which reports say could start on March 5.
The case revolves around the companies’ $1.3bn acquisition of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield in 2011.
Shell said it believes there is “no case” against it or its former employees, saying: “There is no place for bribery or corruption in our company.” Eni said it was confident that it was not involved in alleged corrupt activities in relation to the deal.