Shell discusses green policy; rejects concrete commitments
Shell shareholders turned down an activist proposal urging the company to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement at the shareholders meeting in Scheveningen on Tuesday, were climate strategy was the main topic. This outcome meant that concrete action or measurable quotas are not deemed necessary by Shell shareholders in order to reduce emission.
The proposal, ‘Resolution 21’, by small shareholder collective Follow This was rejected by almost 94% of shareholders, vastly outnumbering the 6% of votes in favor. Most of the large institutional investors agree Shell should stick to the Paris Climate Summit aims, but think that the resolution asks more than the company can realize”, OneWorld reports.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, who had advised shareholders to vote against the resolution, claimed that Shell will still be committed to environmental protection. “We get it, we understand that we should reduce emissions and how we should do it.” Van Beurden said.
However, he is skeptical of a future without fossil. “The demand for fossil fuels will continue to increase for now, due to population growth and increasing wealth.” Van Beurden does not believe there are any viable alternatives to fossil in the aviation, shipping and chemical industries.
Follow This’ leader, Mark van Baal had said in the proposal’s description, “We are asking for leadership, for imagination”. Van Beurden later commented, “You ask us to stop selling petrol and gas, but this will not help the environment. It will only help our competitors.”
Van Baal calls the outcome “Disappointing”. “I expected more from the institutional investors who could achieve more sustainable management.” However, “We received twice as many votes as last year,” van Baal said. Follow This will continue to discuss future plans.
Shell has said they do want to explore new markets for gas and is strongly anticipating CO2 storage. They are also investing in renewable energy such as bio fuels, hydrogen power, solar and wind energy.