Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Shareholder Group Urges Shell to Go Green

Energy
Shareholder Group Urges Shell to Go Green
A Shell station with an EV charging station in Tumwater, WA. Washington State Dept. of Transportation / Flickr

When the shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell convene for their annual meeting this May, there will be a surprising item on the agenda.

A group of climate activists from the group Follow This, which urges people to buy shares in Shell in order to push the company towards renewable energy, will present a resolution urging the company to meaningfully increase its commitment to fighting climate change, the Financial Times reported Sunday.


Compared to other fossil fuel companies, the Financial Times reported that Royal Dutch Shell has taken a leadership role in greening the industry. In what it claimed was an effort to align itself with the Paris agreement, it committed in November to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2050 and, in budgeting its footprint, included both its own emissions and those released in the use of its products.

However, the members of Follow This are among those who think Shell's commitment will not be enough to keep global warming well below two degrees Celsius.

"The ambitions announced by Shell are inconsistent with the Paris agreement, in particular when taking into account expected global energy demand growth," Follow This founder Mark van Baal told the Financial Times.

Activists told the Financial Times that, according to the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change, global carbon emissions need to decrease by 60 to 65 percent by 2050 in order to meet the Paris goals. However, as long as Shell has a share in the global energy market, which is projected to grow by 50 percent by 2050, its promise will only lead to a 25 percent reduction in emissions over all.

The Follow This resolution calls on the company "to set and publish targets that are aligned with the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C," and insists that those targets "need to include long-term (2050) and intermediate objectives, to be quantitative, and to be reviewed regularly."

But Follow This' ultimate goal is to transform the kind of energy company that defines Shell.

"We will accomplish our mission when Shell's CEO Ben van Beurden says, 'Starting now, we are going to invest in sustainable energy so that Shell will become an entirely sustainable energy company.'" their website says. The group also wants Shell to invest the money it does still earn from fossil fuels into developing renewable energy instead of conducting more oil and gas exploration.

According to the Financial Times, Shell has a budget of $25 to $30 billion a year, but only invests $2 billion of that sum in renewable energy.

The company told The Financial Times they had received Follow This' resolution; the majority of shareholders voted down a similar resolution from the group last year.

Follow This' strategy represents a different way to exert pressure on the fossil fuel industry than the efforts of Oakland and San Francisco to sue five major fossil-fuel-producing companies, including Shell, for the costs associated with adapting to climate change.

The five companies involved in the suit filed a motion last week to have the case dismissed.

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch