Shell moves to being climate-neutral in 2050
Shell announced they set themselves the goal of being completely climate-neutral in 2050. Before, Shells ambitions were not concrete, but this time they have set themselves a goal in stone to reach. According to Shell they felt more and more pressure of their shareholders, who increasingly ask for more sustainability.
Shells stakeholders are among the hardest hit during the last year. The stock price of Shell has decreased over fourty percent during that time. The dividens have also been cut by two-thirds. This means Shell is currently in a difficult position. Climate action 100+, a group of the biggest international investors, has fronted a few conversations with Shell about their environment policy and the goals tied to that. If Shell wants to become more climate neutral, the depreciations of their assets will absorb almost all profit. But when Shell keeps up their oil- and gasproduction until 2030 – which it still aims to do – they face the risk of losing their investors who do not like these fossil activities. Shells promising plans are currently only long term. In the short term, not much is changing.
Shell was however, the first oil company to actually ask their shareholders for an opinion about their climate policy – now and in the future. Shell wants their shareholders to have an advisory opinion. Every three years, Shell wants to provide a new transitionplan and present this to her shareholdrs. Every year, these shareholders will have to form an advisory opinion and talk about the actual progress that has been made. According to Rients Abma of Eumedion, a big interestgroup for investors, this advisory opinion is received well under big Dutch investors.
Mark van Baal of financial action group “Follow This” attributes Dutch investors a big role in the steps Shell has taken now. According to Van Baal, Shell would not have made these decisions if there hadn’t been this much support from that group of people. The decisions made were necessary to keep these bigger investors, who place more and more value on sustainability and the climate, within Shell.