INVESTOR BRIEFING Shell AGM on May 23rd
The AGMs of four of the world’s largest oil and gas majors are quickly approaching, starting with Shell on May 23rd. Please consider that no super major has Scope 3 emissions reduction targets for 2030 that are Paris-aligned.
Before you cast your votes for the Shell AGM, please check the following facts:
- Shell’s carbon intensity targets will not lead to absolute emissions reductions by 2030, which Shell confirms in its Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting (2022).
- CA100+ lead investors MN and PGGM* are encouraging you to vote in favour of the climate resolution at Shell by pre-declaring their votes and flagging the climate resolution; a vote in favour will strengthen their engagement position.
- EOS at Federated Hermes, PIRC, LAPFF, and ISS in its sustainable advice recommend investors to vote in favour of climate resolution 26 (In generic advice ISS and Glass Lewis recommend against).
- Twenty institutional investors (managing around € 2.1 trillion in total) have already expressed support by co-filing one or more of the Follow This climate resolutions at Shell, BP, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil, and Chevron.
- Votes for climate resolutions are increasingly being used and observed as indication of climate credibility by asset managers, asset owners, pension beneficiaries, media, and the public.
- Shell consistently uses shareholder votes in favour of its strategy and against the Follow This shareholder resolution to justify not advancing its inadequate targets.
In May, investors once again have the opportunity to urge oil majors to align their 2030 emissions reduction targets with the Paris Accord; we hope that the investors who voted against Paris-alignment at BP last month, will view the AGMs this month as retakes to correct this oversight.
Read the resolution and supporting statement (co-filed by institutional investors Degroof Petercam Asset Management and Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management)
Please find more information below
The media and asset owners will be closely watching the voting outcomes at Shell’s annual general meeting on May 23rd. Several investors, including the CA100+ lead investors MN and PGGM have already pre-declared their votes in favour of climate resolution 26. These investors recognize that Shell’s targets, despite its claims, fall short of Paris-alignment. As PGGM points out, “No independent, third-party source shows that Shell is Paris aligned in 2030.”
Shell has yet to set a 2030 target that leads to large-scale reductions in (net) absolute GHG emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement by 2030.
Despite the company’s continuous claims that it has assumed a leading position in the energy transition, a recent report by Accela Research indicates that Shell currently plans less than 10% of their energy mix to be “low-carbon” by 2030 (more than 90% remain in oil and gas).
Asset owners and investment advisors encourage votes for resolution 26
Proxy advisors Glass Lewis and ISS have recommended in their generic advice to their clients to vote against resolution 26, despite ISS stating that the merits of the resolution are ‘fully accepted’. Conflictingly, the ‘ISS sustainable advice’ recommends investors to vote in favour of resolution 26.
Thankfully, more and more investors are making their own decisions on climate resolutions, ignoring the advice of the ISS and Glass Lewis, because they see themselves as stewards of the global economy.
A growing number of leading asset managers are encouraged by other investment advisors and responsible asset owners, such as pension funds, to vote in favour of the climate resolution and to even oust directors. Leading investment advisor PIRC has recommended shareholders vote against Shell Chair Andrew Mackenzie and Shell’s Energy Transition resolution (3), and in favour of resolution 26. Apart from supporting resolution 26, Britain’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum LAPFF also recommended against Shell’s remuneration proposals, it’s Energy Transition resolution and most directors.
The Church of England Pension Board, previous CA100+ lead investor for Shell and long-time supporter of the company’s climate plans, also declared it would support resolution 26 and discontinue support for Shell’s climate plan and the reappointment of the company’s CEO and Chair. Adam Matthews, the chief responsible investment officer said “We have lost confidence in the direction of the company.” This move is a crucial sign that investors are losing faith in an engagement-only approach without votes for shareholder resolutions and against directors.
Voting this season – A chance for Paris at Shell
It is not too late to send companies a clear signal that all companies need to drive down emissions this decade. Clear investor support for the climate resolution at the Shell 2023 AGM will create clarity on which investors prioritize Paris alignment and will provide the company with a clear mandate to align its climate aims accordingly.
A vote in favour of shareholder resolution 26 is the only way to urge Shell to reduce overall emissions this decade; voting against will enable the company to persist in delaying emission reductions this crucial decade and endanger the overall value of your portfolio.
Why is PGGM voting this way: “We believe that the adoption and implementation of this resolution will reduce the risk of stranded assets and/or increase the opportunities afforded by the energy transition.
The resolution does not prescribe that the company must implement absolute emissions targets, only that its existing mid-term target should align with Paris. This allows Shell to either cut hydrocarbon production further or increase its low carbon targets. This flexibility leaves room for the company to implement the resolution without compromising its profitability.
While we acknowledge that scope 3 targets are dependent on the demand for fossil fuels, this should not inhibit increased ambition. PGGM is also voting in favour of similar resolutions at the AGMs of companies on the demand-side of energy so that efforts by oil and gas companies will be mirrored by their customers.”
PGGM’s pre-declaration: “Although Shell is a front-runner among oil and gas companies, there is insufficient evidence that the company’s current strategy is aligned with a 1.5°C warming pathway, which requires a significant decrease in oil and gas production and increase in the supply of low carbon solutions. No independent, third-party source shows that Shell is Paris aligned in 2030.”
# CA100+ flags proposals “aligned with the goals of the initiative” and acknowledges them as “a powerful signal and a useful engagement tool”.
Climate Action 100+ is an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change; 700 investors, responsible for over $68 trillion in assets under management, are engaging companies on improving climate change governance, cutting emissions and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures.