Media release

“Short-sighted”: Shell stalls again on climate

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR) is responding to the publication today of Shell’s 2024 Energy Transition Strategy.

Key changes include:

  • Reduction in the level of ambition for the 2030 NCI target from 20% to 15-20%
  • Removal of the 2035 NCI target, giving less guidance to investors around the pathway between 2030 and 2050
  • Introduction of a new Scope 3 target, for oil products only, of 15-20% by 2030 compared with 2021
  • LNG as a transition fuel features heavily in the plan, despite the high cost and high emissions

Shareholders will have an opportunity to vote on the Energy Transition Strategy at the company’s upcoming annual general meeting in May.

Nick Spooner, UK Company Strategy lead, Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility said:

“‘By lowering its already weak ambition, Shell is at odds with global momentum towards net zero goals and is further exposing its investors to unnecessary risks through the energy transition.

“The new Scope 3 targets put forward by Shell bring little comfort to investors. Plans for reducing emissions from oil products mean little when they are not coupled with company-wide absolute emissions reduction targets

“The continued promotion of LNG is at odds with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Investors should be concerned about this misallocation of capital, and increasing insistence on LNG as a transition fuel which makes little sense when there are cheaper, cleaner and faster to deploy alternatives available.

“This bullishness on LNG is reflected in Shell’s lobbying activity, which also seems to be promoting demand for LNG in emerging markets.

“The company has been dismantling the segments of its business that are critical to its energy transition strategy as it refocuses on fossil fuel expansion. Investors will be asking why Shell is under-cutting its own ability to work with customers to decarbonise and therefore thrive through the energy transition.

“The actions taken by the new executive team put more emphasis on fossil fuel expansion over low carbon investments. Our analysis shows that the company was not on track to meet its already unambitious emissions reduction targets. The further weakening of these highlights the company’s lack of commitment to the energy transition.

“We would expect it to be difficult for investors to justify supporting this short-sighted strategy, which will be voted upon at the upcoming annual meeting, based on this weakening of its climate ambitions and the impact this will have on the company’s ability to transition successfully

“Investor sentiment around the company is already negative as the decarbonisation targets Shell has set out are vague, unambitious and overly reliant on divestments or negative emissions technologies. This step back will only stoke further discontent from its investor base.


ACCR has also recently published a detailed analysis of Shell’s climate-related lobbying disclosures, finding that the company does not assess or disclose any industry associations it is a member of in emerging markets. Full report: In the dark: gaps in Shell’s climate lobbying disclosures

In December 2023, ACCR published an analysis of Shell’s decarbonisation strategy.

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