Media release

Shell faces scrutiny for weakened climate plan

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR) is commenting on the results of the 2024 annual general meeting (AGM) of Shell plc.

  • 26.7% voted against management’s recommendation* on Shell’s Energy Transition Strategy (ETS)
  • 11.0% voted against management’s recommendation* on the re-election of chair Sir Andrew Mackenzie
  • 21.1% voted against management’s recommendation* on a shareholder resolution filed by Follow This and 27 institutional investors calling on Shell to align its medium-term emissions reduction targets covering the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the use of its energy products (Scope 3) with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement

* Calculations of votes against management’s recommendation include votes ‘withheld,’ equivalent to an abstain vote, but not included in the company’s official calculations.

Commenting on the results from the AGM, Nick Spooner, Company Strategy Lead, UK, said:

“The Energy Transition Strategy presented by Shell this year weakens its emissions reduction targets over the short- and medium-term, while giving little clarity around how they will achieve the serious decarbonisation efforts that are required after 2030.

“26.7% of shareholders who exercised voting rights on the ETS did so against management’s recommendation, up from 23.4% in 2023. This increase in dissatisfaction follows the company weakening its scope 3 carbon intensity targets earlier this year and the removal of its 2035 target.

“Under the UK Corporate Governance Code, Shell will again have to consult with its shareholders, given the above 20% formal ‘against’ vote on its Energy Transition Strategy.”

“The new management team claims a stronger focus on capital discipline. However, their actions do not reflect this, reducing hurdle rates for fossil fuel projects at a time when risks related to the energy transition are most acute.”

“Shell’s exploration capex remains persistently above that of peers. We asked the company to justify how this spending is in the interests of shareholders, considering that the IEA states that there is no need for exploration capex under the Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) or Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) scenario.”

“During the AGM, Shell repeatedly described LNG as a ‘low carbon’ fuel. This is a misnomer that will increasingly be challenged by shareholders and regulators, perhaps via the courts.”

“Shell’s board of directors has year-on-year failed to respond to the concerns persistently expressed by over a fifth of its shareholders. The obvious next step for investors whose concerns are not being addressed, but who wish to see change, is to look toward board renewal.”

“The first and foremost step to mitigating a range of acute financial, environmental, legal and social risks for Shell is ceasing exploration for new oil and gas, in line with the IEA’s NZE modelling.”

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