Advice from Shell’s Board:

“Shareholders should show their support for our net carbon footprint ambition by voting against this resolution,” the directors of Shell unanimously urged in their response to the Follow This climate resolution.

Outcome:

The nine biggest Dutch investors (probably 10) defied the board, and a majority voted in favour of the climate resolution (see table).

Now that the dust has settled in the Netherlands, we can conclude that a majority of the biggest Dutch investors – at least five out of nine – voted for the climate. None voted against our resolution. Blue Sky Group will publish its vote shortly.

These nine (or 10) biggest Dutch investors ignored the negative voting advice of Shell’s directors. Although many investors, including Follow This, applaud the fact that Shell has announced a new climate ambition, these investors are demanding that Shell go further by setting concrete climate targets to achieve the goal of the Paris climate agreement.

That priority is shared by a wider group of 60 international investors, who jointly manage some $10.4tn in assets. In a statement at the shareholders’ meeting, supported by an open letter to the Financial Times, these investors have publicly asked Shell and all oil majors for “concrete commitments to substantially reduce carbon emissions” in line with the Paris climate agreement, exactly what we asked for in the climate resolution.

In order to satisfy investors in the Netherlands and internationally, Shell and other oil majors will have to establish concrete climate targets.

That which seemed unimaginable a year ago, especially for Shell management, will now have to happen: Shell will have to set targets aligned with the Paris agreement, both for their own emissions and for the emissions of their products (Scope 3). A year ago Shell called this a “fundamental misunderstanding” and “unreasonable.”

We would like sincerely to thank investors for their support. Especially, we recognise the leadership of those institutions, which announced their priorities in advance, thus helping to ignite a wider debate about the need for oil and gas major to accept responsibility for so-called ‘Scope 3’ emissions.

With their brainpower and resources, the oil and gas industry can make or break the Paris agreement.

On behalf of Follow This, we look forward to working in close cooperation with our shareholders and investors in the Netherlands and internationally, in our mission to support oil and gas companies to adopt a well-below-2-degrees pathway.

(*) intended to vote ‘for’, but voted after the deadline because of administrative error

(#) not published yet