Some leading investors are already backing Follow This resolution, uncovers Responsible Investor, a global news service for institutional investor.

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A shareholder resolution calling on Royal Dutch Shell to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, promoted by the NGO Follow This, has seen growing support from leading investors.

Cesare Vitali, responsible for ESG research at Ecofi Investissements, the asset manager of France’s Groupe Crédit Coopératif, told RI that the firm is supporting the resolution because it is “compliant with our voting policy and our concept of responsible finance.”

ACTIAM, the Utrecht-based fund manager with €56bn under management, has already announced that it will vote in favour of the resolution.

Willemijn Verdegaal, Advisor, Responsible Investment & Governance at €114bn Dutch investment house MN, told RI that it’s the firm’s policy not to disclose its voting intention until Shell publishes its opinion.

“The ball is now in Shell’s court and their response to the resolution is going to be key in determining how investors vote,” she said. MN is supporting a climate proposal at Exxon Mobil.

According to Verdegaal the Follow This resolution at Shell could align with MN’s ESG policy and strategy, which aims at building portfolios that are climate resilient.

“Last year the resolution was a bit prescriptive and too much focused on renewables. There are other ways in which Shell can align with the Paris Agreement outcomes. It’s not up to investors to decide it. This year however, we appreciate that Follow This have consulted us about the initiative and feel comfortable about it because the text aligns with our goals.”

“We have talked to as many investors as possible,” says Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This, “in the Netherlands and outside, to get their input. We have ended up with a much subtler resolution, unlike last year’s one, which some shareholders said was too prescriptive.”

The resolution asks shareholders to support Shell in taking “the lead in the energy transition to a net-zero-emission energy system” and proposes setting reduction targets covering Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions (i.e. the whole life cycle of emissions, including the supply chain and the use of its products), as well as annual reporting on the progress made.

Responsible Investor is a news and events service covering responsible investment, ESG and sustainable finance for institutional investors globally.