Sunday, July 3

Climate-focused Dutch funds to take lead on Shell investor engagement

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LONDON — Two climate-focused Dutch pension fund managers have been named to lead climate negotiations with Shell on behalf of a major group of investors that helped shape the energy company’s drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

MN and PGGM will officially take the role on behalf of the Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) investor group comprising $68 trillion in assets following Shell’s annual general meeting on May 24, MN said on Thursday.

Shareholders will be asked to vote at the AGM on a non-binding resolution on Shell’s climate strategy as well as an activist climate resolution which Shell’s board opposes.

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PGGM said on its website that it was going to support the Follow This activist resolutions at oil and gas companies’ shareholder meetings this spring.

One bone of contention is that Shell’s targets are formulated in terms of emissions intensity, rather than in terms of absolute emissions reductions. An intensity-based target allows for higher overall emissions on the back of higher output, even if the headline intensity emissions count falls .

“MN and PGGM have taken the lead on engaging with Shell for CA100+,” an MN spokesman said in an email, adding they would start the work after Shell’s AGM.

Follow This asks Shell to publish climate goals consistent with the Paris climate accord of 2015, aiming for absolute emissions reductions of around 40% by 2030.

Shell, saying its strategy is in line with the Paris accord, called the Follow This resolution “unrealistic” in a note to shareholders.

MN and PGGM did not immediately reply to a question as to whether they would support Shell’s climate resolution alongside Follow This.

Previous CA100+ leads, the Church of England Pensions Board and Robeco, supported Shell’s climate strategy. (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)