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Shell investors back oil major’s move to weaken climate targets

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Shell shareholders have endorsed the company’s decision to weaken its climate targets, with 78% voting in favor of a slower emissions reduction strategy
• This includes cutting emissions more slowly and scrapping the 2035 reduction target
• A resolution by activist group Follow This urging stricter goals was rejected by 81% of the shareholders 

🔭 The context: Shell’s revised strategy now aims for a 15-20% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, down from the previously promised 20%
• The 2035 target has been completely removed, reflecting CEO Wael Sawan’s focus on increasing LNG sales while selectively investing in low-carbon energy products
• The activist group, which unites shareholders in oil and gas companies to support climate resolutions, called for the company to align its targets with Paris Agreement goals during a heated voting session with investors in London

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Weakening climate targets could delay the broader transition to sustainable energy, potentially exacerbating climate change impacts
• Shell’s approach prioritizes financial returns from hydrocarbons over rapid decarbonization, which may undermine global climate goals

⏭️ What's next: Shell must address shareholder concerns within six months due to the significant minority opposition
• The company plans to continue engaging with investors to explain the rationale behind its revised strategy and restated restated it maintains a commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 
• Future shareholder meetings are likely to see continued pressure on Shell to strengthen its climate commitments following it’s CEO’s stated that it may be tempting to stop using oil and gas “before the world is ready”, however, we must not do so “at the expense of the energy needs and aspirations of a growing global population”

💬 One quote: “Votes for this climate resolution show which investors are committed to Paris and which investors endorse Big Oil’s refusal to take meaningful climate action.” - Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This

📈 One stat: About 22% of shareholders voted against Shell’s revised energy transition strategy, a slight increase from previous years

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