This joint statement has been developed between Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) and a leadership group of institutional investors on behalf of the global investor initiative: Climate Action 100+ (CA 100+)1. The investor engagement with Shell has been led by Robeco and the Church of England Pensions Board and included representatives of Eumedion (the Dutch platform for institutional investors) and the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)2. APG on behalf of ABP, the Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) have also been active participants.
Introductory comments by the Institutional Investors:
As long-term institutional investors who manage retirement savings and investments for millions of people, we believe climate change to be one of the greatest systemic risks facing society today. We believe comprehensive and effective government policy is necessary to drive change across the global economy. All parts of society have a role to play, not least energy-intensive, publicly listed companies. Any gaps, weaknesses or delays in climate change policies and responses will increase the risk to society’s ability to limit climate change to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Failure to act may also increase the cost of adaptation as well as the physical risk posed by climate change to society and our investments.
In 2017, Shell was the first international oil and gas company to introduce an ambition to reduce the Net Carbon Footprint of the energy products it sells, expressed as a carbon intensity measure, taking into account their full lifecycle emissions. These include emissions from its own operations, from the use of the energy products by its customers, as well as those generated by third parties in its supply chains. In developing its Net Carbon Footprint ambition, we believe Shell has taken a significant leadership position within the oil and gas sector. As investors, we are strongly supportive of this approach.
We also note Shell’s other important actions on climate change such as convening the Methane Guiding Principles, announcing a methane emissions intensity target, and the important role the company has played in promoting the implementation of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, and in working with the Oil and Gas Preparers Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to strengthen the sector’s response in this regard.
As institutional investors and in the context of the Climate Action 100+ initiative, we have engaged with Shell to further build on its ground-breaking Net Carbon Footprint ambition by setting short-term Net Carbon Footprint targets consistent with this ambition and integrating these targets into executive remuneration.
As long-term investors, we share the desire of the Board and management of the company to seek a positive future for the company which is aligned to the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. This has been our motivation for this engagement.
Introductory comments by Shell:
Tackling climate change is a multi-generational challenge for society, including businesses, governments and consumers. Shell fully supports the Paris Agreement and believes that society has the scientific and technical knowledge to achieve a world where global warming is limited to well below 2°C.
Shell recognises that it has an important role to play and intends to respond to society’s needs for more and cleaner energy. Shell has three strategic ambitions:
Investing in assets that will remain financially resilient in the energy system of the future is key to delivering a world-class investment case to Shell’s investors. Shell aims to grow its business in areas that will be essential in the energy transition, and where it sees growth in demand over the next decades. Shell believes its Net Carbon Footprint ambition has positioned the company well for the future as it underpins and enables the execution of all three of its strategic ambitions.
Shell appreciates the long-term relationship with its institutional investors and acknowledges the positive role that can be played by ongoing engagement. The dialogue with, and input from, investors has always been very constructive. Shell acknowledges and agrees with the importance attached by its investors to the issue of climate change, and also agrees that Shell’s future success is contingent on its ability to effectively navigate the risks and the opportunities presented by climate change.
In light of the above, we, the Institutional Investors and Shell, are pleased to jointly announce the steps below that Shell has decided to take in order to demonstrate further industry leadership and alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. As Institutional Investors, we are strongly supportive of the company in taking these important steps.
1. Public short-term Net Carbon Footprint targets
2. Targets linked to remuneration
3. Review of progress
4. Alignment with the TCFD recommendations
5. Corporate climate lobbying
1 Climate Action 100+
Climate Action 100+ is a five-year initiative led by investors to engage systemically important greenhouse gas emitters and other companies across the global economy that have significant opportunities to drive the clean energy transition and help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. To date, 310 investors with more than USD $32T in assets under management have signed on to the initiative.
2 Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)
The IIGCC is a network of nearly 150 members, including nine of the 10 largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, who represent over €21T in assets and take a pro-active approach to managing risks and opportunities related to climate change. IIGCC offers opportunities to deepen investor understanding of climate risks and opportunities to ensure that these are reflected in investment practices which will preserve and enhance long-term investment value.
SOURCE: Shell plc