At the Royal Dutch Shell Annual General Meeting (AGM) today in The Hague, 98.8% of shareholders voted for a resolution that CBIS co-filed asking for greater disclosure about their climate impact. The historic vote, the highest ever for a resolution co-filed by CBIS, raises the bar for all companies to pay close attention to the risks and opportunities related to environmental stewardship.
Shell backed the resolution and urged shareholders to vote in favor, demonstrating that environmental concerns are being registered not only by investors but also by corporations, including major oil and gas companies. We expect Shell to publish its climate strategy in 2015, and in 2016 in the company’s annual report and sustainability report and to meet with CBIS to review the findings. Over the long term, we will encourage and monitor the company’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions to counter the threat of climate change, curb spending on high-cost, high-carbon fossil fuel projects that increase environmental and financial risks, and accelerate investments in low-carbon research and energy alternatives.
The result at Shell mirrors the 98.2% in favor vote at BP last month, a meeting that CBIS attended and had the opportunity to address the board. The near unanimous results at BP and Shell demonstrate what can be achieved through what CBIS refers to as active ownership, which includes direct engagement of corporate management and their boards, as well as shareholder resolutions and proxy voting. It also highlights the value of global investor coalitions to encourage companies around the globe to improve their policies and practices, which can help workers, local communities, and the environment and can reduce investment risk over the long term.