Announcement: ACTIAM supports third resolution on Shell's energy transition

After careful consideration, responsible asset manager ACTIAM has decided to support the upcoming Follow This resolution. In it, shareholders of Shell call for leadership in the requisite energy transition in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, the target of which is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Dennis van der Putten, Head of Responsible Investing & Strategy at ACTIAM, says: ‘We were there right from the beginning, the very first resolution. This is because we see the necessity of speeding up energy transition, from both social and financial perspectives. This resolution makes it clear that Shell should make a greater contribution to providing cleaner energy. It is up to Shell how it does this. Although Shell has set out long-term climate aims based on the Paris Climate Agreement and the Follow This resolutions, we do not feel that this goes far enough. That is why we have also given our support to this third resolution.’

Leading position

The decision to support this third resolution too was a difficult one. Van der Putten explains: ‘We acknowledge Shell’s fundamentally positive aims. We then normally give companies the opportunity to actually implement them. But in this case we consider it appropriate to support this resolution because Shell has not yet set out any specific goals geared towards making the transition from fossil fuels via gas to renewable energy as short as possible. The actual speeding up of this process is in line with ACTIAM’s policy. We consider that this third resolution provides sufficient flexibility to enable Shell to take a leading position.’

Opportunity to change

In November 2017, Shell announced a green aim to reduce its net carbon footprint by 50%. Shell also supports the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in its drive towards a clear framework for reporting on climate risks. Van der Putten says: ‘Shell is actually taking these positive steps, unlike other oil and gas companies. We therefore want to give Shell the opportunity to implement the changes, and we can imagine that any further resolutions by Follow This will be directed towards other oil and gas companies.’

Focus on climate

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing us at present. Climate is therefore one of ACTIAM’s focus areas. For instance, the asset manager is actively working towards reducing the carbon footprint of its investments and has set targets to help achieve the climate goals. ACTIAM is also exercising its voting rights as a shareholder to encourage companies to operate more sustainably. This includes voting on board proposals or proposals by other shareholders (such as its vote for the Follow This resolution) and submitting resolutions along with other parties. The Follow This resolution will be put to the vote at Shell’s next shareholders’ meeting, to be held on 22 May. Shell will be obliged to implement the proposed resolution if a majority of votes are in favour of it.

Thursday 26 April 2018