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The Herald: Shell policies on directors’ pay and carbon emissions in spotlight

Shell policies on directors’ pay and carbon emissions in spotlight

By Mark Williamson Group Business Correspondent

INVESTORS have signalled unease about Royal Dutch Shell’s boardroom pay policy at the company’s annual general meeting.

Around seven per cent of votes cast opposed approval of the directors’ remuneration policy of the oil giant at the meeting.

Chief executive Ban van Beurden’s total remuneration dropped by around £9m last year, from £17.8m in 2018, following a fall in the value of his performance-related awards.

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Some 14% of votes cast supported a special resolution submitted by the Follow This campaigning group, which says it pushes big oil firms to go green.

The resolution called on Shell to publish targets for greenhouse gas emissions that were aligned with the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

The Anglo-Dutch giant had said the resolution was unnecessary and potentially counterproductive to its efforts to support society in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In April Shell announced plans to become a net zero business by 2050, taking account of the emissions it generates and of those associated with the products it sells.

The company noted then its business plans had not yet been adapted to reflect that ambition.

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Follow This said Shell had not given any guarantee to shareholders that its new ambition would lead to the new investments and lower emissions that are needed to actually achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Shell held the AGM with only the minimum of shareholders required to ensure a quorum present, in line with guidance from the Dutch and UK Governments about social distancing.

Ten per cent of votes cast at the 2019 AGM opposed the directors’ remuneration policy.

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