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Shell’s ‘tense’ AGM where profits clash with the pesky climate

Posted by John Donovan 18 MAY 2023

Shell’s ‘tense’ AGM where obscene profits clash with the pesky climate

Prepare for the showdown of the century! Shell, the notorious oil giant known for its greed and pollution, is about to face a shareholder meeting that promises to be nothing short of acrimonious. It seems that Shell is struggling to strike a delicate balance between making obscene profits from oil and gas and dealing with a pesky minority who believe they should actually do something about climate change. How dare they?

Last year, amidst the chaos of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Big Oil firms gleefully raked in record profits while the rest of the world suffered. The energy crisis conveniently diverted attention away from their feeble attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After all, who cares about the planet when there’s more oil and gas to secure, right?

Unfortunately for Shell and its European buddies BP and TotalEnergies, they couldn’t keep up with their U.S. rivals Exxon and Chevron. Why? Well, those European do-gooders had the audacity to focus on renewables and low-carbon businesses that don’t generate the same obscene profits as oil and gas. What were they thinking?

But fear not, dear investors! The executives at Shell have heard your cries and are prioritizing returns over that pesky energy transition nonsense. BP has decided to scale back its plans to cut oil and gas output, and Shell’s new Chief Executive, Wael Sawan, is reviewing their laughable pledge to reduce oil output. Who needs progress when profits are at stake?

Of course, these decisions have left climate-focused investors fuming. They’ve even resorted to issuing rare public rebukes, the nerve! Some of them are going as far as voting against the re-appointment of directors who dared to suggest a gradual shift towards renewables. How dare they challenge the status quo?

Oh, and let’s not forget about that pesky shareholder resolution filed by the activist group Follow This, calling for tougher emission reduction targets. It seems some of the smaller, but increasingly vocal, shareholders will be supporting it, going against the boards’ “wise” recommendations. How dare they challenge the wisdom of the oil giants?

Sure, there might be a few protests and hecklers at the meeting, but it’s unlikely to lead to any real change. After all, we all know these shareholder meetings are just formalities, right? They’re merely a rubber-stamping exercise for elderly investors looking for a free lunch. Who needs meaningful action when you can have stale sandwiches and empty rhetoric?

And let’s not forget the security measures put in place to protect the oil executives from any inconvenient reporters or activists. Body searches and physical restraints are apparently necessary to shield the fragile egos of these corporate titans. How dare anyone challenge their authority?

So, get ready for the grand spectacle, folks! Shell’s shareholder meeting is about to unfold in all its glory. Let’s see how this battle between profits and the planet plays out. Spoiler alert: the planet will probably lose. But who needs a habitable Earth when there’s money to be made, right Shell?

Shell management has a track record of putting profits first, before any other consideration, including the health and safety of its own employees. In other words, money before ethics. This is after all the company that financially supported Hitler and the Nazis. Google “Shell Nazi History”.

Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis. 

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