Danish pension fund Sampension said a plan in conjunction with Norway’s KLP to file a shareholder proposal at Shell’s next shareholder meeting has been withdrawn after the oil giant agreed – prior to the meeting – to open up about its climate lobbying activities in developing countries.


Shell has agreed to provide information about its lobbying activities in a number of emerging countries

The labour market pension fund claimed the change of policy by the London-listed oil and gas multinational as a victory for its responsible ownership work on Friday, saying it had intended, in conjunction with the NOK1trn (€85bn) Norwegian municipal pensions provider and the Australian NGO ACCR (Australasian Center for Corporate Responsibility) to put forward a shareholder proposal at Shell’s forthcoming annual general meeting (AGM) in May, requiring Shell to account for its climate and energy-related lobbying activities in some developing countries.

Jacob Ehlerth Jørgensen, head of ESG at Sampension, said: “We are very pleased that Shell – after having been in dialogue with us, ACCR and KLP – will now provide information about the company’s lobbying activities in a number of emerging countries, which will play an important role for Shell’s strategy in the fossil sector towards 2050.”

It was important because if investors were to contribute to getting fossil fuel firms to take a greener path, the companies first needed to be transparent, he said.

Sampension, which had DKK272bn (€36.4bn) of assets under management at the end of 2023, said a report by ACCR had recently showed that Shell only disclosed its lobbying activities in a small group of developed countries, but not about lobbying activities in emerging countries.

However, the report estimated that almost 60% of Shell’s fossil fuel production between 2024 and 2050 would come from emerging countries, the pension fund said.

“The successful dialogue with Shell, which has now led to a very concrete result, is also a good example of why, in our opinion, it is generally better to stay at the table and be persistent if you as an investor want to be involved in making a difference in the companies where you like to see change,” Ehlerth Jørgensen said.

“Had we instead sold our investment in Shell, we would not have had the opportunity to contribute to progress in the company or, for that matter, the climate,” the ESG chief said.

A Shell spokesperson told IPE: “In line with our ongoing efforts to deepen transparency and following constructive engagement with investors in the lead up to our 2024 AGM, we intend to publish further information about our direct and indirect climate and energy transition lobbying in five to 10 emerging and developing markets that are significant for our strategy ahead of our 2025 AGM.”

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