Investors putting pressure on big corporations to set climate targets

Swiss sustainable development foundation Ethos is calling on investors to influence big corporations to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ethos is currently targeting Shell and has also asked Credit Suisse to enhance its environmental and social responsibility.

Ethos is encouraging Shell shareholders to vote for a proposal submitted by the Dutch shareholder association “Follow this” at the Annual General Meeting of Royal Dutch Shell on 22 May 2018.

The shareholder proposal calls on Shell to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

The board of directors has advised its shareholders to vote against the resolution on the grounds that the resolution is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

Shell recently announced its ambition to cut the net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050 and, as an interim step, to aim for a 20 per cent reduction by 2035.

“This announcement is laudable but remains a utopia if not accompanied by concrete and challenging GHG emissions reduction targets,” according to an Ethos statement.

Ethos also recently asked the board of Credit Suisse to reinforce its investment policy and reduce the financing of companies particularly exposed to climate change risks.

“Credit Suisse must therefore imperatively re-enforce its climate risk analysis and avoid financing companies active in tar sands, the Arctic or deep-sea drilling sectors, as well as coal production and coal-fired power plants,” said Ethos in a separate statement.


Image credit: Ian Britton via Flickr

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