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Montevideo, October 2nd 2023 - 04:58 UTC

 

 

Protestors storm shareholders meeting in London yelling “shut down Shell”

Wednesday, May 24th 2023 - 08:57 UTC
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Proceedings were delayed as the protesters ran to the front of the room where executives were sitting on stage Proceedings were delayed as the protesters ran to the front of the room where executives were sitting on stage

Protestors yelling “shut down Shell” stormed the oil corporation giant annual shareholders meeting in London with security having to step in to protect board members. Proceedings were delayed as the protesters ran to the front of the room where executives were sitting on stage, and some demonstrators had to be carried out of the building by security.

Shell said protesters were not “interested in constructive engagement” as crowds continued to gather outside.

In a statement, the energy giant said it was keen to underline it had a “clear target of net-zero emissions by 2050”.

However, campaign groups are looking to ramp up the pressure on Shell and other energy companies to bring forward those targets to absolute carbon emissions cuts by 2030 and focus more resources on renewables.

But targets proposed by the campaigners were rejected in a vote by shareholders at the meeting.

Groups gathering outside the investor event include Christian Climate Action, a branch of Extinction Rebellion; Catholic protest group Laudato Si' Movement; and Quakers for Climate Justice.

Shell's chief executive, Wael Sawan, defended the company against accusations that it was not switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy quickly enough.

Mr Sawan said the company had invested US$ 4.3bn in 2022 in low-carbon energy, including biofuels, hydrogen, electric car charging and renewable power. He admitted that was only part of its total capital spending of US$ 25bn - most of which was on oil and gas.

The protesters were allowed in the room because of their investment in the company. Known as activist shareholders, these groups buy shares in companies to put pressure on its management.

In February, Shell reported profits of US$ 39,9 billion for 2022, double the previous year's total and the highest in its 115-year history.

While the jump in oil and gas prices following the start of the war in Ukraine led to big profits for energy companies, it also fuelled a rise in energy bills for households and businesses.

Proceedings, which were due to start at 10:00, did not get under way until well past 11:00 amid waves of disruption from these activists.

Shortly after the meeting began, a choir of protesters began a song to the tune of Hit The Road Jack, singing: “Go to hell Shell and don't you come back no more.”

Tags: Shell.

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