Oil Shareholders Care More About Their Money Than Climate Change

This month, environmentalists managed to get a proposal that would require Royal Dutch Shell to hold itself to a higher standard when it comes to addressing climate change in front of shareholders.

Honestly, it’s probably not that shocking to learn that shareholders rejected the suggestion. What is shocking, however, is how overwhelmingly shareholders rejected it: 94 percent of voters said no. Are there no eco-conscious investors?!

If passed, the plan would have compelled Shell to align itself with the climate coals of the internationally supported Paris agreement. Shell’s board recommended voting it down, though, and the shareholders voted accordingly.

Last year, ExxonMobil shareholders voted down similar climate change-related ideas for that company, too. Evidently, shareholders can’t help but choose whatever option makes them more money, global warming be damned.

Capitalism could very well kill us all. We’re standing at a crossroad and the time to act is running out. If we prioritize wealth over survival, certainly something is broken about this system.

In fact, Shell kicked off its shareholder presentation by acknowledging the need for environmental reform, discussing the company’s self-imposed carbon emission plans. Shell CEO Ben van Beurden even said he agrees that the Paris agreement is critical.

Nevertheless, he argued that if Shell were to adopt the Paris benchmarks, it would be detrimental to the company’s bottom line. He insisted that it would be up to federal governments to pass environmental regulations for businesses to follow.

Of course, that ignores the fact that major oil companies like Shell specifically bribe lobby legislators to keep such regulations from becoming law. Van Beurden is essentially playing a massive (forgive the pun) shell game, distracting its shareholders from the fact that it is very complicit in the climate change crisis.

Ultimately, van Beurden concluded, “The resolution [suggested by environmentalists] is an unreasonable ask.”

Allow that to sink in for a moment. Shell thinks it’s unreasonable to have to do its part to address climate change. Apparently, social and environmental responsibility is not something we should expect from multi-billion dollar corporations.

Ironically, do you know what Shell does consider reasonable? A 60 percent pay raise for van Beurden. Telegraph reports that his $9.5 million (US) in earnings could theoretically reach nearly $19 million with all potential bonuses and incentives.

93 percent of Shell shareholders – almost the identical number of people who dismissed climate targets – approved the pay increase. For a group of people who are concerned that environmental measures would wind up taking money out of their own pockets, they sure don’t mind giving a big sum of that money to an already wealthy man.

Priorities, right?!

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Telica R
Telica R3 months ago

Doesn't surprise me at all.

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer H
Jennifer H8 months ago

No Kidding...

Gerald L
Gerald L8 months ago

Here's the True Dirt on the issue of Accelerated Warming;

The Damaging Effects of Black Carbon
Mar 22, 2016 - Black carbon, a component of particulate matter, is especially dangerous to ... A major constituent of soot, black carbon is the most solar ... As glaciers melt and retreat dusts are concentrated on the surface by the increased melting.

Dark snow: from the Arctic to the Himalayas, the phenomenon that is ...
https://www.theguardian.com › Environment › Climate change
Jul 5, 2014 - The world's highest glacier, Khumbu, was turning visibly darker as particles of ... soot from fires and ultra-fine particles of "black carbon" from industry and diesel ... meteorologists has reported that the Arctic ice cap, which is thought to have lost ... A dark snow cover will thus melt earlier and more intensely.

Magdalen B
Magdalen B8 months ago


Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O8 months ago

And Freya H... they can't take it with them when they die either....! You are so correct Earthism info, thanks. We the people just have to keep striving to better ourselves and boycott where possible companies like these. Thank you for this article

Freya H
Freya H9 months ago

Any surprise here? All they give a ---- about is cold, hard cash. Well, I have a message for you bozos: You can't eat money. You can't bathe in it. You can't drink it. And you can't breathe it.

Karin Hanson
Karin Hanson9 months ago

Oil & Money..... they're all on the DumbDonald train to extreme wealth - and they could care less about our environment and climate change. IDIOTS.

earthism info
earthism info9 months ago

train engines which had coal fuel are replaced with diesel. now they are replaced with electric engines. Technology will ultimately become cleaner and greener.

rosario p
rosario p9 months ago

One of this questionable effects are their carcinogenic effects on living beings. The studies of decades are irrefutable.