Ms. Jackson said that an Oct. 21 letter to Shell asking if the board would be changing its approach to climate risk went unanswered. "Now the key concern is that (London CIV) does not believe the Board has adopted a reasonable or effective strategy to manage the risks associated with climate change affecting Shell," including how it will comply with the Dutch court order," she said in the support letter.
The €18 billion ($19.5 billion) AkademikerPension, Gentofte, Denmark, divested from Shell in 2019 but if the ClientEarth claim succeeds and Shell's climate strategy aligns with the Paris Agreement, "the company could become an attractive investment again," said CIO Anders Schelde in the news release.
Shell does not accept the allegations made in ClientEarth's proposed lawsuit and will oppose its bid to proceed, a Shell spokeswoman said in an email. Shares held by the institutional investors backing the lawsuit amount to less than 0.2% of total shares held, she said.
The spokeswoman noted that 80% of Shell shareholders supported its climate strategy at its latest general meeting May 24, and "strongly support the progress we are making on our energy transition strategy."
"Our directors have complied with their legal duties and have, at all times, acted in the best interests of the company. We believe our climate targets are aligned with the more ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement: to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels," the spokeswoman said.
Shell is waiting for the outcome of its appeal to the Dutch ruling but "taking active steps to comply," including investing in low-carbon fuels, renewable power and hydrogen, and changing its upstream and refinery portfolios, the spokeswoman said.