In a surprising turn of events, Shell's board of executives has officially endorsed a SumOfUs-backed resolution committing the company to take action against climate change.
Still, Shell is lobbying UN representatives to block any kind of real climate solutions in the run-up to the UN climate talks in Paris this year.
We can't let Shell's stated commitment to fight climate change be mere greenwashing. If Shell's executives are really serious about tackling climate change, then they have to stop meddling with the climate talks. And with Shell responding to our pressure for the first time, we're in a real position to force them to act.
Ask Shell to stop blocking real climate change solutions at this year's UN climate talks!
The UN negotiations are no place for fossil fuel lobbyists -- they are where global leaders, scientists and activists meet annually and decide on real climate action. Last year's talks in Peru collapsed in part because big polluters like Shell lobbied the UN climate committee and blocked resolutions simply because they affected their profit margins.
The stakes are very high at this year's talks in Paris. World leaders could finally reach a climate deal that reduces carbon emissions across countries and industries, so fossil fuel companies should not be allowed to obstruct the talks. Nevertheless, big polluters have asked the UN climate committee for even more delegates and a much bigger say in the talks.
If Shell's executives are real about climate change then it should stop meddling with UN climate negotiations.
Sign the petition asking Shell to take real steps to tackle climate change - pledge to keep your lobbyists away from the UN climate talks in Paris!
This shareholder resolution was partly brought by SumOfUs members who also hold shares in Shell. It commits Shell to reduce emissions, invest in renewable energy and remove bonus systems that promote climate-harming activities. This is an opportunity to pressure Shell to stop blocking real climate solutions and help save the planet.
It's easy to see this as a cynical PR move by Shell -- and it is that. But it also represents real, concrete commitments that Shell wouldn't have made without being under pressure. It's a small first step, but it's real progress.
That's why this is an opportunity to pressure Shell to do more. If we keep working, we can stop Shell from blocking real climate solutions and get the company out of official UN climate negotiations.
Big polluters like Shell offer lavish dinners, hold separate breakaway meetings with world leaders and negotiators, and host industry-sponsored pavilions during negotiations. All these tactics are designed to stop the UN climate committee from reaching a deal that puts the planet before profit.
We need real climate change solutions, and we need them now. 2014 was the hottest year on record, there is already serious water scarcity in the Global South and by the end of the century the earth is expected to warm by 4 or 5 degrees. Each degree is another death sentence for animals, ecosystems and our survival.
Now that Shell's board claims to support real climate action, we have a unique opportunity to ensure that Shell sticks to its word and doesn't send its army of lobbyists to meddle with the UN climate talks.
Tell Shell to get serious about its climate commitment and stay out of the Paris talks!
For more information:
Shell's letter to shareholders supporting special resolution on climate change, January 25th 2015.
The Climate Talks Find an Enemy at COP20: The Fossil Fuel Industry, Huffington Post, December 11 2014.