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Shell’s Dutch pension fund to target quartet of SDGs

Even as it plans to appeal court ruling over reducing its CO2 emissions

Shell’s pension fund within the Netherlands has listed four sustainable development goals (SDG) as part of its strategy for ESG.

As listed in the fund’s annual report, the SDGs are:

  • Climate action,
  • Affordable and clean energy,
  • Gender equality,
  • Sustainable cities and communities.

The report says that once they were chosen, 7,000 participants and retirees were asked in September to order them by importance.

The report’s authors write: “Affordable and sustainable energy came out on top as the favourite. This SDG is seen as the most attractive and appropriate for Shell. All in all, we can bring more focus to our conversations with our discussions with investee companies.”

Disjointed approach

The announcement is at odds with the oil company’s recent loss at The Hague in an action brought by the campaign group Friends of the Earth. In that judgement, it was ruled that the company needed to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% in the next decade. That ruling, however, only applies within the Netherlands.

In response, Shell said it was ‘disappointed’ with the outcome.

On its website, the company said: “Urgent action is needed on climate change which is why we have accelerated our efforts to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050, in step with society, with short-term targets to track our progress. We are investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels. We want to grow demand for these products and scale up our new energy businesses even more quickly.”

The case against Shell by Friends of the Earth is part of a wave of similar cases being fought—and won—by climate activists across the continent. Equivalent actions have also been fought in Ireland, Portugal, and France. These all followed the Urgenda case, also in the Netherlands, which was fought between an NGO and the Dutch government for five years from 2015. At the time that case was resolved last year, there were another 1,442 such cases being brought around the world.

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