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Shell AGM disrupted by protests as it tries to reject new emissions targets

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Shell’s annual shareholder meeting in London has descended into chaos with more than an hour of climate protests delaying the start of a meeting in which the oil company asked investors to reject new targets for carbon emissions cuts.The FTSE 100 oil company faced a shareholder vote backed by big pension funds and investors to set carbon emission reduction targets for 2030, while at the same time dozens of protesters called for an immediate end to fossil fuel production.Climate protests have become a regular feature of annual meetings in recent years, with campaigns focused particularly on banks such as HSBC and Barclays that lend to fossil fuel projects as well as oil companies including Shell’s rival BP.Wael Sawan, in his first annual meeting as Shell’s chief executive, and Andrew Mackenzie, Shell’s chair and the former chief executive of the mining company BHP, repeatedly defended the company against accusations that it is not switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy quickly enough.Sawan said the company had invested $4.3bn (£3.5bn) in 2022 in low-carbon energy, including biofuels, hydrogen, electric car charging and renewable power.

However, he acknowledged that was only part of its total capital spending of $25bn – most of which was on oil and gas.The company asked shareholders to vote against the climate resolution, which was organised by the campaign group Follow This.

The group has gradually won increased support from large investors in recent years, although it has not yet managed a majority.In response to the Follow This resolution, Sawan, a Lebanese-Canadian, cited a proverb to argue that pushing Shell to cut its production of oil and gas would be premature and would result in other fossil fuel

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