Activist group withdraws resolution challenging Shell climate policy

Staff members work at the booth of Royal Dutch Shell at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) - An activist group said it has withdrawn a shareholder resolution calling on Royal Dutch Shell to change its climate policy after the oil and gas company reached a broad agreement with investors on the issue.

The Anglo-Dutch energy company drew rare praise from investors and environmental activists in December when it set out plans to introduce industry-leading targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and link them to executive pay.

Nevertheless, Dutch activist group Follow This tabled several days later a resolution urging Shell to drastically reduce its spending on fossil fuel.

Shell's board opposed the resolution, which was to be voted on at the annual general meeting in The Hague in May.

Following talks with six of the 10 largest Dutch investors including Aegon and NN Investment Partners, Follow This decided to withdraw the resolution after filing similar motions at the previous three Shell AGMs.

"We have therefore decided to give Shell time to bring that climate ambition into line with the Paris Climate Agreement," Follow This founder Mark van Baal said in a statement.

Follow This said Shell's ambition to halve overall emissions by 2050 needed to be "sharpened" in order to be aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Follow This also targets Shell's rivals BP, Equinor Chevron with shareholder resolutions.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Susan Fenton)