But he added that dismantling the company “could potentially destroy some of the benefits of integrating a larger company.”
Managing Director Ben van Beurden, who took the helm in 2014 and led Shell’s £ 47bn buyout of gas group BG Group in 2017, insisted the company’s strategy was “incredibly consistent “Thursday as he battled increasing pressure on fossil fuel producers from multiple sides.
In May, a Dutch court ordered Shell to cut emissions faster. The company was also told it was “not welcome” at the United Nations Cop26 climate change conference which kicks off next week in Glasgow, while van Beurden also found out this week, he said. he declared via the press that the Dutch pension giant ABP was abandoning fossil fuels. , including Shell.
“I don’t think our strategy is failing,” he said, complaining of “symbolic” gestures pushing investors to abandon fossil fuels. “We need to move from a high carbon system to a low carbon one and companies like us need to get there. “
It has, however, implemented tougher reductions in Shell’s emissions. The company now plans to halve its own emissions by 2030. However, it has not tightened the emissions target for its customers, as required by the Dutch court ruling.
Van Beurden spoke as his company reported a mixed set of third quarter results. Soaring gas prices helped generate record free cash flow of $ 17.5 billion, but blackouts and other one-off events resulted in earnings overall exceeding analysts’ expectations.
Did he personally feel the pressure? “I understand that we are at a very critical time for the industry, but more importantly for the company to do the right things,” he said.
“Sometimes, indeed, it also comes with personal challenges.
“But I think it’s something I take away, hopefully, but certainly with a great sense of responsibility and personal pride. But the whole company feels the same.
With Loeb, whose previous targets include Sony and Yahoo, on the back, that pressure is only growing.
Profile: Daniel Loeb
Daniel Loeb, the Wall Street mogul calling for the dismantling of Shell, is a well-known controversial activist behind campaigns against Sony, Yahoo and Sotheby’s, writes Matt Oliver.
The chief executive of New York investor Third Point has built an estimated fortune of $ 4 billion ($ 2.9 billion) rocking businesses and industries aloud, having earned a reputation for sending pugnacious “poison pen” letters to corporate targets.
In a 2012 missive to internet search giant Yahoo, he accused then-boss Scott Thompson of falsely claiming he had a computer science degree that “undermines his credibility as a technology expert “and” thinks badly about [his] character”.
Thompson’s qualification was, in fact, in accounting. Loeb said he discovered the information using “rudimentary Google search”.
Yahoo blamed the problem on an “unintentional error,” but Thompson was quickly ousted and replaced.