Home Markets The Methodist Church sold its entire stake in Shell over climate concerns,...

The Methodist Church sold its entire stake in Shell over climate concerns, report says

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Shell energy protest
Extinction Rebellion protesters hold a banner with the words Shell Out outside Shell Tower at Waterloo, London.

  • The Methodist Church has sold all of its stakes in oil and gas major Shell over its emissions policy, the Financial Times reported.
  • Shareholders are due to vote on Shell’s energy transition plans in May.
  • Shell’s Q1 2021 earnings exceeded analyst expectations, as strong energy prices drove up profit.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The Methodist Church has sold off its entire investment in energy company Shell, which was worth over £20 million ($27 million), as it is concerned about Shell’s clean energy strategy, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Shell is aiming to adhere to the Paris Agreement and become a net-zero company by 2050 through reducing its carbon intensity step by step, lowering it first by 20% before 2030 and then by 45% by 2035. ‘Carbon intensity’ refers to the amount of emissions each unit of energy that Shell sells produces.

The company is increasing the amount of low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, or biofuels, in the products it sells and is planning to focus on producing more clean power. The company plans to capture, or offset, any unavoidable emissions created by its energy production. It also works with its customers to support them in lowering their own carbon footprint, according to Shell’s website.

However, the Methodist Church does not believe these measures go far enough and Shell is not making a substantial enough effort to address climate change, the FT said.

Shareholders will be asked to vote on Shell’s clean energy strategy at the company’s annual general meeting in May, although the results won’t be binding, the FT said.

In its first quarter earnings, Shell exceeded analyst expectations as earnings rose to $3.2 billion, rather than the expected $3.1 billion. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, when adjusted earnings were reported as $393 million, this reflects growth of 724%. Year-on-year, quarterly growth was around 11.5% – in the first quarter of 2021.

Shell said rising oil and LNG prices, chemicals and refining margins and lower depreciation were behind the quarterly pickup in growth, which was not affected by the Texan winter storm earlier this year. Shell said the storm caused losses of $200 million.