Security staff had to step in to protect Shell Chief Executive Wael Sawan and the company’s board of directors on Tuesday, as climate protesters attempted to storm the stage of a shareholder meeting that took place in London, per Reuters.
The protesters reportedly managed to prevent Shell Chairman Andrew Mackenzie from being able to start the energy company’s yearly general shareholder meeting by an hour. The report noted that the activists were singing and shouting, which resulted in them having to be escorted out by security staff. However, the outrageous behavior is almost certainly going to do little in the way of changing the energy company’s way of doing business.
Many of the disruptive activists were from groups such as Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion, who suggested that Shell is raking in record profits at the expense of the environment. The Associated Press reported that Shell had posted bumper profits as oil and gas prices shot up after Russia invaded Ukraine. Back in February, Shell reported that its profits for 2022 were record-breaking, clocking in at $39.9 billion.
However, this is not the first time that Shell shareholder meetings have been delayed. A similar series of events took place last year, where the shareholder meeting was delayed by about three hours due to protests. And that incident, too, did almost nothing to stop Shell from carrying out their plans.
The report noted that “dozens of security staff” had formed an unbroken chain to shield the executives from those who were protesting the event. A group of protesters, unable to get on the stage, sang: “Go to hell, Shell, and don’t you come back no more.”
One protester said: “I will not stand by while Shell destroys this beautiful planet.”
A company spokesperson suggested that Shell has made strides to become net carbon zero by 2050, according to the report. Additionally, Shell’s shareholders are set to vote on setting more ambitious 2030 emissions goals, though Shell’s board rejects this proposition.
In a separate report, Reuters noted that scientists say the planet needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 43 percent before 2030 if it has any realistic hope of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of maintaining global warming below 2C above pre-industrial levels. If this is going to happen, it is not going to be due to climate activists disrupting shareholders meetings.