Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has left the oil major’s annual general meeting, after a battalion of protestors brought proceedings to a complete standstill for over 40 minutes.
A battalion of around 70 environmental protestors entered Methodist Hall this morning, chanting “Shell must fall!”, as the Anglo-Dutch oil firm launched its AGM.
The protestors, who are calling on Shell to take a stronger stance towards the energy transition, also sang “We Will Stop You” to the tune of Queen’s hit “We Will Rock You”.
Shell’s chair Sir Andrew Mackenzie then took the podium and told shareholders the meeting would be paused, but would continue after the protestors had been removed from the hall.
He said: “We are very keen to have the debate that democratic society would like us to have around many of the issues. Your board will remain and we actually ask you as shareholders to stay with us and online as we seek help to manage this. This is so we can have an opportunity to say our side of what we want to say.”
Shell is seeking approval for its climate transition plans and has filed a motion – Resolution 20 – calling for shareholders to back its plans to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
One shareholder was heard shouting: “Shell forever.”
Alongside protestors, it is also having to deal with activist investors such as Follow This – which have filed counter-proposals for more stringent climate goals.
Meanwhile, protestors outside the venue accused Shell of ‘lacking heart’ and ‘decency’ and said any shareholders that backed its plans lacked decency.
Numerous activists are accusing Shell’s board and shareholders of “ignoring the United Nations” and “ignoring ordinary people”.
Meanwhile, dozens of protestors are heard singing “you got blood on your hand, we will stop you” while others are chanting “Shame on Shell, Shell must fall.”
Activists are seen in heated discussions with some shareholders, with one activists now shouting: “We will make it impossible for you to exist, we will make it impossible for you to function.”
There are also dozens of protestors outside the building, equally chanting “Shell must fall.”
It seems a lack of security means no action is taken, so far.
Above and below: Protesters are gathering outside the Methodist central hall in London where Shell’s AGM is taking place