People’s AGM: ANEEJ Welcomes Church of England’s Move Against Shell, Urges Tougher Measures
BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. May 15, 2023… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has welcomed the commitment by the Church of England to vote against Shell’s Chair and Directors and the transition plan update during the company’s 2023 Annual general meeting scheduled for 23rd May, 2023. The Church also re-echoed its earlier announcement that it now needs to rethink its approach and focus on the demand side and not just the supply side, because it has lost confidence in the direction of the company.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev. David Ugolor, made the position known following an article written by Adam Matthews, the Chief Responsible Investment Officer at the Church of England Pensions Board and published in The Telegraph of May 9, 2023, conveying the Church’s position to the public.
The decision of the Church was predicated on the subtle hint from Shell that it is weakening its climate target for short-term profit. ANEEJ’s helmsman also urged the Church to take tougher measures against Shell and other companies by withdrawing their investments in line with an earlier pronouncement that “by July 2023, it will divest from companies that are not Paris Aligned.
“We are encouraged by the decision of the Church of England to vote against Shell’s Chair and Directors and the transition plan update during the company’s 2023 AGM. We also want the church to take a step further by divesting from Shell and other companies that are not Paris aligned”, Ugolor stated.
“We expect other big investors like the Norwegian Pension Fund to follow the same path and announce even tougher measures against Shell, TotalEnergies, Exxon Mobile and other big oil and gas companies during their respective AGMs holding this month”, Ugolor added.
“The short-term profits cannot come before the long-term health of our planet as we completely agree with the opinion of the church that investors should explore with governments how phasing out usage of fossil fuel as quickly as possible can be achieved in line with the Paris Agreement and informed by the International Energy Agency”, Ugolor concluded.