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Shell CEO awarded £8m pay packet while climate targets dwindle

CAMPAIGNERS have branded Shell CEO’s multimillion pay packet a “bitter pill to swallow” after the corporation announced today it would be watering down its climate pledges.

The oil giant backtracked on its “net carbon intensity” targets — measured by the amount of emissions produced per unit of energy. 

It had previously set a goal to reduce the “intensity” of the energy it sells by 20 per cent by 2030 from 2016 levels, but now says it will aim for 15-20 per cent. 

Shell also dropped its aim for a 45 per cent reduction by 2035 due to “uncertainty in the pace of change in the energy transition,” fuelling concerns that its goal to achieve net-zero by 2050 will be unlikely. 

It also revealed that CEO Wael Sawan pocketed £7.94 million in pay in 2023.

Since taking charge last year, the executive oversaw plans to axe 25 per cent of Shell’s low-carbon solutions team and abandoned a policy to cut oil production each year for the rest of the decade.

Greenpeace campaigner Philip Evans took aim at the new boss, saying he has “doubled down on fossil fuels while ruthlessly slashing jobs and investment from Shell’s renewables division — and personally pocketed a tidy £8m for his trouble.”

“Shell knows better than anyone that the fossil fuel party is coming to a close and is trying to squeeze out every last drop of profit before the band is pushed off stage,” Mr Evans added.

Shell reported a record-breaking profit of £32.2 billion last year. 

Global Witness campaigner Jonathan Noronha-Gant said Mr Sawan’s payout “is a bitter pill to swallow” for the millions struggling with energy costs.

He said: “Our reliance on Shell’s dirty oil and gas make them rich whilst the rest of us get poorer.”

Campaigners from Fossil Free London disrupted a Shell speaker yesterday at the Oceanology Conference taking place in the capital.

Joanna Warrington, an organiser from the group, said Mr Sawan’s pay packet “is ash in the mouths of all those who face stress every time the latest bill drops onto their doormat, worry about the price of staples in the supermarket or fear the loss of their homes to coastal erosion.” 

She added: “It's time for Shell to pay up for the damage they've done, and then shut up shop as fast as possible. Ordinary people need clean green energy, and a clean up of this rigged system.”


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