Royal Dutch Shell

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
The Hague, Netherlands
Brands and Associated Companies
Royal Dutch, Shell V-Power, Motiva Enterprises
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Since 2015, Shell has become more positive across different areas of climate policy, although it does continue to simultaneously lobby for policy to advance fossil fuel production and consumption, particularly gas. It also retains membership to various trade groups that directly contradict Shell's own position.

Top-line messaging on climate policy: In its Climate-related Policy Positions paper, updated in April 2020, Shell stated it strongly supports the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit the average rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. In 2019, CEO Ben Van Beurden stated support) for the EU Commission's proposal for net zero emissions by 2050, and in 2020, Shell [698613 supported the European Climate Law, which formally legislates the net zero by 2050 target. Shell has also stated support for the implementation of the 'Green Deal’ in the EU and for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10 Point Plan for Green Industrial Revolution.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Throughout 2018-2020, the company has offered broad support for the need for carbon pricing policies, although its detailed engagement on specific carbon pricing policies appears to be mixed. In 2020, on its corporate website Shell appears to support both carbon taxes and emissions trading as forms of carbon pricing mechanisms. Despite this, in 2018, US subsidiary Shell Oil lobbied against measures to strengthen the ambition of the Cap and Trade scheme in California. Furthermore, in 2018, Shell’s CEO publicly criticized a carbon tax policy in Washington prior to a public vote. In 2020, however, it advocated reforming the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to be aligned with the EU's more ambitious 2030 target as well as the net zero by 2050 target. Additionally, in 2020, Shell advocated finalizing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which would establish the framework for international emissions trading. While Shell stated Article 6 could achieve Overall Mitigation of Global Emissions, it has also argued for the inclusion of offsets as part of the mechanism.

In 2019-2020, Shell appears to have been broadly supportive of emissions standards and targets. In 2019, Shell supported the Netherlands’ 2030 emissions reduction target of 49%, stating it was challenging yet offered the company 'opportunities'. In 2020, Shell supported raising the EU Commission's 2030 GHG target to 55%, however, in its response to the 2030 Climate Target Plan in June 2020, Shell appeared to promote a weaker GHG emissions target (50-55%) than that originally proposed by the Commission. In 2019, Shell called on the US Environmental Protection Agency to tighten rather than weaken methane regulations, and in July 2020 Shell called upon policymakers in the EU to implement measures to reduce methane emissions across the full natural gas supply chain. However, the company previously attended meetings with Trump Administration officials along with the American Petroleum Institute in 2017-2018 to discuss methane, disclosing in 2018 that it advocated “fixing” the EPA’s Obama-era methane rule to make it “workable”. This suggests Shell met with the Trump Administration to weaken the Obama-era methane regulations. Similarly, in 2018, Shell opposed the rollback of US Fuel Economy Standards despite being on the board of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, which appears to have played a significant role in pushing for their weakening in 2018.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Regarding the energy mix, Shell appears to support the development of low-carbon and clean technology including through the electrification of transport. At the same time, however, Shell also continues to push a role for fossil fuels in the energy mix, particularly gas. In 2018, the company lobbied the EU commission to embed natural gas in the EU’s future energy mix. Between 2017-18, the company also lobbied US policymakers in support of opening new areas of US federal land for oil and gas exploration and production. In its Climate-related Policy Positions, updated in April 2020, Shell states support for low-carbon electrification of the energy system, however, it also appears to support a long-term role for gas in the energy mix. In its 2019 Sustainability report, Shell also supports a continued role for oil in the energy mix. Most recently, in August 2020, it was reported Shell's Vice President of Exploration and Transformation stated 'To meet growing energy demand, hydrocarbons will remain a part of the energy mix for decades to come.'

Industry Association Governance: In April 2019, Shell published its first review of its industry association memberships and their alignment on climate change. The company identified one case of material misalignment and left AFPM. In April 2020, Shell published an update to this review outlining its on-going engagement with 9 partially aligned associations (including: American Petroleum Institute, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, National Association of Manufacturers, and US Chamber of Commerce, Western States Petroleum Association). However, Shell is still a member of these associations, which continue to actively lobby against progressive climate policy, as well as other associations identified as aligned including [514825 Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers).

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Climate Science Transparency
1 2 NS 2 1 1 1 NA
Climate Science Stance
1 1 NA 1 0 0 -1 NA
Need for Climate Regulation
1 1 NS 1 0 0 NA NA
UN Treaty Support
1 1 NA 1 1 1 1 NA
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
0 0 1 0 1 0 NS NA
Emissions Trading
1 1 0 1 0 1 NS NA
Energy Efficiency Standards
1 0 -2 -2 -1 0 NS NA
Renewable Energy Legislation
NS 1 0 0 -1 1 NS NA
Energy Policy and Mix
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 NA
GHG Emission Standards
1 1 0 1 1 -1 1 NA
Disclosure on Relationships
Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.