Security remove protesters from Shell AGM in London as chairman left rattled
Protesters have been carried out of Shell’s annual general meeting (AGM) for shareholders in east London after loud chanting and singing left the oil giant’s chairman rattled.
Climate groups including Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace and Fossil Free London disrupted the meeting on Tuesday morning inside the Excel Centre while others held a rally outside.
It is being reported that the meeting was disrupted for more than an hour.
A number of protesters were carried from or escorted out of the auditorium by security after chanting “Go to hell Shell” and “we will stop you”.
BREAKING: Chaos at Shell AGM as climate protesters sing ‘Go to Hell, Shell’!#ShutDownShell pic.twitter.com/wkFK8LmpGs
— Fossil Free London (@fossilfreeLDN) May 23, 2023
The oil giant’s chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie appeared rattled after calling the protest an “interesting start” to the meeting. He repeatedly asked the group to “be quiet” before eventually threatening to call security.
“Please can I ask you to be quiet,” he said.
“In time I will answer your questions. I must now ask security to remove you from the meeting.
“I think now it has become too disruptive...I’ve listened to your protests.
“I now ask you either sit down and be quiet…or I’ll ask you to be ushered to leave the meeting.”
Mr Mackenzie apologised to shareholders for the disruption after protesters left.
Meanwhile outside protesters held a rally with drums, banners and speeches.
Nuri Syed Corser, 27, an organiser for Fossil Fuel London, told PA: “We are protesting because we need to shut down Shell.
“We are facing a climate crisis. Shell are one of the companies driving it and are making record profits even as people are facing devastating floods and wildfires.
People in the UK are struggling to pay their energy bills. Shell are sacrificing the wellbeing of millions to protect their obscene profits.”
Last year Shell recorded a record profit of $84.3 billion (£68 billion), the highest in its 115-year history.
It comes after the war in Ukraine caused global energy prices, but specifically European gas prices, to soar as Europe and the Kremlin started sanctioning each other.
This meant that the supply of Russian gas to Europe dried up, meaning that other suppliers, such as Shell and its rival BP, could profit.
Shell will likely see conflicting pressures at the meeting as investors look to capitalise on record oil and gas profits while shareholder activists push for faster action on climate change issues.
Investors will vote on pay packages for 2022, including that of outgoing chief executive Ben van Beurden, who took home £9.7 million, including a £7.5 million bonus – a jump of more than 50 per cent from the previous year.
Shareholder activist group Follow This has filed a resolution calling for Shell to tighten its 2030 reductions targets for emissions on the products it sells.