Royal Dutch Shell shareholders have rejected a proposal by an environmental group calling for the oil company to set and publish annual targets to reduce carbon emissions. But, as Sonia Legg reports, to the surprise of many they've approved a 60 percent pay rise for the CEO.
Low prices took their toll. But Shell's CEO was still richly rewarded. Ben van Beurden's annual package of pay, bonuses and shares rose from just over 5 million euros to well over eight million. Some thought shareholders might object to the 60 percent increase. But 93 per cent of them approved it at the annual meeting even though many analysts weren't convinced it was deserved. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Certainly on the performance of the share price so far this year. No I don't think it does. Even if it were justified I think in the context of how the company is doing and has done over the course of the last 18 months I think CEO pay is becoming very much a hot button issue." BP shareholders also approved their CEO's remuneration when they met last week. But Bob Dudley's pay package was 40 percent lower than the previous year. Van Beurden must now prove his worth. And carbon emissions will be a key issue. Environmentalists wanted the oil giant to set and publish annual targets to reduce them. But shareholders rejected that proposal. Van Beurden, though, did promise to be more transparent about Shell's plans to tackle climate change. And it could cost him if he isn't. The company's new remuneration policy ties 10 percent of executive bonuses to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.