In a stunning yet not entirely unexpected move, Royal Dutch Shell PLC recently announced it will withdraw its support from any future investment in renewable energy such as wind, solar and hydrogen. Rather, it will set its sights on oil, gas and second generation biofuels and *maybe *some Canadian tar sands investments.
Too bad no one warned their marketing folks who got whacked by UK's Advertising Standards Authority (and on this blog) last year for illustrating flowers emerging from a Shell refinery stack, a predecessor to its Clearing the Air Campaign.
Citing renewables' struggle "to compete with the other investment opportunities we have in our portfolio," it is obvious that the world's second largest non-state controlled oil company is full of biofuel cowpie like all the other pretty green oil companies in overstating its commitment to a sustainable energy future.
In 2008 it had only invested $1.7 billion of its overall $32 billion investments in renewables anyhow.
This is where shareholders need to get off their collective derriere and act to force
Shell, as well as other companies they invest in, to act with courage, foresight and intelligence. In reading comments in the UK from this story, one twenty-something said it best: