Dutch pension fund PGGM critical of Shell ahead of annual meeting

AMSTERDAM, May 23 (Reuters) - Dutch pension fund PGGM, a major shareholder in Royal Dutch Shell, criticised the company's climate change policy on Monday, a day before Shell's annual meeting.

"We are not yet convinced Shell has sufficiently internalised the consequences of climate change in its strategy and future plans," the fund said in a statement published on its website.

But PGGM said it would not vote in favour of a resolution put on the shareholder meeting's agenda by activist group "Follow This" directing the oil giant to transform itself into a "sustainable energy" company.

The pension fund said that shareholders should not interfere so directly in the management of the company.

"PGGM emphatically endorses the message that 'Follow This' is giving in its proposal: the demand for Shell to show more leadership" in developing renewable energy, the pension fund said.

A Shell spokesman on Monday pointed to recent statements by the company's CEO Ben van Beurden that the company "recognises the importance of the climate challenge."

"Our aim is to play a role in meeting these challenges by exploring solutions in areas of our technical expertise such as natural gas productions, efficient future fuels (eg, biofuels and hydrogen), carbon capture and storage, and also in emerging energy system technologies."

In 2009, Shell called a halt to investments in wind or solar energy, saying they were too unprofitable and it saw the development of biofuels as more in line with its strategy.

But this year the company partially reversed course and said earlier this month it has joined a consortium that is bidding to participate in a major wind turbine project in the North Sea off the Dutch coast. (Reporting by Toby Sterling. Editing by Jane Merriman and David Evans)

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