Bloomberg Businessweek

Green, Rich, and Intimidating

A climate movement backed by $32 trillion in assets is pushing companies to change

A group of Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives sat in a conference room in the company’s Hague headquarters in November. On the other side of the table were representatives for two small shareholders: the pensions board of the Church of England and Dutch fund manager Robeco Institutional Asset Management BV. The leaders of Europe’s largest energy company realized that after months of argument, they’d lost.

The investors wanted Shell to make an abrupt reversal on climate change. Only six months earlier, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden had declared the company wouldn’t set short-term targets on cutting carbon emissions, claiming they’d be little more than fodder for lawsuits. But unless the company changed course, it faced a public

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