Shell offering bonuses to executives if it meets carbon emission targets

Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell plans to curtail carbon emissions by offering a bonus to executives if the company meets its reduction goals.

The Netherlands-based company said its long-term plan is to reduce its carbon footprint by about 50 percent by 2035, and about 20 percent by 2035, it said in a news release. It will also start rolling out three-to-five-year targets beginning in 2020.

“Meeting the challenge of tackling climate change requires unprecedented collaboration, and this is demonstrated by our engagements with investors,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

Although van Beurden has long said Shell was planning for the day when oil demand begins to slow, the plan marks a major appeasement of activist shareholders, who wanted the company to create short-term goals.

“As governments meet at the United Nations climate negotiations in Poland, I am delighted to see a unique announcement on climate change between investors and one of the largest companies in the world,” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in a statement. “This sets Shell on a path to reducing the net carbon footprint of its energy products.” The Church of England is an investor in Shell.

The plan comes on the heels of a dire report published by 13 federal agencies and more than 300 scientists on global warming, which warns the Earth’s climate is changing faster than at any other moment in the history of modern civilization. Most of that, the report found, stems from human activity.

In a 1,656-page assessment, the report lays out the devastating effects of climate change, including a financially ruinous impact on the economy, health and environment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.