Shell Faces SEC Complaint for Greenwashing
A climate activist group is asking the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to examine whether Shell Plc's statements regarding its investments in renewable energy are deceiving to investors. The group is suggesting that the SEC look into whether Shell's claims are accurate and not meant to mislead people who have invested in the company.
The climate activist group Global Witness has filed a complaint with the SEC's Climate and ESG Task Force and the SEC's tips portal, saying that Shell may have given false information about its investments in renewable energy. According to Global Witness, Shell may have "materially misstated its financial commitment to renewable sources of energy."
The complaint against Shell comes after a 2021 court ruling in the Netherlands, which ordered the company to reduce its carbon emissions more significantly. Shell denies the "greenwashing" allegations, but it is facing growing pressure from regulators as concerns about climate change continue to rise. Despite the court ruling, the company has decided to appeal the decision.
When the SEC gets complaints or tips, the regulator's enforcement unit may look into them, or the SEC may decide not to do anything. The SEC has declined to comment on this specific complaint. The complaint was sent to the agency's Climate and ESG Task Force, which is part of the SEC's enforcement division and is in charge of looking into and taking action on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that affect the financial markets and investors.
“Shell is confident that its financial disclosures are fully compliant with all SEC and other reporting requirements,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed comment.