The campaign group Extinction Rebellion has claimed a victory after their protests inspired a Shell employee to quit after 11 years of working with the company.
In a protest held last month, members of Extinction Rebellion’s whistleblowing platform TruthTeller stood outside the building with placards directly addressed to named employees to share insider information on the company.
Their signs from the “jump ship” campaign invited Shell employees to “switch to the right side of history, before Shell turns toxic on your CV”.
The campaign group’s efforts appear to have had an impact as safety consultant Caroline Dennett saw the protest and decided to send a secure Signal message that was picked up TruthTeller project coordinator and investigative journalist Zoe Blackler.
After meeting with Blackler in person to discuss the best way forward, Dennett handed in her resignation after 11 years with Shell on Monday 23 May.
In an email to more than 1,000 of the company’s employees, she said she was leaving the company because it was clear it “is not winding down oil and gas, but planning to explore and extract much more”.
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She wrote: “It pains me to end this working relationship which I have greatly valued, but I can no longer work for a company that ignores all the alarms and dismisses the risks of climate change and ecological collapse.”
The resignation came the day before Shell’s annual general meeting, which Extinction Rebellion has stormed.
Shareholders of the company gathered at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster but the meeting had to be postponed because of interruptions from the climate campaign group.
Protests included a flash mob and members glueing themselves to chairs. They continuously chanted “Shell must fall” and achieved their mission of stopping the meeting from happening.
A Shell spokesperson said: “Be in no doubt, we are determined to deliver on our global strategy to be a net zero company by 2050 and thousands of our people are working hard to achieve this. We have set targets for the short, medium and long term, and have every intention of hitting them.
“We’re already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, although the world will still need oil and gas for decades to come in sectors that can’t be easily decarbonised.”
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