Regarding Agenda Item 3: To ratify the acts of the members of the Executive Board
The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany requests that the acts of the members of the Executive Board not be ratified.
The Executive Board has once again failed to implement ambitious measures for climate protection that reflect the consequential damage to the climate that Siemens Energy has contributed to and live up to the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
Instead of coal, expansion of fossil gas business is now causing a catastrophic climate footprint
Siemens Energy urgently needs an ambitious phase-out pathway for all fossil fuels, accompanied by a corresponding expansion of renewable energy business. Siemens Energy has begun to exit coal and is no longer involved in the construction of new coal-fired power plants. However, Siemens Energy is selling significantly more industrial gas turbines at the same time, meaning that the hoped-for positive effect of the exit from coal on its own climate footprint is virtually zero. The products sold by Siemens Energy in the last fiscal year will account for over 1.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases (Scope 3). That is a mere 3.3 percent reduction compared with the previous year’s figure and still almost twice the annual emissions of the whole of Germany. It shows that Siemens Energy will continue to drive the climate crisis if it does not withdraw from fossil gas. The Executive Board prioritizes short- term profits over effective climate protection and helps ensure that fossil gas will be used significantly longer than absolutely necessary.
Climate neutrality in 2030 only for one percent of the carbon footprint
Scope 3 emissions from the use of products sold by Siemens Energy account for 99 percent of the total climate damage caused by the Group. As long as the Executive Board does not even pursue vague plans for a reduction in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, all other announcements to the effect that it wants to be climate-neutral in terms of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 are correct, but they only address one percent of the problem and the responsibility of Siemens Energy. The Executive Board must no longer close its eyes to its own responsibility for climate protection and must urgently present concrete climate targets and a steady carbon reduction pathway for all Scope 3 emissions.
Despite the withdrawal from Russia: Business continues with Rosatom
A failure to walk the talk: Siemens Energy and Framatome have still not ceased their nuclear business with Russia’s state-owned corporation Rosatom despite the Kremlin’s brutal war of aggression on Ukraine. That relates not only to ongoing uranium deliveries, but also the planned export of control systems for certain reactors. These can only be used by means of technology from Siemens Energy, since Rosatom cannot otherwise obtain these control systems from any other company. Rosatom’s export business involves more than just exports; it is also a factor in Russia’s foreign policy. Rosatom and thus the Kremlin, too, want to secure influence in this way, as Rosatom’s General Director himself explained. These reactor control systems are used for reactors in Hungary (Paks II), Egypt and other African countries. Despite the debacle with the Nord Stream pipelines, the Executive Board still does not seem to have understood that Putin is using Russian state-owned companies, especially energy corporations such as Rosatom, to advance his power interests.
Western Sahara: Siemens Gamesa equips wind farms in regions that are occupied in contravention of international law
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), the wind power subsidiary that Siemens Energy now wants to take over completely, equips wind farms in the regions of Western Sahara which are occupied by Morocco in violation of international law. Siemens Gamesa has not sought approval for these projects from the Frente Polisario, the representative body of the Saharawi people recognized by the UN. Siemens Gamesa thus does not sufficiently respect the right of self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. European courts have repeatedly declared that Western Sahara and Morocco are two distinct and separate territories and that the consent of the people of Western Sahara must be obtained for economic activities there.
The wind farms supply, among other things, electricity for the phosphate mine in Western Sahara, which Moroccan state-owned companies are exploiting illegally under international law. By cooperating with the occupying power and Nareva, a private company owned by the Moroccan king, Siemens Gamesa is – and, in the future, Siemens Energy directly will also be – supporting and stabilizing the illegal exploitation of resources and occupation, which is accompanied by massive violations of human rights. Although we have also pointed this out directly to Siemens Energy’s Executive Board for years, no influence has been exerted on Siemens Gamesa. The intended complete takeover of Siemens Gamesa means the Executive Board will also assume direct responsibility for the existing business with Morocco. Siemens Energy must now act in accordance with international law, not only in light of the German Supply Chain Act that has come into force.
Regarding Agenda Item 9: Amendment to the Articles of Association relating to virtual Shareholders’ Meetings
The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany requests that the resolution proposal by the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board to authorize the Executive Board to provide for the Shareholders’ Meeting to be held as a virtual meeting be rejected.
The format and way in which a Shareholders’ Meeting is held affect fundamental shareholder rights. The Shareholders’ Meeting and not the Executive Board should therefore decide on the conditions under which or format in which future Shareholders’ Meetings are to be held. In addition, the Shareholders’ Meeting should also decide whether a hybrid format should be implemented as a further option, combining the advantages of an in-person Shareholders’ Meeting with those of a purely virtual event.
New statutory options for virtual Shareholders’ Meetings are not being implemented
Its very decision to hold this year’s Shareholders’ Meeting as a purely virtual event has demonstrated the Executive Board’s unwillingness to take advantage of new opportunities to enable a shareholder-friendly expansion of participation options. For example, the Executive Board did not give shareholders the opportunity to submit their questions in writing in advance and to make the responses transparent to everyone. That would have been a better means of implementing the right of all shareholders to ask questions and obtain information, and the discussion at the Shareholders’ Meeting could have been focused better on important points and follow-up questions. In addition, it is not possible to hold addresses with questions in English, too. That prevents the active participation in view of the increasingly international nature of the shareholder structure.
In addition, not all of the Shareholders’ Meeting is broadcast publicly – other stock corporations are more transparent in this respect, including vis-à-vis interested members of the public. In general, it is not a good way to treat shareholders to hold a vote under the very conditions for which the Executive Board and Supervisory Board are seeking approval in the first place.