MAY 27 — Multinational oil company Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered in court to slash its carbon emissions in order to protect the environment from climate change.
The landmark ruling, thought to be the first of its kind, demands the firm cuts its emissions by a net 45% by 2030 – compared with 2019 levels – to bring it in line with the Paris Agreement.
The outcome has far-reaching implications for the global fossil fuel industry and could pave the way for further climate litigation.
“Our hope is that this verdict will trigger a wave of climate litigation against big polluters, to force them to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels,” said Sara Shaw from Friends of the Earth International.
The verdict was handed down at the District Court of the Hague against Royal Dutch Shell, in a case filed by environmentalist and human rights groups including FOE NL.
In a statement, the oil giant said “urgent action [was] needed on climate change” and that it wanted to grow demand for its low-carbon products. The oil giant is “investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables, and biofuels,” Shell spokesperson Anna Arata said.
The 2030 goal affirmed by the court is more ambitious than Shell’s target of becoming “a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050.” Shell argues the 2050 goal is in line with the Paris climate accord. But The Hague District Court determined Shell’s plans were not adequate.
The ruling applies to Shell and its suppliers and covers not only the companies’ emissions but also emissions from products burned by its customers.
“This is a monumental victory for our planet, for our children, and a big leap towards a livable future for everyone,” said Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherland. — Reuters
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