Photo: Mike Henneke/The News-Review
Shell has a global responsibility to reduce CO2 emissions faster and must act proactively to offset this. A Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc to cut emissions harder and faster than planned, a warning to the rest of the global fossil fuel industry.
According to the decision of the court in the Hague, Shell must contribute to the fight against climate change. The oil company is obliged by the end of 2030 to strictly reduce the CO2 emissions of the Shell group, its suppliers, and customers by 45% net from 2019 levels, the judge said.
The company expects to appeal this disappointing decision, Shell said in a statement. However, it reaffirms that urgent action is needed to combat climate change and stresses that it wants to achieve zero net CO2 emissions by 2050.
The verdict is groundbreaking, Environmental Defense attorney Roger Cox said after the trial. “This is the first time that we are successful and can force the company to change its policy. And internationally Shell operates in 80 countries and therefore will have to achieve this reduction in these countries. This creates a tremendous breeding ground for more of this kind of thing,” said the lawyer.
According to the court, such a verdict has far-reaching consequences and other companies will also have to reduce their CO2 emissions. It can also lead to a rejection of new investments in the industry.
“This is big news for carbon emitters everywhere, not just in the oil industry,” Angus Walker, an environmental lawyer at BDP Pitmans in London, said. "This may spread from large emitters to small, and from the Netherlands to other countries."
The judge found Shell to be one of the largest producers and suppliers of fossil fuels in the world. "Together with suppliers and buyers, [Shell] is responsible for huge CO2 emissions," said the judge. These emissions pose serious risks for humanity, from rising sea levels to health risks associated with air pollution. This affects the rights of residents. “For example, the right to a quiet family life,” the judge said.
H/T Professeur Tournesol/Twitter
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.