Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON: RDSA) Faces First Court Hearing in Climate Change Case


  • Shell is going to face a Dutch court in a climate case filed by environmentalists and human rights organisations
  • The environmentalists have demanded that the company should slash its reliance on fossil fuels
  • Shell has pledged to cut down its carbon emission by 30 per cent by 2035, and by 65 per cent in 2050

Oil and gas conglomerate Royal Dutch Shell is going to face a Dutch court on Tuesday in a climate case filed by environmentalists and human rights organisations who have demanded that the energy firm should slash its dependence on fossil fuels.

The first public hearing of the case is scheduled today and will be held at the district court of The Hauge, Netherlands. Other dates for hearings are 3, 15 and 17 December.

The litigation was filed in April 2019 by the seven activist organisations, which included Friends of the Earth Netherlands and Greenpeace. The organisations on behalf of more than 17,000 Dutch nationals have demanded that the energy firm should cut down its greenhouse gas discharges from now and lower it down to zero by 2050.

The activists said Anglo-Dutch company Shell is violating human rights of so many people by not paying heed to international climate goals and is still investing a lot of money in the exploitation of fossil fuels.

Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands, said the lawsuit is unique which highlights possible substantial effects of the fossil fuel business on the environment. The activists are confident that the final verdict will compel Shell to stick to global climate goals.

Shell has frequently said that it endorses the climate goals that were laid down during the Paris Climate Agreement 2015 to tackle climate change issues. The firm has pledged to slash its carbon emission by 30 per cent by 2035, and by 65 per cent in 2050.

However, the activists have demanded that they should slash it by 45 per cent by 2030, which would help them in tackling the climate change threat.

Pols added that this is a big movement and added that the energy firm has been falsely conveying green pledge for long but has not been doing anything in this regard. The current lawsuit will show that Shell causes 95 per cent destruction to the environment, which needs an urgent change, he further added.

Also read: BP's plan for zero carbon emission by 2050, will other companies follow the suite?

In the meantime, Sara Shaw, International Program Coordinator for Climate Justice and Energy with Friends of the Earth International, said Shell is looking at this lawsuit with utmost seriousness, and other firms should also adhere to these goals. All those who pose a threat to the climate should be held accountable for stopping the emissions globally and protecting the environment, she said.

The activists are encouraged by the ‘Urgenda’ case in 2019 where the Dutch high court had directed the government to ramp up its battle against the environmental crisis and cut the carbon emissions more quickly than planned, calling it a human rights violation.





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