Despite a court ruling you still can’t be sure of Shell

Last week in the Netherlands, a court ruled in favour of climate campaigners who had challenged Shell over the need to reduce its emissions by a much faster rate bringing it into line with Paris climate agreement. In the landmark case brought by Friends of the Earth and over 17,000 co-plaintiffs Royal Dutch Shell was told to cut its global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030 compared with 2019 levels, a much faster rate than the company had proposed.

Judge Larisa Alwin said Shell must “at once” reduce its CO2 output, adding that the ruling would have “far-reaching consequences” for the company and may “curb the potential growth of the Shell group”.

“The interest served with the reduction obligation outweighs the Shell group’s commercial interests,” she said. In response Shell said that “they fully expect to appeal today’s disappointing court decision.”

Rachel Kennerley, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland said: “Anyone who thinks we should protect our one, precious planet and its people is jubilant today. This ruling confirms what we already knew, that global polluters cannot continue their devastating operations because the costs are too high, and they have been that way for too long.

“Today an historic line has been drawn, no more spin, no more greenwashing, big oil is over. The future is in clean renewables.”

“This is also for the urgent attention of the UK government, because real emissions reductions are required urgently, not offsetting or other smoke and mirrors distractions.”

Roger Cox, lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands, is also delighted: “This is a turning point in history. This case is unique because it is the first time a judge has ordered a large polluting corporation to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement. This ruling may also have major consequences for other big polluters.”

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