Shell Loses Landmark Climate Case, Ordered to Cut Emissions by 2030

A Dutch court has ordered gas and energy company Shell to reduce their carbon emissions by nearly half by 2030.

The order states that Shell must “deepen” its investments into renewable energy projects and cut its carbon emissions by 45% by the year 2030, using data from 2019 for the basis of the reduction.

Shell has said that they are “disappointed” by the ruling and that they plan to appeal the decision, which many view as a sign that governments and investors will continue to push large oil companies towards renewable sources of energy.

The suit was filed in April 2019 by a group of 17,000 Dutch citizens who claim that Shell is threatening human rights by continuing to invest billions of dollars into the production and sale of fossil fuel based energy sources.

The decision was read by Judge Larisa Alwin on Wednesday in The Hauge, Netherlands.

“The court orders Royal Dutch Shell, by means of its corporate policy, to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 with respect to the level of 2019 for the Shell group and the suppliers and customers of the group,” Alwin said.

Shell had previously set out a roadmap for carbon emission reductions, including plans to reduce their emissions by 45% by the year 2035. However, the Dutch court believes that their plans were “not concrete enough” and included conditions that could prevent them from reaching their goals.

“The conclusion of the court is therefore that Shell is in danger of violating its obligation to reduce. And the court will therefore issue an order upon RDS,” the judge said.

Shell maintains that it will push towards a net carbon zero emissions rating by 2050, per their previously projected roadmap.


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