May 26, 2021

English Translation below

Today the court in The Hague has ruled in the climate case of Milieudefensie, other NGOs and private individuals against Royal Dutch Shell (“Shell”).

On the other hand, Friends of the Earth Netherlands show their joy at the verdict, stating that this is the first time that a court has ruled a company needs to reduce its emissions in response to global climate goals.

Roger Cox, Lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands, says:

This is a turning point in history. This case is unique because it is the first time a judge has ordered a large polluting company to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement.

‘English Translation

“Urgent action is needed on climate change which is why we have accelerated our efforts to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050, in step with society, with short-term targets to track our progress.”

“We are investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels. We want to grow demand for these products and scale up our new energy businesses even more quickly.

“We will continue to focus on these efforts and fully expect to appeal today’s disappointing court decision.”

On the other side of the argument, Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands, supports the court’s ruling, stating:

This is a monumental victory for our planet, for our children and is a stop towards a liveable future for everyone.The judge has left no room for doubt: Shell is causing dangerous climate change and must stop its destructive behaviour now.

We continue to take significant steps to accelerate the transition of our business to net-zero emissions, which includes working with our suppliers, customers and other partners in reducing their emissions. To find the solutions the world needs, we continue to engage in dialogue with NGOs, industry partners, governments, academia, shareholders and wider society. In The Netherlands for example this contributed to a national climate accord.

Important milestones on our journey so far to become a net-zero energy company include:

  • In 2021 we became the first energy company to offer investors an advisory vote on our energy transition strategy .
  • In 2020 we announced a target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 , in step with society’s progress as it works towards the Paris Agreement goal. This target is comprehensive, because it includes our own emissions, as well as emissions from our customers’ use of all the energy products we supply. Not just what we get out of the ground, but everything we sell.
  • In 2019, we published the first Industry Associations Climate Review , which reviewed the alignment between our climate-related policy positions and those of 19 key industry associations of which we are a member. In cases of material misalignment, we will evaluate whether to walk away.
  • In 2019 we were the first major energy company to connect executive pay to our target to reduce our Net Carbon Footprint.
  • In 2017, we announced our ambition to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy products we sell. Crucially, this included the full life-cycle emissions from the use of our energy products by customers.

However, Friends of the Earth Netherlands suggests that the company is not doing enough and that Shell’s ongoing investments into oil and gas extraction show that it is not taking climate change seriously.

Our business is changing in The Netherlands, where we:

  • Have taken our second wind farm at sea into operation and together with Eneco are on the verge of building our third.
  • Have built around 200 fast charging points, increasing to 250 by the end of the year. We offer nationwide 100% green electricity for electric driving. Moreover, we provide home charging and offer 200,000 charging points throughout Europe, through our subsidiary NewMotion.
  • Are opening hydrogen fueling stations (motorists and public transport) and have plans to build electrolysers in the Port of Rotterdam and the Eemshaven for green hydrogen production from green electricity. These hydrogen plants could reduce industry emissions, are at the center of new value chains (wind to hydrogen to industries / freight transport) and provide jobs.
  • Are developing biofuels, such as bio-LNG from biowaste with our partners Renewi and Nordsol for more sustainable freight transport.
  • Started building what will be our fourth solar park, with several more to come.

Donald Pols goes further to conclude:

This verdict is an enormous step forward for the international climate movement. One of the world’s biggest polluters has finally been held responsible. I am filled with hope for the future, as we know that the climate crisis does not wait and does not stop at our borders. That is why it is so important the judge is now forcing Shell to take responsibility for its actions. This is also a clear signal to the other big polluters that they also have to act now.

Press Release Source:

Friends of the Earth Sources:

Historic victory: judge forces Shell to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

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    Shell Response to Climate Case Verdict. Friends of the Earth Netherlands reacts to Verdict.

    by Alice Wersocki Morris time to read: 3 min