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Shell appeals court ruling ordering it to slash emissions by 2030

By RFI
Europe AFP - KENZO TRIBOUILLARD
APR 3, 2024 LISTEN
AFP - KENZO TRIBOUILLARD

A Dutch court has begun hearing an appeal brought by Shell against a landmark 2021 ruling ordering the multinational oil giant to reduce its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030. 

Shell argues the case could harm the Dutch economy by forcing companies to reduce or sell operations, adding it would ultimately be counterproductive to the energy transition.  

It aims to reduce the carbon intensity of products it sells by 15-20 percent by 2030 from a 2016 baseline, and to become a "net zero" emissions company by 2050. 

Environmental groups accuse Shell of failing to implement the 2021 decision, which also holds the company responsible for emissions resulting from the use of fuels sold to customers. 

Historic win

It was seen as an historic victory for environmental campaigners because it marked the first time a company had been made to align its policy with the 2015 Paris climate accords

The case was brought by NGOs including Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) in 2019, who argued that Shell was in breach of its legal duty of care due to its impact on climate change. 

"We are very confident. We have been working for more than two years towards this moment," said Donald Pols outside the Hague courthouse, where four days of hearings are scheduled.

"I hope this case will change the way that Shell does business ... as it is currently one of the largest polluters in the world." 

A verdict is expected in the second half of the year. A further appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court is widely expected regardless of the outcome of this appeal. 

(with newswires)

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