Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed that it will appeal against the decisive Dutch court ruling calling on the oil giant to reduce its carbon emissions more quickly.
A Hague tribunal reached a phytosanitary verdict in May this year after Friends of the Earth and more than 17,000 co-plaintiffs successfully argued that Shell had been aware of the dangerous consequences of CO2 emissions for decades and that their climatic goals did not go far enough.
Ben van Beurden, CEO of Shell, said the company agrees that “urgent action is needed” to reduce carbon emissions and promised to accelerate its progress towards becoming a ‘carbon-clean’ company. zero ‘, but said Shell will still appeal against the sentence. “Because a court ruling against a single company is not effective.”
“What is needed are clear and ambitious policies that drive fundamental change across the energy system,” he said. “Climate change is a challenge that requires urgent action and a global, collaborative approach that encourages coordination between all parties.”
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, also known as Milieudefensie, said the call would send “the wrong signal” and confirm Shell’s “lack of commitment” to deal with the global climate crisis.
Donald Nols, director of Milieudefensie, said the appeal was aimed at postponing any Shell action and warned that “the longer the delay, the more severe the climate consequences will be for everyone.”
The court ruled that Shell has an obligation to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, both in Dutch law and in the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to life and the right to family life) and that the company had known for a “long time” about the damage caused by carbon emissions.
Roger Cox, a lawyer for Milieudefensie, said: “Judges have handed down a well-regarded verdict on Shell in the verdict. We are confident that this ruling will be reaffirmed on appeal. Science is clear about the consequences and solutions to dangerous climate change. ”.
Shell set its latest carbon targets earlier this year ahead of shareholder voting on its plan to become a clean carbon-free energy company by 2050. However, it also went indicate to investors that their gas business would continue to grow by more than 20% in the coming years, despite the urgent need to initiate drastic emission reductions before the end of the decade.
While the FTSE 100 group gained the support of most of its investors, it also suffered a major investor rebellion after a Dutch climate activist group, Follow This, asked the company to set emissions targets. hardest carbon and received 30% of shareholder votes.
A fortnight after Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said in a statement on his LinkedIn page that he was disappointed that Shell was “distinguished” by a ruling that “does not help reduce global CO2 emissions.”
“Imagine that Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today. This would no doubt reduce Shell’s carbon emissions. But it would not help the world at all, ”wrote Van Beurden. “Fuel demand would not change. People would fill their cars and delivery trucks at other gas stations. “
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