Royal Dutch Shell ordered to cut emissions in landmark judgment

Royal Dutch Shell ordered to cut emissions in landmark judgment

An oil giant has been ordered to cut its global carbon emissions in a landmark ruling involving 17,000 co-plaintiffs.

Royal Dutch Shell was ordered by a court in The Hague to lower its emissions by 45 per cent by the end of 2030 as compared with 2019 levels in a case brought by Friends of the Earth.

The Anglo-Dutch firm’s sustainability policy was deemed insufficiently “concrete” by the Dutch court in a ruling that serves as a warning to other polluters.

The court said the company had a duty of care and that its emissions should conform to the Paris climate agreement.

Judge Larisa Alwin said Shell said the ruling would have “far-reaching consequences” for the firm and could “curb the potential growth of the Shell group”.

Roger Cox, a lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands, also known as Milieudefensie, said: “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.”

The company said in February this year that it would expedite its transition to net-zero emissions in the coming years and decades.

It is to appeal the judgment, which could take two years.

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