THE HAGUE, May 26 (Xinhua) — A Dutch court ruled Wednesday that oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) must reduce its carbon emissions by net 45 percent by 2030 from 2019 levels.
“The court has come to the conclusion that RDS is obliged to ensure through the Shell group’s corporate policy that the CO2 emissions of the Shell group, its suppliers and its customers are reduced,” read the judgment of the District Court of The Hague. The case was launched by a group of environmental NGOs.
Seven foundations and associations as well as over 17,000 individual claimants initiated proceedings against the Anglo-Dutch oil giant.
The claimants believe that as the policy-setting head of the Shell group, Royal Dutch Shell has not taken sufficient action, has acted unlawfully, and should do more to reduce CO2 emissions.
In their claims, they demanded that by 2030, CO2 emissions should have been reduced by 45 percent, or alternatively, 35 percent or 25 percent, compared to 2019 levels. The claims concern the CO2 emissions of the Shell group itself as well as those of its suppliers and customers.
“The court finds that RDS is not currently in breach of its reduction obligation, as the claimants argue,” read the judgment. “RDS has enhanced the Shell group’s policy and is working it out in more detail. However, seeing that as the policy is not concrete, the court finds that there is an imminent breach of the reduction obligation.”
In a press statement, Harry Brekelmans, projects and technology director of Royal Dutch Shell, said that the company was disappointed that the court had upheld the claims, adding that an appeal against the verdict is very likely.
“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,” Brekelmans said. “We will continue to focus on these efforts.”