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Dutch Court Orders Shell To Slash Emissions In Historic Climate Case

A Dutch court ordered on Wednesday oil supermajor Shell to slash its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 in a landmark ruling in a climate case brought by environmentalists that could set precedents for other oil companies.

The court in The Hague ordered Shell to slash its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 45 percent within ten years and start complying with the ruling “immediately,” as the judge held the company liable for the emissions caused by the use of its products and said its climate policy was not specific enough.  

Shell, as all other European oil majors, has pledged to reduce emissions and become a net-zero energy business by 2050 or sooner. Earlier this year, Shell reaffirmed said that its oil production peaked in 2019 and is set for a continual decline over the next three decades.

The company has emission-reduction targets, seeking to reduce its net carbon intensity by 6 to 8 percent by 2023 from 2016 levels, by 20 percent by 2030, and by 45 percent from 2016 levels by 2035 before hitting the 100-percent emissions target by 2050. These targets, the company said, include all of the emissions associated with its business operations as well as emissions generated from the use of its products by customers.

But the court ruling orders the firm to “reduce its CO2 output” compared to 2019 levels.  

“The court orders Royal Dutch Shell... to reduce its CO2 output and those of its suppliers and buyers by the end of 2030 by a net of 45 percent based on 2019 levels,” said the Dutch court today, as carried by AFP.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands, which brought the legal action to the Dutch court in 2019, rejoiced at the news, describing the ruling as “a historic victory.”

“This is a monumental victory for our planet, for our children and is a step 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,” said Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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