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Dutch court to rule in Shell climate case

  • The campaigners asked the court during hearings in December to order Anglo-Dutch multinational Shell to reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 in order to help achieve that goal.
Published May 26, 2021
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THE HAGUE: A Dutch court will give its verdict on Wednesday on a landmark bid by environmental groups to force oil giant Shell to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets in the Paris climate accords.

Dubbed "the People versus Shell", the case was launched in 2019 by the Netherlands branch of Friends of the Earth, and is backed by six other groups and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens.

Anglo-Dutch multinational Shell says it is making serious efforts to cut gas emissions, but argues that there is no legal basis for the case and that governments are responsible for meeting Paris targets.

"The climate case against Shell is unique because it is the first time in history that judges have been asked to order a company to emit less CO2 by changing its policy," Friends of the Earth Netherlands said in a statement.

Judges at the district court in The Hague will start reading the verdict at 1300 GMT.

The case is one of a series around the world in which citizens and campaigners frustrated with inaction on climate change have hauled governments and big polluters before the courts.

The 2015 Paris accords committed all nations to cut carbon emissions to limit warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and encouraged them to go down to 1.5 degrees.

The campaigners asked the court during hearings in December to order Anglo-Dutch multinational Shell to reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 in order to help achieve that goal.

Shell has said it will reduce the "net carbon footprint" of the products it sells by 30 percent by 2035, and reach 65 percent by 2050.

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