THE HAGUE, Netherlands
(AP) — In a landmark case brought by climate
activist groups, a Dutch court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell
to reduce its carbon emissions
by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019.
The Hague District Court's decision on Wednesday could pave the way for similar cases against polluting multinational corporations around the world.
The court ruled that the Anglo-Dutch energy
conglomerate has a duty of care to reduce emissions and that its current plans are insufficiently concrete.
Shell has the right to file an appeal.
According to an English-language summary of the court's ruling, Shell is not currently in violation of its obligation to reduce emissions, as environmental groups claimed, because the parent company is tightening its emissions policy.
It did, however, add that the policy "is not concrete, has many caveats, and is based on monitoring social developments rather than the company's own responsibility for achieving a CO2 reduction."
“As a result, the court has ordered RDS to reduce the Shell group’s, its suppliers’, and customers’ emissions by net 45%, compared to 2019 levels, by the end of 2030, through the Shell group’s corporate policy.”
In 2018, a group of seven environmental and human rights
organizations, as well as approximately 1,700 Dutch citizens, filed the case, requesting that the court order Shell to reduce emissions in accordance with the global goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement, which equates to Shell reducing emissions by 45% by 2030.
The case in the Netherlands is the latest in a long line of legal challenges filed around the world by climate activists seeking action to reduce emissions, but it is thought to be the first to target a multinational corporation.