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Shell should speed up actions to achieve 45% CO2 reduction by 2030, according to the verdict this week in a court case brought by Milieudefensie, together with other civil society organisations and 17,000 citizens.
Editorial office / The Hague

Earlier this month, Shell shareholders voted in favour of the energy company’s climate strategy, which postpones the phasing out of fossil activities. A motion by activist Shell shareholder Follow This to green the company’s plans more quickly did not make it.

The judge is now blowing the whistle on Shell, claiming its plans are not concrete enough. In doing so, he ignores the wishes of the majority of shareholders. This is unique worldwide and could set a precedent with as yet unknown consequences.

Too vague

In 2019, the Dutch government’s climate plans were also given a failing grade, in the so-called Urgenda case. A Supreme Court ruling required the state to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Last month, the highest court in Germany followed the Dutch example and forced the Federal Government to tighten the 2019 climate law, because it was too vague about the policy after 2030.

Shell Projects & Technology Director Harry Brekelmans says in a reaction that he expects the company to appeal the ruling. He stresses that Shell is already investing billions in low-carbon and renewable energy and is working towards a zero emissions target for 2050.

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