In a landmark ruling for the environment, a Dutch court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell to significantly reduce its emissions. In a judgement delivered by a district court in The Hague this week, the oil company must cut its CO2 emissions by 45 percent of 2019 levels by 2030.
The case was brought against Shell by Friends of the Earth Netherlands and, according to the environmental group, this is the first time that a court has ordered a company to reduce their own emissions and those from the energy products it sells to support global climate goals.
Shell’s current corporate climate goals commit them to a 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, but this new ruling will force them to accelerate that timeline. While Shell argues that its current climate goals are in line with the Paris Agreement commitments, Friends of the Earth disagree. This point formed the basis of the court case.
Shell and other fossil fuel companies are facing mounting pressure from the public to transition to greener energy operations. Back in February, Nigerian farmers won a 13-year case against Shell for oil spill damages on their land.