Climate target ruling clear: Shell must reduce emissions

A court in the Netherlands has ruled that oil giant Shell must accelerate significantly to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The company, which intends to appeal to a higher court, is sentenced to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030 compared with the 2019 level.

Earlier this year, Shell set the goal of lowering its carbon intensity – a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in connection with energy use – by 6 percent by 2023, by 45 percent by 2035 and 100 percent by 2050, compared to 2016 levels.

According to the court, Shell’s climate goals are not concrete enough, full of reservations and in theory toothless. Or as the judge summed up: “It is not enough”.

Read more: The G7 superpower group agrees to stop supporting coal power

The ruling is seen as a great success for the environmental organizations behind the lawsuit, including Greenpeace and Milieudefensie, the Dutch branch of Friends of the earth.

Peter Erickson, senior researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute, is happy with the outcome.

“Today’s ruling is in line with research: if oil giants like Shell reduce their fossil fuel production, it will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which is necessary to meet climate goals,” he said in a written statement.


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