Royal Dutch Shell lost a landmark Dutch legal case brought by environmental activists on Wednesday, with the court ruling that the oil major must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions more aggressively than it had planned.
The judge said that Shell needs to lower carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2019 levels, as demanded by campaigners including Milieudefensie, the Dutch wing of Friends of the Earth.
While the company can appeal the ruling by the district court in The Hague, it could set a precedent for similar cases against the world’s biggest corporate polluters who could now face lawsuits and be forced to overhaul their business models.
Shell had said it would reduce the carbon intensity of the fossil fuels it produces and sells by 20 per cent by 2030 and by 45 per cent by 2035 — versus 2016 figures — as part of a goal to become a net zero emissions business by 2050. Carbon intensity is a measurement of carbon per megajoule of energy sold.
Shell did not immediately comment on the matter.