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World Dutch climate activists take Shell to court over emissions

10:40  01 december  2020
10:40  01 december  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Climate activists protest against Shell in The Hague in October. A court in The Hague will hear claims that Royal Dutch Shell has broken Dutch law by knowingly hampering the global phase-out of fossil fuels, in a case that could force the company to reduce its CO2 emissions .

Last month, under pressure to act over a nitrogen oxide pollution crisis, Dutch While the EU target for a cut in carbon emissions is 20% of 1990 levels, Urgenda took up the case on behalf of 886 Dutch citizens, arguing that their government had a legal duty to prevent climate change and should seek a

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A group of environmental organizations backed by thousands of Dutch citizens is launching a civil case Tuesday against the energy giant Shell, asking a court to order the multinational to commit to reining in its carbon emissions by 45% by the year 2030.

-FILE- In this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, file photo Activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch arm of the Friends of the Earth environmental organization, attach a banner and plastic made to look like dripping oil, to the Shell headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. A landmark legal battle opens in The Hague, Tuesday Dec. 1, 2020, as climate change activists in the Netherlands go to court seeking an order for energy giant Shell to rein in its carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press -FILE- In this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, file photo Activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch arm of the Friends of the Earth environmental organization, attach a banner and plastic made to look like dripping oil, to the Shell headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. A landmark legal battle opens in The Hague, Tuesday Dec. 1, 2020, as climate change activists in the Netherlands go to court seeking an order for energy giant Shell to rein in its carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The legal battle led by Milieudefensie, the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, is the latest in a string of cases around the world in which activists are using the courts as a venue to fight for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from governments and companies.

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Environmental activists take Shell to court on Friday to try to stop the Anglo Dutch oil giant drilling for gas and oil, and to ensure it meets climate change targets. Some 17,000 people and six organisations have signed up to Milieudefensie’s call for co-defendants in the case, which the green group hopes

Measures taken in response to court ruling have yet to face much dissent, partly owing to coronavirus.

A victory for climate activists in a Dutch courtroom could spur even more legal challenges.

“Everybody needs to pitch in if we are to tackle the climate crisis, especially big polluters like Shell. But Shell and its shareholders are not taking their responsibility, that’s why we are taking legal action,” said Nils Mollema of ActionAid Netherlands, another group involved in the case.

Ahead of the opening of hearings at The Hague District Court, Shell said that it agrees with Friends of the Earth that action is needed to cut emissions and has already invested billions of dollars in low-carbon technologies from wind power to electric vehicle charging. But it said the company cannot do it alone.

-FILE- In this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, file photo, black patches representing oil spills are seen in the foreground as activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch arm of the Friends of the Earth environmental organization dressed up as oil-covered birds, hold pictures outside the Shell headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. A landmark legal battle opens in The Hague, Tuesday Dec. 1, 2020, as climate change activists in the Netherlands go to court seeking an order for energy giant Shell to rein in its carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press -FILE- In this Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, file photo, black patches representing oil spills are seen in the foreground as activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch arm of the Friends of the Earth environmental organization dressed up as oil-covered birds, hold pictures outside the Shell headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. A landmark legal battle opens in The Hague, Tuesday Dec. 1, 2020, as climate change activists in the Netherlands go to court seeking an order for energy giant Shell to rein in its carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

“What will accelerate the energy transition is effective policy, investment in technology and changing customer behavior. None of which will be achieved with this court action,” Shell said in a statement to The Associated Press. The company said it has set “an ambition to be a net zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner.”

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"We are taking Shell to court because it's not keeping to the aims of the Paris climate agreements. This way we are trying to prevent huge damage." Shell is responsible for 1.7 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions between 1988-2015, according to a peer-reviewed study of the 100 most

Climate activists gather outside the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, The Hague, on Friday Dec. Activists in a packed chamber of the Supreme Court in The Hague erupted into applause and cheers as Presiding Judge Kees Streefkerk rejected the government's appeal against earlier rulings ordering

Demonstrators hold a banner reading © Provided by Associated Press Demonstrators hold a banner reading "standing by and watching is no longer an option" outside the court building prior to the start of the court case of Milieudefensie, the Dutch arm of the Friends of the Earth environmental organization, against Shell in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. A landmark legal battle opened as climate change activists in the Netherlands go to court seeking an order for energy giant Shell to rein in its carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Under the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions target is a reduction by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The Shell case, which has more than 17,000 claimants, follows in the footsteps of a groundbreaking 2015 court ruling — later upheld by an appeals court — that ordered the Dutch government to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 from benchmark 1990 levels.

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Activists in a packed chamber of the Supreme Court erupted into applause and cheers as Presiding Judge Kees The supreme court upheld lower courts ' rulings that protection from the potentially devastating effects of It is now more than four years since a court in The Hague first ordered the emissions cut in a Dutch activists win legal battle over climate change - Продолжительность: 4

An activist investor group that has filed resolutions for three years pressuring Royal Dutch Shell to It's the latest development as more activist shareholder communities urge companies to take action Last year, Shell caved in to investor pressure over climate change and rolled out carbon emissions

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte responded by saying: “I can guarantee we will do everything we can to achieve the goal.” But it remains to be seen if the target will be met by year's end.

The Urgenda and Shell cases are similar because they are based in part on a duty of care enshrined in Dutch law.

Not all climate cases are successful. Last month, German judges threw out a lawsuit by three farming families who had taken Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to court and argued that it wasn’t doing enough to tackle climate change.

Roda Verheyen, a German lawyer who brought that case but is not involved in the Dutch case, said the outcome of the civil case against Shell could have repercussions for businesses around the world as it poses questions about how businesses balance their bottom line with their duty of care responsibilities.

“The Shell case taken by Milieudefensie and others is the first to actually do this in court,” she said. "So whatever comes out will be very interesting. I think you could say globally.”

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Follow AP’s full coverage of climate change issues at https://www.apnews.com/Climate

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