Monday 18 November 2019

Dutch environmental groups take Shell to court over climate change

Part of the massive Pernis refinery. Photo: Shell Media Library

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 will lead to a judge ‘forcing Shell to stop being a major cause of climate change.’

The 2015 Paris agreement on climate change included a commitment to leave oil, gas and coal in the grounds as much as possible, the lobby group says. ‘These three fuels are major causes of global warning and this is why we have to stop our dependence on them as soon as possible.

‘Shell maintains that it is living up to these agreements but in practice this is far from the truth,’ Milieudefensie said. ‘Shell continues drilling for oil and gas non stop and spends billions of euros every year on oil and gas exploration.’

US oil group

Earlier this week Shell said it is leaving a major US oil lobby group because it disagrees with the group’s policies on climate change.

After reviewing its 19 industry memberships, Shell said it would not renew its membership of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers lobby next year because of ‘material misalignment’.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said in the review that it is important to ensure ‘the industry associations we belong to do not undermine our support for the Paris Agreement.’ The US withdrew from the Paris deal in 2017.

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