Shell to appeal court ruling in Netherlands climate case

Aug. 2, 2021

Royal Dutch Shell PLC confirmed that it will appeal a May ruling issued by the District Court in The Hague that Shell must reduce its global net carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels (OGJ Online, May 26, 2021).

Shell plans to accelerate its plan to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and had already set its own short- and medium-term targets for cutting carbon emissions, it said in a July 20 release.

“We agree urgent action is needed and we will accelerate our transition to net zero,” said Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden. “But we will appeal because a court judgment, against a single company, is not effective. What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system.”

Shell published details of its Powering Progress strategy in April 2021. The court did not consider the details as the hearings that led to the ruling took place several months earlier, the company said.

Shell has set out its intention to reduce both the emissions from its own operations, referred to as Scopes 1 and 2, and those produced when customers use the energy products it sells. These Scope 3 emissions account for over 90% of Shell’s emissions, so Shell is working with its customers to achieve this reduction.

The company said it has set out a number of actions to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions through a combination of energy efficiency improvements, the elimination of routine flaring, carbon capture and storage technology, working with suppliers to use renewable electricity in facilities, and concentrating its global refining portfolio from 13 Shell-controlled sites in 2019 into five energy and chemicals parks by 2030.