Did Shell Obstruct the Phase Out of Fossil Fuels?
Dec 27 2020 Read 472 Times
While Shell is spearheading more than nine wind power projects across Europe and North America, environmentalists are accusing the energy giant of expanding fossil fuel operations in the Netherlands. Led by environmental activism group Friends of the Earth, the lawsuit claims Shell broke Dutch law and failed to commit to a phaseout of fossil fuels. The case will be presented in The Hague, with Friends of the Earth hoping it will force the company to slash CO2 emissions and commit to a greener future.
Fossil fuel projects a breach of human rights
Specifically, Friends of the Earth is accusing Shell of violating article 6:162, a section of the Dutch Civil Code that rules “a person who commits a tort towards another which can be imputed to him, must repair the damage which the other person suffers as a consequence thereof.” The group is also accusing Shell of breaching articles 2 and 8 of the European convention on human rights.
“This is a unique lawsuit with potentially significant consequences for the climate and the fossil fuel industry globally,” says Friends of the Earth Netherlands director, Donald Pols. “We are confident that the judge’s final verdict will force Shell to adhere to international climate goals and stop causing dangerous climate change.”
Shell calls for “collaborative and global approach”
From oil exploration and production to refining and petrochemicals, Shell contributes to around 1% of total annual global emissions. Rather than scaling back fossil fuel projects, Friends of the Earth claims Shell is continuing to invest billions in the oil and gas industry. A spokesperson for Shell has asserts that while the company is dedicated to a greener future, legal challenges will not accelerate the transition to renewables.
“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. Addressing a challenge this big requires a collaborative and global approach. Shell is playing its part.”
The spokesperson refers to the company’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, stressing the company is “moving in step with society to address our own emissions and help customers to reduce theirs.”
Shell isn’t the only energy giant calling for global collaboration, with experts from Koehler Instrument Company also citing teamwork as a key driver of success. Find out more in ‘Global Collaboration and Development of the Latest Engine Oil Standards.’
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