In a truly landmark case, a Dutch court has ruled that Shell needs to comply with the Paris Agreement and therefore needs to tighten up its environmental plans because they are currently not aggressive or “smart” enough.

The case was brought by an NGO and the court decided that from a human rights perspective, Shell needs to comply.

By 2030, Shell must cut its CO2 emissions by 45 percent compared to 2019 levels, the civil court ruled. The Shell Group is responsible for its own CO2 emissions and those of its suppliers, the verdict said.

It is the first time a company has been legally obliged to align its policies with the Paris climate accords, says Friends of the Earth (FoE).

The environmental group brought the case to court in 2019, alongside six other bodies and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens.

Though the decision only applies in the Netherlands, it could have wider effects elsewhere. BBC Netherlands correspondent Anna Holligan tweeted that it was a “precedent-setting judgement”.

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28th May 2021