THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS, OCTOBER 11, 2012 - For the first time in history, a Dutch court verdict is expected about the case of a European company, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, which appeared in court today to account for damage it caused abroad. 
Lawyers for both parties pleaded at a key hearing in The Hague today and the court announced that the verdict is expected on 30 January 2013.
A new briefing published today aims to highlight the substantial gains companies can make by improving their use of resources.
Chief Executive of Shell, Peter Voser, was presented with 70,000 signatures protesting against the oil giant's practices in the Niger Delta, at its annual general meeting today.
The signatures collected by Friends of the Earth, SumofUs and Amnesty International sent a clear message that Shell must take responsibility and start cleaning up its mess in the highly- polluted area of Nigeria.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands has launched the 'Worse than Bad' campaign, which calls on Shell to take responsibility for the environmental damage and human rights violations it has caused in the Niger Delta over the last 50 years.
Campaigners are asking Shell to announce steps to clean up the oil pollution in the entire Niger Delta, close oil wells that illegally flare gas, improve pipeline maintenance and offer serious financial compensation to farmers and fishermen affected by oil spills.
Friends of the Earth International has today launched a petition asking people to write to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund calling for an end to all its investments in oil company Shell. Last month 28 Right Livelihood Award laureates wrote a letter to the government highlighting the company's negligence in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, where it is causing environmental devastation
The Dutch government's friendly relationship with big oil companies, and unwillingness to block polluting tar sands from Europe, has been ridiculed this morning by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie.
In a colourful action outside the Shell headquarters in The Hague activists dressed in Dutch national costume had oil poured over them by a 'representative' from Shell. At the same time, an activist playing Joop Atsma, the Dutch secretary of state for infrastructure and the environment, looked on smiling.
In a tongue-in-cheek reference to the famous wooden puppet and his very personal conception of truth, Friends of the Earth France awarded three Pinocchio awards denouncing 'greenwashing' by multinational corporations today. The awards were judged by internet voters and awarded to companies whose activities detriment social and environmental rights in countries in the Global South.
A Commission plan about how the EU can make companies more accountable is a step towards ending the global damage European businesses cause people and planet, according to the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ). However, the plans to improve corporate social responsibility (CSR), unveiled by the European Commission today in the CSR Communication, miss the opportunity to make real progress that would help victims of EU-based companies find justice and hold companies accountable for their impacts.
Over 70,000 citizens' signatures and the supporting pledge of 140 policy makers were handed over to Commissioner for Trade and Enterprise, Antonio Tajani, marking the climax of the 'Rights for People, Rules for Business' Campaign in 2011. European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) Board Members Paul de Clerck, Antonio Manganella and Filip Gregor joined Amnesty International Europe representative Nele Meyer to meet with Commissioner Tajani, and discuss the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Communication before its release the following autumn.
Brussels, 12 July – More than 73,000 EU citizens and 140 elected representatives and MEPs have signed a petition, to be delivered to the European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, vice president Antonio Tajani today, calling on the Commission to hold companies operating in the EU legally accountable for any harm they cause to people and the environment around the world .