Shell court case: fossil fuel giant refuses to stop destroying the climate

13 November 2019

Today Friends of the Earth Netherlands received Shell's long awaited re-sponse to the legal summons demanding it acts on climate change. While lawyers still need to study the 272 page legal document in detail, the response shows that Shell does not intend to meet the plaintiffs' demands.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands' Director Donald Pols says, "Shell once again takes no responsibility for the disproportionate role it plays in aggravating the climate crisis. Shell is undermining the world's chanc-es to stay below 1.5°C."

Other sources indicate that Shell wants to increase oil and gas production by 38% between now and 2030 and will invest up to US$35 billion a year, of which only US$2-3 billion will go towards potentially sustainable energy solutions. [1] Shell's CEO announced in October 2019 that it has "no choice" but to invest in oil and that "it is entirely legitimate" to do so.[2]

Donald Pols continued, "These facts and Shell's evasive response to our court summons show yet again how urgent and necessary our climate case is. Corporations like Shell – which is among the ten biggest climate polluters worldwide - must take action now. So far, Shell has been working in defiance of the Paris Climate Agreement. Our demand is and remains: no more CO2 emissions after 2050."

Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International Climate Coordinator commented, "This response shows just how little regard Shell has for peoples around the world hardest hit by climate impacts, especially in the global South. Company documents show Shell has known for years that its exploitation of fossil fuels causes climate chaos. In the face of global mobilisations and recognition of the climate crisis, it is incon-ceivable that Shell executives think business as usual is ok. The case of the People vs Shell is important and necessary to hold Shell to account.'

Friends of the Earth Netherlands and their lawyer Roger Cox are currently studying Shell's response and will work on a substantive reply.

On 5 April 2019 Friends of the Earth Netherlands delivered a court summons to Shell to legally compel the company to cease its destruction of the climate, on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries.