Fossil energy – Shell
Royal Dutch Shell boss Ben van Beurden has promised the company will ‘rise to the challenge’ of hitting ambitious climate targets after a damning court case.
Shell had vowed to reach net zero – meaning it will balance out any emissions it produces – by 2050.
But a Dutch court ruled last month that, in addition to this, by 2030 the oil major must reduce its net carbon emissions by 45 per cent compared to the company’s 2019 levels.
The climate push comes as the FTSE 100 group is trying to recover from the body blow dealt by the pandemic, which pummelled its finances.
Van Beurden said in a blog post that because the court’s decision applies immediately, even though the company intends to appeal, Shell will fast-track plans for the energy transition and cut emissions in a way that remains purposeful and profitable. “’This ruling does not mean a change but rather an acceleration of our strategy.”
He added: “Some two weeks on, I still feel disappointed that Shell is being singled out by a ruling that I believe does not help reduce global CO2 emissions. But, along with my colleagues, I feel something else: a determination to rise to the challenge.”
Last month Judge Larisa Alwin ruled that Shell’s existing climate strategy was not ‘concrete’ enough and that there was a human rights obligation on the company to make it more robust.
Although Shell had set a 2050 goal to reach net zero carbon, it had not laid out any interim targets in the meantime.
The landmark case was brought by the Dutch arm of eco campaigns group Friends of the Earth and more than 17,000 co-plaintiffs.