General – appeal
Today, Shell filed its appeal to the ruling on reducing carbon emissions made by the District Court of The Hague in May 2021.
“Because the appeal filing is not made public by the court, I want to be transparent about this step,” explained Marjan van Loon, CEO Shell Nederland.
The District Court ordered Shell to reduce its worldwide aggregate carbon emissions by net 45% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.
Van Loon: “Regardless of this appeal, we are taking meaningful action globally to reduce our emissions. We have put in place an absolute climate target to halve emissions from our operations by 2030, compared to 2016 levels.”
“We are also investing in lower-carbon energy to help customers reduce emissions. This includes investing in offshore wind and solar parks to help more homes and businesses run on renewable energy; building an extensive network of charging points for customers with electric vehicles; and investing in low-carbon fuels for sectors that cannot easily switch to electricity such as aviation and heavy-duty transport. This also applies to the Netherlands, where in the last two years alone, we decided to invest €2 billion a year in energy transition projects, which can be seen on this energy map.”
“These actions support the Paris Agreement and position us well towards meeting the obligations of the District Court. But we are moving ahead with our appeal because we believe we have good grounds for doing so.”
“The judgment holds Shell responsible for reducing the emissions of its customers from the use of its products. In particular, we question how Shell can have a legal obligation to reduce carbon emissions we do not control from customers who are not under a similar legal obligation to reduce their emissions,” Van Loon said
“It is, for example, the customer that decides whether to buy an electric car. And if we decided to stop selling petrol, it would not mean that people would buy less petrol. Customers would buy it elsewhere. Focusing on one company, as the District Court has done, results in others meeting the needs of that company’s customers, not in a reduction in demand. The world needs a shift in demand to low-carbon products to achieve a net-zero energy system.”
Shell develops and supplies these products. But the choice is up to the customer. Shell alone cannot directly influence the energy choices made by its customers. It is for governments to determine the right trade-offs for society and put in place the policies that bring about fundamental changes in the way society consumes energy, for example by mandating the sale of cars that run on low-carbon energy.
Recent challenges in energy supply and spikes in energy prices further underscore the important role governments need to play in balancing the need to address climate change and ensuring a secure, reliable and affordable supply of energy.
In conclusion Van Loon said: “Whatever the outcome of the appeal, we understand our role. Shell aims to continue delivering on our ambitious strategy and be a leader in the world’s shift to a net-zero emissions energy system – a role we want to play with conviction while we appeal the District Court’s ruling.”