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Climate Ruling Could Force Big Change at Shell


Climate Ruling Could Force Big Change at Shell

Oil giant might need to sell assets and rethink spending to meet Dutch court order to curb carbon emission

By Sarah McFarlane: May 27, 2021 12:08 pm ET

To comply with a Dutch court order to cut carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell PLC may have to overhaul its business and cut its oil output faster than it had planned, analysts and investors said.

Potential ways to curb emissions include selling assets, rethinking exploration spending and halting growth of its liquefied-natural gas operations, they said.

Shell faces the potential upheaval after the district court in The Hague on Wednesday ruled that the company is partially responsible for climate change and must reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, compared with 2019 levels.

That target, which was called for by the environmental groups that brought the case, is in line with United Nations guidance for member states aimed at preventing global temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Shell said it was disappointed and fully expected to appeal the decision, and that it is already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric-vehicle charging, biofuels and renewables.


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