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A Week of Big Blows for Big Oil


A Week of Big Blows for Big Oil

Two victories by environmental activists added to the uncertainty surrounding the industry and Canada’s oil sands.

: May 29, 2021

For environmentalists, it was a week of victories. For the oil and gas companies they vanquished, as well as Alberta and the other parts of Canada that rely on the energy industry, the week brought new uncertainties.

But environmentalists also dealt a blow to one of those European oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell, this week. A Dutch court ruled that Shell was “obliged” to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of its activities by 45 percent by the end of 2030, compared with 2019 levels. Shell had already announced a 2050 target for reaching net zero emissions, but the decision, if upheld, will force it to speed up its efforts.

[Read: A Dutch court rules that Shell must step up its climate change efforts.]

The Shell decision only applies to the company’s Dutch operations. But it’s widely anticipated that it will prompt other environmental groups in other countries to launch similar cases.


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