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Five questions about the meaning of the Shell judgment


Five questions about the meaning of the Shell judgment

It was a statement that shook the so-called BV Netherlands for a while. A stone in the pond. Shell must reduce its CO₂ emissions faster than it does now, the judge ruled a week ago. Five questions about the next steps.

In brief

  • Last week, the judge ruled that Shell must reduce its CO₂ emissions more quickly.
  • A week after the Shell verdict, there are still many questions.
  • There is also much speculation about next steps.

1. Does this ruling affect Shell worldwide?
Shell must reduce CO₂ emissions faster, the judge ruled. The statements apply to the entire group, i.e. worldwide, although there are some exceptions, such as the part of the emissions that falls under the Emission Trade System (ETS) system.

A lot of room has been left open for how Shell wants to do that, says Tim Bleeker, assistant professor of environmental liability at the VU University Amsterdam. ‘The judge actually says: it doesn’t matter how you do it, if you have only reduced 45% below the line by 2030. In theory, Shell could even tap new oil wells, as long as they compensate for this by storing CO₂ or planting trees.’


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