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Milieudefensie: appeal from Shell climate case at the earliest in 2023


Milieudefensie: appeal from Shell climate case at the earliest in 2023

eddieanderson: 1 Feb 2022

Shell and Milieudefensie will face each other again in court in the spring of 2023 at the earliest. When exactly, will become clear in November of this year, Milieudefensie reports. The organization has discussed the planning with Shell’s lawyers and published the planning for the appeal in the climate case. This shows that the first step towards handling the case will be taken at the end of March. Shell may then explain on paper what objections it has against the court’s decision.

In the first instance, Milieudefensie and the co-plaintiffs won the case. The court in The Hague ordered the oil and gas company to reduce the CO2 emissions it causes by 45 percent in the coming years compared to 2019. That reduction must be achieved by 2030. The judge made a distinction between Shell’s own emissions and emissions resulting from the products that the company sells. A 45 percent reduction is a result obligation for our own emissions. When it comes to the emissions of Shell’s customers, for example motorists who drive on petrol, it is a “weighty best efforts obligation”.

The verdict in the climate case was a worldwide first. In the judgment, the court pointed to the major risks that climate change entails, also for the inhabitants of the Netherlands. For example, global warming can increase the risk of flooding and extreme weather.

Shell itself endorses the need to take action against climate change, but the company does not think the courtroom is the right place for that. According to CEO Ben van Beurden, a ruling against one company is also “ineffective”. That is why Shell appealed and the case will go to court.

Shell is scheduled to file the so-called grievances against the earlier judgment by 22 March at the latest. Milieudefensie will respond to this by 18 October at the latest. All this is done in writing. Only then is it time for sessions.

Milieudefensie was very pleased with the outcome of the case, but in theory it still has the option of filing an appeal itself. For example, because the judge did not grant all the demands. If Milieudefensie were to opt for this, it would lead to further postponement: then the hearing days will probably only take place in 2024, according to the organization.

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