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Shell’s Blatant Disregard for Climate Ruling Exposed by Milieudefensie


Shell’s Blatant Disregard for Climate Ruling Exposed by Milieudefensie

In a scathing indictment, environmental organization Milieudefensie has accused Shell of shamelessly flouting a court ruling demanding improvements in its sustainability policy from two years ago. Despite losing the lawsuit to the energy giant, Milieudefensie’s progress report, released just days before the upcoming shareholders’ meeting on May 23, slams Shell’s sustainability efforts as an abysmal failure.

The court specifically ordered Shell to slash its CO2 emissions by a significant 45 per cent by 2030, encompassing both the company’s direct emissions and those resulting from the usage of Shell’s gas, petrol, and other fuels. The ruling was particularly stringent concerning Shell’s own emissions, which it is obligated to tackle head-on.

Shell has claimed it aims to halve its own emissions by 2030, but Milieudefensie points out that this only accounts for a paltry 5 per cent of the company’s overall emissions. The environmental organization rightly emphasizes that the real issue lies with the remaining 95 per cent generated by the consumption of Shell’s fuels. The court imposed a “constrained effort obligation” on Shell to tackle these emissions.

Disgracefully, Shell CEO Wael Sawan has boldly declared that he sees no purpose in reducing oil and gas production, ludicrously asserting that the world will rely on these fossil fuels for an extended period. Rather than tackling the root cause, the company prefers to divert attention by focusing on CO2 compensation through nature projects and the questionable capture and storage of CO2—an approach that Milieudefensie rightfully dismisses as a farce.

According to the report, a mere 8 per cent of Shell’s investments last year went toward solar and wind energy, highlighting the company’s stubborn fixation on fossil fuels.

Nine de Pater from Milieudefensie rightfully lambasts Shell for its outrageous behaviour. “Shell knowingly continues to endanger human lives and shows no intention of rectifying its actions. This is an outright insult to the court,” she declared. De Pater believes that Shell is deceptively presenting itself as greener than it truly is, despite raking in nearly $40 billion in profits last year—funds that could be utilized for far greater environmental initiatives.

While Shell denies disregarding the court ruling, the company’s claim is nothing short of misleading. “Shell is actively taking steps to comply with the ruling while awaiting the outcome of the appeal,” they state. Shell further asserts that certain aspects of the judgment are simply impractical and unreasonable to expect from any company, conveniently sidestepping its responsibility. The oil giant’s primary contention lies in the requirement to reduce customer emissions, despite customers themselves having no obligation to do so.

Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis. 

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