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Shell Netherlands CEO Bemoans the Inconvenience of Saving the Planet

Posted by John Donovan: 3 Jan 2024

In a recent outburst of corporate dismay, Shell Netherlands’ CEO, Frans Everts, shed tears over how pesky environmental lawsuits are wreaking havoc on the poor, defenseless business climate in the Netherlands. Speaking to the Telegraaf, he lamented that these legal shenanigans aimed at individual companies like his own are just not cricket, especially when they’re the only ones being told off.

Let’s rewind to 2021, when a court had the audacity to order Shell to cut net carbon emissions by 45% from 2019 levels by 2030. The District Court in The Hague, apparently not understanding how inconvenient this is for oil giants, gave Shell a homework assignment with options – reforestation, carbon capture, you name it.

This legal drama was stirred up by several organizations, including Milieudefensie. Shell, in a move that surprised absolutely no one, is appealing the verdict this April. Why? Because, according to Shell, it’s utterly unreasonable to expect one company to reduce both its own emissions and those of its customers, especially when other energy firms are lounging about, not being pestered.

Everts, in his interview, called this approach “counterproductive.” He painted a dystopian picture where, if Shell were to close its petrol stations, customers would simply migrate like wildebeests to stations that don’t have these pesky emission reduction obligations. The horror!

Everts further argued that even if environmentalists start dragging other energy companies to court, it won’t fix anything. Instead, it will just ruin the business climate in the Netherlands as customers play musical chairs with petrol stations.

But wait, there’s a twist! Shell, in a grand display of environmental heroism, wants to chat with these green organizations. Everts declared, “We have the same end goal: zero net CO2 emissions by 2050.” He dreams of a world where everyone sits down, talks, discusses, and understands each other’s points of view. Because, as we all know, a good chat over tea solves climate crises.

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