Stock Groups

Climate campaigners to target banks after Shell court ruling


MilieuDefensie members celebrate the Dutch environmental organization’s decision against Royal Dutch Shell Plc. They were outside The Hague Palace of Justice on Wednesday May 26, 2021. A Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its carbon emissions faster and harder than it had planned. This could spell doom for other fossil fuel companies around the world.

Getty Images| Bloomberg | Getty Images

GLASGOW, Scotland — Financial institutions and individual board members could be the next targets of climate litigation cases, according to the campaigners who helped to secure a landmark courtroom victory against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell

The timing is perfect for it. scrambling to reach consensusIn the last days of the COP26 summit on climate change. Participants from 197 nations are participating in negotiations to keep the global goal of 1.5 degrees CelsiusLive.

It is unclear if the negotiations will meet the requirements of the climate emergency.

Roger Cox from Milieudefensie (an environmental group that is also the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth), said, “We have successfully litigated against other countries” “We have demonstrated that you can litigate successfully against fossil fuel corporations. Now, I think the next step should be to begin also litigating against financial institution that makes these fossil fuel projects and emissions possible.”

“I even think after that … board members of these large private institutions who continue to willingly frustrate achieving the Paris Agreement might even become liable in years to come under direct liability regulations,” Cox said on Tuesday.

His remarks were made at The People’s Summit for Climate Justice (COP26 Coalition), an event that was hosted on the sidelines U.N. talks in Glasgow.

Shell logo on a London petrol station. In what is considered a landmark case, a court ordered Shell to cut its carbon emissions by 45 percent compared with 2019.

LightRocket | LightRocket | Getty Images

The Hague District Court, May. 26 orderedAnglo-Dutch oil major will cut its global carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030, in comparison to 2019 levels. Shell was also responsible for the carbon emissions of both its own and its suppliers. known as Scope 3 emissions

It was the first step towards the abolition of slavery. first time in historyIf a company is legally bound to comply with the Paris Agreement, it should reflect a watershed momentClimate change.

Shell’s spokesperson described the decision at that time as “disappointing.” Shell has confirmed to us that they will appeal this decision.

“No one wants to go before a court”

Cox indicated that “there is considerable pressure from a legal point of view against the most public and major private systemic actors in climate change, and the energy transition.”

His citations young people rallying on the streetsClimate action activist shareholdersTry to get board members to cut emissions. bombshell reportInternational Energy Agency said that there was no need to make new investments in fossil fuel supply in order to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

He said, “All of this gives us the greatest chance right now to try and create the radical transformation needed over the next decade.”

Roger Cox was an environmental lawyer at his Vrouwenheide office, Netherlands on Friday June 4, 2021. A court at The Hague agreed with Cox after four days of arguments and decided that Royal Dutch Shell Plc had to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 45% between 2019 and 2030.

Getty Images| Bloomberg | Getty Images

Report from a group of non-governmental organizations published in MarchThe report found that the 60 largest banks in the world had provided financing of $3.8 trillion to fossil fuel companies over the period since 2015’s Paris agreement. According to the authors, the results were “shocking”, and they warned of the dangers of runaway funding of fossil fuel extraction.

Burning fossil fuels, it is clear that this is what has caused the global climate crisis. According to climate scientists, the fastest way to reduce global warming is to drastically cut greenhouse gas emission as soon as possible.

Nine de Pater (researcher and campaigner with Milieudefensie) said Tuesday, that the campaign group originally sought to persuade Shell into taking meaningful climate action by protests, direct talks and negotiations with the company as well as politicians.

De Pater stated, “All that wasn’t the difference we needed.” The court case was the final resort. You don’t want to go there. Nobody wants to be in court. While it’s not the best thing for anyone to do, forcing Shell in another direction was necessary and needed to ensure that Shell stopped causing climate change.

“It is no longer possible for Shell to put profit over people — and that is historic. This is crucial because Shell isn’t the only company that has to ask: “Am I putting profit above people?”

During the demonstration in London City, a protester holds an “End Fossil Fuel Subsidies” placard.

SOPA Images | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden confirmed its appeal to the July court decision. saidThe company agreed that urgent climate action was needed and “we will accelerate our transition towards net zero.”

We will appeal the court’s decision against one company. Clear, bold policies are needed to bring about fundamental changes in the energy system. The urgent challenge of climate change requires immediate action. A global approach to the problem that encourages cooperation between all involved is needed.

“Nothing to Lose”

Cox explained to CNBC that Shell’s victory over the Dutch court verdict on appeal would be a significant moment. “That is basically the question we had before starting any climate litigation cases.”

Cox explained that Cox first thought about what defeats in courtrooms might mean when he prepared the 2012 edition. Urgenda Climate CaseThe Dutch government was rebuffed. In this case which was decided by the Dutch Supreme Court on Dec. 2019, the court found that the Dutch government had an obligation immediately to significantly lower emissions, in compliance with their human rights obligations.

“It was a feeling that we had at that moment, and there’s nothing to lose. Cox stated that either we win or lose, but they don’t believe there’s anything to lose by losing a case. His comments included that litigation was morally required and that it was important to “pierce the status quo in short-term interests.”

Cox explained that while you know you will lose when you begin a case, the possibility is that there are lessons to be learned for other climate litigators. As children, we don’t abandon the street, so as adults, we continue doing the same, even though it may not immediately make an impact. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t immediately having an impact, you just keep going at it.