Royal Dutch Shell has pledged to accelerate the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions after a court ruling in the Netherlands.
Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company would “rise to the challenge” set by the Dutch court last week and take “bold but measured steps” towards a low-carbon future.
A court in The Hague ruled that Shell was not reducing its CO2 emissions fast enough. He said the oil giant must cut the greenhouse gases it produces by 45% over the next decade.
In a blog post responding to the decision, Mr van Beurden wrote that he was initially surprised by the decision because Shell had “set the tone” for reducing carbon emissions in the oil industry.
He said he was disappointed that Shell was “singled out”, but added that while the company expects to appeal, it will take immediate action on the emissions.
“For Shell, this decision does not mean a change, but rather an acceleration of our strategy,” he wrote.
“Now we will look for ways to reduce emissions even further in a way that remains focused and cost effective. This will likely mean taking bold but measured steps over the next few years.”
Shell will give shareholders the opportunity to vote each year on its progress in tackling the climate crisis.
Mr van Beurden stressed that Shell would continue to produce oil and gas and said that “the energy transition is far too big a challenge for a single company to tackle”
He added: “To quote a scenario, perhaps extreme, imagine that Shell decides to stop selling gasoline and diesel today. This would certainly reduce Shell’s carbon emissions.
“But that wouldn’t help everyone at all. The demand for fuel wouldn’t change. People were refueling their cars and delivery trucks at other gas stations.”
The case against Shell was filed in April 2019 by seven activist groups, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, and is the first lawsuit in which environmental groups have turned to the courts in an attempt to force companies to reduce their impact on the planet.
They had demanded that Shell (RDS) reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, a much larger reduction than the company’s current target of reducing the carbon intensity of the products it sells by 20%. over the next decade.
The court ruled that the Anglo-Dutch energy company has a duty of care to reduce emissions and that its current plans are not strong enough.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-10 02:00:52