Dutch court orders Royal Dutch Shell to significantly deepen its planned greenhouse gas emission cuts in a ruling that could pave the way for legal action that forces energy firms to change strategy in the face of climate crisis.

Some 1,700 Dutch citizens filed the case in 2018, calling on the court to order Shell to cut emissions.
Some 1,700 Dutch citizens filed the case in 2018, calling on the court to order Shell to cut emissions. (Reuters)

A Dutch court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in a landmark case brought by climate activist groups.

The ruling on Wednesday by The Hague District Court could set a precedent for similar cases against polluting multinationals around the world.

The court ruled that the Anglo-Dutch energy giant has a duty of care to reduce emissions and that its current reduction plans are not concrete enough.

Shell can appeal the ruling.

String of legal challenges

A group of seven environmental and human rights organisations and some 1,700 Dutch citizens filed the case in 2018, calling on the court to order Shell to cut emissions in line with the global goals set out in the Paris climate agreement. 

That equates to Shell cutting emissions 45 percent by 2030.

The case in the Netherlands is the latest in a string of legal challenges filed around the world by climate activists seeking action to rein in emissions, but it is believed to be the first targeting a multinational company.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies