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Shell to speed up carbon reduction after Dutch ruling

Published on June 09, 2021

Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it would accelerate plans to cut carbon emissions following a court order in the Netherlands last month.

The court in The Hague ordered Shell to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 in a landmark victory by climate activists with implications for energy firms worldwide.

In response on Wednesday, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden expressed disappointment that the Anglo-Dutch giant had been “singled out”, arguing that the ruling “does not help reduce global CO2 emissions”.

But he said: “For Shell, this ruling does not mean a change, but rather an acceleration of our strategy” to cut carbon emissions, without providing any further details.

The company had envisaged a 45-percent reduction by 2035 with the aim of reaching net zero emissions by mid-century.

Campaigners hailed the “historic” verdict as the first time that a company had been made to align its policy with the 2015 Paris climate accords.

Dubbed “the People versus Shell”, the case was backed by seven environmental groups and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens.

Shell in February declared that its oil output is in decline after peaking in 2019 as it outlined green plans to switch away from fossil fuels.

Under those plans, the company had said it would invest up to $6.0 billion a year in green energy projects developing and promoting biofuels, electric car charging and renewables.

More than half the amount could end up being spent on marketing, it added.

In addition, Shell plans to still invest $8 billion annually on new oil and gas exploration.

bcp/spm