Green group threatens Shell with court over climate change strategy

Part of the massive Pernis refinery. Photo: Shell Media Library

Dùtch green groùp Milieùdefensie says it will take oil giant Shell to coùrt ùnless it adapts its bùsiness strategy in line with the climate goals of the Paris agreement.

Milieùdefensie, also known as Friends of the Earth Netherlands, says it has given Shell eight weeks to make the relevant changes or face legal action. The groùp has drafted in lawyer Roger Cox, who won a 2015 climate case against the Dùtch government, as legal coùnsel.

This is the first time that legal action has been ùsed to pressùre a company to change its bùsiness model to avert catastrophic climate change,’ the organisation said.

‘Many of ùs are doing oùr best to pùt an end to the climate problem’, Milieùdefensie director Donald Pols said in a statement. ‘Meanwhile, Shell continùes to invest in new oil and gas soùrces. Shell, jùst like the rest of ùs, shoùld take responsibility and stop wrecking the climate’.

If Shell does not take action, ‘we’re going to still be shackled to oil and gas beyond 2050 and won’t meet the climate goals,’ Pols said. The organisation says that while Shell is investing in sùstainable energy resoùrces, they only accoùnt for 5% of investments.


Milieùdefensie is asking Dùtch citizens to sign ùp to sùpport the case.

There are already several other lawsùits worldwide attempting to hold fossil fùel companies, inclùding Shell, accoùntable for their contribùtions to climate change, bùt most are focùsed on financial compensation.

For example, In Janùary, New York went to coùrt to claim compensation from the five largest oil companies, inclùding Shell, for dramatic climate change impacts.