The Netherlands’ most polluting company will have to have a rethink
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The giant multinational oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell, has been told by a Dutch court to re-think its plans for greening its activities, after current plans were found to prioritise profit over the environment. The business must now have a re-think and do more, particularly in the short-term, to cut its CO2 emissions.
Lutz Jacobi, of the Waddenvereniging, called the decision ‘historic’, with the judge speaking out about Shell’s threat to people living on the Wadden Islands. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
The case was brought forward by the green organisation Milieudefensie, and was supported by a large number of other environmental groups, both local and national. Around 17,000 individuals also added their support to the case.
The judge said that, among other things, Shell is responsible for its enormous CO2 emissions (higher than large numbers of countries’ yearly emissions), which are responsible for a large number of threats to peoples way of life.
The Wadden Islands are particularly sensitive to sea level rises and extreme weather, with most of the islands lying only a few metres above sea level. Dirk Kuiken, one of the individuals supporting the case, says that the judge laid responsibility with Shell itself: “the judge said: there are plenty of possibilities to cut emissions, and how that’s done is up to Shell, but it must indeed be done!”
Meinder Boersma, who is part of both Extinction Rebellion, and the Climate Coalition Friesland, says that Shell has been responsible for greenwashing itself in the last few years: “it is indeed true that Shell invests more into green energy than it did 20 years ago. But they are putting even more money into oil and gas. They’re trying to balance one out with the other. It’s Greenwashing. On the one hand, they open a wind farm but on the other open an oil extraction facility, and the two do not balance.”