Seven environmental organizations based in the Netherlands, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and ActionAid, have delivered a judicial summons this Friday at the company's headquarters. the oil multinational Shell, in The Hague, demanding measures to stop polluting. Supported by the signing of 17,379 co-plaintiffs, they will then lodge an appeal against the company for the courts to compel them to "reduce their CO2 emissions", caused by the extraction of oil and natural gas. It is the first time that a company of this caliber has been brought to justice for "failing to protect human rights by undermining the opportunities to limit global warming."
Both citizens and Dutch companies are obliged by law to take measures to prevent damage from climate deterioration. According to environmental groups, Shell does not guarantee the reduction of CO2 to prevent global warming from increasing more than 1.5 degrees centigrade. It therefore falls into "harmful negligence, and violates Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect the right to life and private and family life". Donald Pols, director of the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth, adds that "only judges can avoid an environmental disaster because Shell supports the Paris Agreement, but continues to invest billions in the fossil fuel industry. " Once delivered the citation in the legal department of the multinational, Marjan van Loon, its president and general director in Holland, He has vowed to "work for a better world". Then he has retired. In a later statement, the firm has stressed that "a court is not the right place to fight for the weather."
Friends of the Earth and the rest of the organizations involved in this case have endorsed the arguments invoked by Urgenda, a Dutch NGO specializing in the environment. In 2015, and sheltered by a thousand citizens, it sued the Dutch Government appealing its responsibility when it comes to containing pollution. Against all odds, he won a historic case. The judges ordered the Executive to reduce, with effective measures, the advance of the greenhouse effect. Then they fixed for 2020 the reduction of 25% of the CO2 emitted. It was the first time that a group of civilians had recourse to European legislation in such a case. Urgenda exceeded in 2018 the subsequent appeal against him lodged by the Executive, and the case has reached the Supreme. The Ministry of Economy and Climate considers that justice has invaded the political terrain.