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19 Mai 2023

Kirstin Ridley, Reuters

UK: ClientEarth challenges court dismissal of its lawsuit against Shell’s board over alleged climate risk mismanagement

"ClientEarth Challenges UK Court Dismissal of Shell Climate Lawsuit", 19 May 2023

The group said it would ask the High Court to reconsider the decision at an oral hearing about the case – the first notable investor lawsuit against directors over the alleged failure to properly prepare for a shift from fossil fuels.

If judges allow the action to proceed, it could encourage investors in other companies..., to litigate against boards that fail to adequately manage climate-related risks...

Shell, which has increased spending on renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, said the claim was “utterly misconceived” and that it ignored how directors of complex businesses had to balance competing considerations...

...A group of European institutional Shell investors, which owns about 12 million of Shell’s 7 billion shares, has written letters of support for the case...

...ClientEarth alleges Shell’s 11 directors have failed to manage the “material and foreseeable” risks climate change poses... – and that they are breaking company law.

It is seeking a court order requiring the board to adopt a transition strategy aligned with the Paris climate agreement on curbing global warming, and its duties under the UK Companies Act.

No date for the court hearing was immediately available.