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18 Nov 2021

Sam Meredith, CNBC (USA)

Litigation against financial institutions 'the next step', says lawyer who won Shell climate case in the Netherlands

"Governments and Big Oil were first. The next wave of climate lawsuits will target banks and boards", 11 November 2021

Financial institutions and individual board members could be the next targets of climate litigation cases, according to the campaigners who helped to secure a landmark courtroom victory against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.

... “We have litigated against countries and been successful,” said Roger Cox, lawyer for Milieudefensie, an environmental campaign group and the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth. “Now we have shown that one can successfully litigate against fossil fuel corporations and I think that the next step is to start also litigating against financial institutions who make these emissions and fossil fuel projects possible.”

“I even think after that … board members of these large private institutions who continue to willingly frustrate achieving the Paris Agreement might even become liable in years to come under direct liability regulations,” Cox said on Tuesday.

... The ruling marked the first time in history that a company had been legally obliged to align its policies with the Paris Agreement and reflected a watershed moment in the climate battle.

A Shell spokesperson at the time described the decision as “disappointing.” The company has since confirmed it will appeal the ruling ...