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12 Apr 2024

Stephanie van den Berg, Reuters

Netherlands: Shell and Friends of the Earth clash over ECHR's climate ruling's impact on Shell's appeal

"Shell, Friends of the Earth each say European climate ruling backs their view in Dutch case", 12 Apr 2024

Shell told a Dutch court... that a European climate ruling against the Swiss government supported their appeal against a 2021 Dutch climate ruling because it confirmed that states and not courts should set rules on emissions reductions.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands, however - which brought the original Shell (SHEL.L), opens new tab case - said the exact opposite during the fourth and final day of hearings in Shell's appeal against the 2021 Dutch ruling, in which a lower Dutch court ordered Shell to reduce its planet-warming carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels...

During the hearings on Friday, Shell lawyer Daan Lunsingh Scheurleer said... that in Shell's view, the ECHR decision that the Swiss government had violated the human rights of senior women by not doing enough to combat climate change confirmed Shell's point that emissions were an issue of state responsibility.

"It does support Shell on the point that issuing a demand for emissions reductions for companies is not up to courts" but should be the domain of states, Lunsingh Scheurleer told judges.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands replied that in fact the European ruling supported their side.

"The European Court of Human Rights confirms that climate change is a human rights issue," lawyer Roger Cox said, adding that courts have a role to ensure companies respect human rights.

A spokesperson for Friends of the Earth Netherlands said that a ruling in the Dutch case is scheduled for November 12, 2024.