The people versus Shell

A coalition of activist groups, charities and the public is bringing a case against Shell. Friends of the Earth Netherlands, leading the campaign, sent a notice of liability last year urging Shell to issue a planned reduction in its oil and gas activity, to help prevent climate change and start acting in line with the goal of the Paris agreement.

Roger Cox, a lawyer representing Milieudefensie, a Dutch environmental organisation and co-plaintiffs in the climate case against Shell, comments: “The response of Shell has been that Shell does not accept liability for its actions. Shell has more or less stated that it feels that it is doing enough at this particular time in relation to climate change and it cannot do more unless there is global legislation that will force Shell into further climate action.”

The case includes allegations that Shell was fully aware of the impact its activities have had on the climate, but mislead the public whilst continuing its operations. In this it has failed in its duty of care, and violated human rights.

The action, brought in conjunction with ActionAid and Greenpeace amongst others, was formally started when Shell received a summons on 5th April. The case will be held under Dutch law.

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