Shell boss vows to speed up emission cuts after Dutch court ruling

Shell will seek ways to reduce emissions even further following a landmark judgment issued by the district court in The Hague that the Anglo-Dutch supermajor must reduce its net carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, compared to its 2019 level, the company’s boss said Wednesday. 

Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden said the company is determined to rise to the challenge, and that this ruling does not mean a change, but rather an acceleration of its strategy.

In April this year, Shell published its energy transition strategy and in May became the first energy company to put that scheme to a vote of shareholders.

Shell’s boss believes the ruling will push the company to speed up its strategy to take some bold but measured steps over the coming years, but in a way that remains purposeful and profitable.

Nevertheless, van Buren noted Shell plans to appeal the ruling and believes that the move to single out Shell does not help reduce global CO2 emissions.

“A court ordering one energy company to reduce its emissions, and the emissions of its customers, is not the answer,” van Beurden said.

The court ruling, seen as a major win for environmentalists, called for Shell to slash its absolute carbon emissions, a move van Beurden had previously dismissed because it would force Shell to scale back its oil and gas business.

“Imagine Shell decided to stop selling petrol and diesel today. This would certainly cut Shell’s carbon emissions. But it would not help the world one bit. Demand for fuel would not change. People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations,” van Buren said.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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