A group that won a victory over energy giant Shell last year with a Dutch court order forcing it to deepen greenhouse gas reductions has warned the board of company from possible personal liability if he did not implement the verdict.
Last year, The Hague District Court ordered Shell to reduce carbon emissions from its operations, suppliers and customers by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, a historic decision which could have implications for energy companies around the world.
Shell is appealing the decision.
The Friends of the Earth/Milieudefensie group said it sent a letter on Sunday to the company’s boards and individual representatives, including CEO Ben van Beurden, saying it was not taking action to implement the verdict.
“Shell has appealed, but the court has declared the judgment provisionally enforceable, meaning that necessary climate action cannot be put on hold pending the appeal,” the group said in its letter, including one. copy was seen by Reuters.
“Milieudefensie believes Shell’s directors are risking future personal liability by failing to take action consistent with the goal of nearly halving global (carbon dioxide) emissions by 2030.”
Shell, which says it respects the court’s decision in many respects, said it is reviewing Mileudefensie’s letter.
“The court gave Shell broad discretion as to how to meet the reduction obligation by its 2030 deadline,” the company said. “Our strategy and the actions we are taking position us well to meet the Court’s obligations.”
The company did not address whether board members might have personal liability in complying with the ruling.
In its appeal filed in March, the company argued it had been wrongfully held responsible for customer emissions, which it said it could not control.
Shell’s targets include reducing its emissions by more than 50% by 2030, although its strategy includes the use of carbon storage and offsets rather than outright reductions.