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Shell’s verdict is unique: The Hague’s ‘puke battle’ goes around the world | Abroad

The decision of the Hague court on Shell is receiving considerable international attention. The verdict is unique, as is underlined worldwide.




The photo of a cheering Donald Pols goes around the world. “You can have that much fun with a charge,” writes the German Tageszeitung under the radiant director of Milieudefensie. ‘Ein Urteil wie ein Paukenschlag‘reports the German Tagesschau. A judgment like a percussion blow or thunderclap, so to speak.


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For the first time, a global company is legally obliged to protect the climate

Roda Verheyen, lawyer

The bang will reverberate for a while, predict other German media. Der Spiegel writes: ‘Like the proceedings that German environmentalists are bringing against the federal government’s climate policy, the Hague ruling is considered’ groundbreaking ‘. After all, it’s about the role of multinationals in the fight against the climate crisis. ‘

“Shell must protect the climate,” said the author Süddeutsche Zeitung. Hamburg lawyer Roda Verheyen says: ,, This is the first lawsuit in Europe that concerns the obligations of a multinational, a lawsuit aimed at the future. The verdict is groundbreaking. For the first time, a global company is legally obliged to protect the climate. Which also means: these obligations are enforceable. ”

Oil slick

‘Dutch case law condemns Shell’, headlines the French Libération. The Walloon business newspaper L’Écho anticipates an ‘oil slick’ that other companies such as Total, BP and Exxon will also have to deal with. Citizens who want to mobilize against the large multinationals will feel encouraged by the Hague ruling, according to the newspaper. Worldwide there are already 1,800 cases before the courts related to climate change.

Hendrik Schoukens, researcher in European environmental and nature conservation law at Ghent University, notes in The standard that ‘after the historic judgment of the Dutch Supreme Court in the Urgenda case, it turned out that procedures aimed at national climate policy no longer stand a chance’. Governments in Ireland, France and Germany were also called back because their climate policy was not in line with international agreements. Even human rights support those claims. Yesterday a court in the Netherlands ruled that oil companies must also make meaningful climate efforts.

Pay attention

For Kurt Deketelaere, who teaches environmental law at KU Leuven, the Dutch judge opened Pandora’s box. According to him, there is a very real chance that other companies with significant CO2 emissions will also be taken to court. “The industry in the Netherlands has been legally outlawed by this ruling,” he says.

Deketelaere does not rule out the possibility that action groups in other countries will also file lawsuits to oblige companies to impose emission obligations. “The industry in the port of Antwerp is also being watched out for.” He believes that the ‘failing climate policy of the government’ opens the door for climate organizations to impose emission restrictions through the courts. “The politicians fail to make clear agreements and rules to reduce CO2 emissions in such a way that limiting the temperature rise becomes a feasible option.”

In the United States, attention was paid to the Shell ruling, as well as other high-profile news in the same category. The majority of shareholders of oil company Chevron voted in favor of a climate resolution yesterday. The motion of the activist shareholder Follow This called on the American company to set hard goals to reduce CO2 emissions, among other things. According to a preliminary count, 61 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the resolution at Chevron’s annual investor meeting, which is also unique.

Watch our video about the verdict below:

Shell’s verdict is unique: The Hague’s ‘puke battle’ goes around the world | Abroad
Source link Shell’s verdict is unique: The Hague’s ‘puke battle’ goes around the world | Abroad

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