Time top 100: Dutch climate lawyer Cox among the most influential people of 2021 | Abroad

The Limburg lawyer who brought Shell to its knees this spring in the lawsuit about the reduction of CO2 emissions has been time included in the top 100 of most influential people of 2021. In addition to Roger Cox, European Commissioner Frans Timmermans and KNMI climate researcher Geert Jan van Oldenborgh are also in the leading ranking.

“May 26, 2021 could go down in history as a turning point toward responsibility for the fossil fuel industry and its pivotal role in creating the climate crisis that threatens our way of life,” writes the former US vice president and chair of the Climate Reality Project. Al Gore in time when explaining why Cox is one of the chosen ones in the Pioneers category.

While US oil and gas companies ExxonMobil and Chevron faced unprecedented rebuke from their own shareholders on that day, attorney Roger Cox in the Netherlands helped set an even more important precedent: winning a legal battle between David and Goliath against Royal Dutch Shell, requiring it to reduce its emissions by 45 percent by 2030.’

According to Gore, the ruling by the court in The Hague caused ‘shock waves’ in boardrooms around the world. “It was the first time a company had been held legally liable for the Paris agreement. Acting on behalf of more than 17,000 Dutch citizens, Cox’s innovative approach was based on the latest climate science and set out on an important path that could force companies around the world to act ambitiously to ensure the well-being of future generations. ‘

“This victory, combined with Cox’s previous landmark case that forced the Dutch government to cut its emissions by 25 percent by 2020, shows that we don’t have to wait for slow progress on intangible targets. We have the ability – and the precedent – to demand concrete climate action now,” said Bill Clinton’s former vice president.

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Lawyer Roger Cox of Milieudefensie in court during the second hearing in the climate case against Shell. © ANP


European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, also Vice-President of the European Commission, owes his place in the same category of the top 100 most influential people to his launch of the Fit for 55 program in the European Union. “An ambitious set of regulatory tools to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, an important milestone towards the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050,” writes Christiana Figueres. She is a co-founder of Global Optimism and a former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

‘The long-term benefit of the policy is clear and convincing. Although implementation is much more challenging in the short term, Timmermans is committed to justice in the transition. He walks where few have ventured, but where all nations must follow,” Figueres said.

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Frans Timmermans during the presentation of the 'Fit for 55' package in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Frans Timmermans during the presentation of the ‘Fit for 55’ package in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. © Reuters

Van Oldenborgh

Climate researcher Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the KNMI has been included in the category Innovators. He shares his place in the top 100 with German climatologist Friederike Otto. For many years, the standard in hurricane and heat wave news reports was that no event could be linked to climate change, although scientists said these types of natural phenomena are becoming more common due to global warming. Thanks to Friederike Otto and Geert Jan van Oldenborgh and their colleagues from the World Weather Attribution project, we can now speak with much greater confidence. For example, this summer, when a massive heat wave shattered records in the northwestern US and Canada, their team quickly delivered an in-depth statistical analysis that concluded the heat was “virtually impossible without human-induced climate change,” explains the American journalist, author. and environmentalist Bill McKibben favored the selection of the two.

“They have brought together researchers from around the world who are able to respond quickly, in contrast to the equally crucial years-long analyzes of global systems conducted by the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That speed ensures that people who read about the accelerating series of disasters are increasingly getting the most important information: it comes from us,” said McKibben, who has published extensively on global warming.

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Geert Jan van Oldenborgh.
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh. © Oxford University


Of course, the top 100 most influential people also include celebrities such as Harry and Meghan. Their project Archewell, named after their son Archie, earned them a place in the Icons category because they connect communities around the world. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and American singer Britney Spears are also in the same category.

The Leaders category includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Donald Trump.

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Time top 100: Dutch climate lawyer Cox among the most influential people of 2021 | Abroad
Source link Time top 100: Dutch climate lawyer Cox among the most influential people of 2021 | Abroad

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