Shell case spotlights new front in climate change litigation

It comes amid rising number of lawsuits on responsibility for climate change and could force other energy companies to accelerate the shift to cleaner fuels

Environmental activists protesting in The Hague, Netherlands, during the hearing of a case that environmentalist and human rights groups brought against Royal Dutch Shell, to force the energy firm to cut its reliance on fossil fuels, on Dec 1. The banner reads: “Because watching is not an option (any more)”. PHOTO: REUTERS

(FINANCIAL TIMES) - It is five years since the Netherlands lost a court action forcing it to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. It was the first time a government had been compelled by law to take action on climate change and was upheld by an appeals court in 2019, meaning that the Dutch authorities have to reduce emissions by 25 per cent, compared with 1990 levels.

The case, brought by climate group Urgenda, argued that the state's lack of action was putting Dutch citizens in danger. And the court agreed.

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