News / 28 May 2021

Ruling in the climate case against Shell is a victory for the whole world

"Historical verdict", "unique decision", "landslide victory". Superlatives flew to our ears in the media yesterday, when it became clear that the judge ruled that Royal Dutch Shell must reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by the year 2030. For the plaintiffs, including Both ENDS, the verdict is very hopeful, as it was for many co-plaintiffs and citizens interested in this court case.

But euphoric reactions were not only to be heard in the Netherlands, from all over the world joyful and relieved reactions came from people who had followed the case for years and had eagerly awaited the verdict. Niels Hazekamp, who has been closely involved in this case from the moment that Both ENDS decided to become a co-plaintiff in the climate case against Shell a few years ago, says: "So much joy and relief among people we have been working with for years to protect the environment and human rights, and who have long been dealing with the serious consequences of climate change. For many of them, this verdict is vital because of the chain reaction it may cause."

Below are some of the happy, relieved reactions we received:

Alejandro Meitin from Casa Rio in Argentina: "Great!!! This is tremendously good news for us, as we have fought so hard against Shell after the world's largest freshwater oil spill in the town of Magdalena, south of Río de la Plata. Thank you Both ENDS! Thank you Milieudefensie!"

Mynabel T. Pomarin from NTFP-EP in the Philippines: "Congratulations to Both ENDS in your historic climate case win against Shell! It feels good to receive great news in these times!"

Florencia Ortuzar of AIDA Americas: "The whole world celebrates the judicial victory ordering Shell to cut emissions, a huge step towards climate justice. Shell is one of the world's largest producers and suppliers of fossil fuels, they have been doing business in detriment of the planet and the people for far too long. Companies must respect human rights and the fragile equilibrium of our natural world, and should even contribute to the restoration of nature. To see judicial systems working as an effective tool for pushing these urgent changes is a reason to be hopeful. But this is only the beginning; lawyers and activists have a long way forward. Compliance must be effective and replication all over the world targeting the most polluting companies should follow. We thank and congratulate all organizations, communities and plaintiffs behind this amazing victory!"

Martha Agbana from Lokiaka Community Development Centre, Nigeria: "We at Lokiaka Centre received the news of the Dutch court ruling for Shell to reduce its CO2 to 45% as very great. It is a global victory for everyone living in crude oil extraction areas. It means a renewed hope for the Niger Deltans that some day, we would breathe clean air, drink clean water and have good health again. This judgment has vindicated the Ogoni people again, and this to state that we the Ogoni people are not enemies to Shell but a people who are aware of their environment and value it. Just as the court in The Hague has ruled, gas flaring should be seriously and deliberately downsized in the Niger Delta, and other oil producing corporations should take note of the ruling's consequences and act as soon as possible upon it."

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