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."
For more information
Read more about this subject
The Climate lawsuit against Shell
Both ENDS is co-plaintiff in the climate lawsuit being brought by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth The Netherlands) against Shell to stop the company from causing harm to the climate. Shell has known about the severity of the climate problem for many years but continues with the climate-polluting extraction of oil and gas. By doing so, it undermines efforts to achieve the climate goals. Companies have a responsibility not to cause serious harm to society and the climate. Because Shell refuses to take that responsibility itself, we are taking the company to court. In brief, we demand that Shell has zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and adapts its activities to be fully aligned with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.
News / 27 November 2020
Climate case against Shell is particularly crucial for the Global South
Next week, the climate case brought against Royal Dutch Shell by Dutch environmental organisation Milieudefensie is due to start. Milieudefensie hopes to force the company to stop causing dangerous climate change and adopt a more sustainable course. Six Dutch organisations have decided to become co-plaintiffs in the case. They include ActionAid and Both ENDS, organisations that work outside the Netherlands on human rights, gender equality, environment and sustainable development. Though, at first glance, the case may not seem relevant to them, nothing is farther from the truth, as Nils Mollema of ActionAid and Niels Hazekamp of Both ENDS explain.
Press release / 26 May 2021
Historic victory: judge forces Shell to drastically reduce CO2 emissions
The Hague, 26 May 2021 - For the first time in history, a judge has held a corporation liable for causing dangerous climate change. Today, as a result of legal action brought by Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) together with 17,000 co-plaintiffs and six other organisations (ActionAid Netherlands, Both ENDS, Fossil Free Netherlands, Greenpeace Netherlands, Young Friends of The Earth Netherlands and the Wadden Sea Association) the court in The Hague ruled that Shell must reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% within 10 years. This historic verdict has enormous consequences for Shell and other big polluters globally.
Press release / 5 April 2019
Press release: Friends of the Earth Netherlands submits legal summons in climate case against Shell
The Hague, April 5, 2019 - Today Friends of the Earth Netherlands will deliver a court summons to Shell to legally compel the company to cease its destruction of the climate, on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries. A 236 page complaint will be delivered to Shell's International Headquarters in the Hague this afternoon by Friends of the Earth Netherlands, ActionAid NL, Both ENDS, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace NL,Young Friends of the Earth NL, Waddenvereniging and a large group of co-plaintiffs.
News / 12 April 2019
Sara Crespo Suarez: "Agriculture in Bolivia is severely impacted by climate change"
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Sara Crespo Suarez of our Bolivian partner Probioma explains how the effects are already being felt in her country.
News / 21 March 2019
Jahin Shams Sakkhar: "20 million Bangladeshi might have to move because of sea level rise"
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Jahin Shams Sakkhar of UTTARAN (Bangladesh) talks about floods, salinity and (in)justice.
News / 19 March 2019
Ana di Pangracio: "Degradation of wetlands, worsened by climate change, is a recipe for disaster"
We asked three of our partner organisations to tell us how climate change is already affecting the daily lives of the people they work with, what they are doing to turn the tide and if they think the Climate Court Case against Shell can be important in the context of climate change. Ana di Pangracio, working for FARN (Argentina) tells us about climate threats to large wetlands, while these same wetlands are crucial in mitigating global climate change.
Press release / 26 March 2019
Wealthy Dutch investors to disinvest personal capital worth 200 million euros from the fossil industry
Joint press release from Both ENDS and Fossielvrij NL - 26 March 2019
A group of 22 wealthy Dutch investors have decided to disinvest all their personal capital, worth a total of 200 million euros, from the top 200 oil, gas and coal companies. The investors have pledged to disinvest all their capital from the fossil industry within three to five years. By doing so, they are giving a clear signal that they do not want their capital to contribute to disastrous climate change.
Press release / 12 February 2019
Press Release: 6 organisations join climate lawsuit against Shell
Amsterdam, 12 February 2019 - Fossil fuel giant Royal Dutch Shell is facing legal action from environmental and human rights organisations if it fails to align its growth plans with global climate goals aimed at averting catastrophic global warming.
Publication / 18 June 2017
Press release / 8 July 2021
After Shell ruling, banks, pension funds and insurance companies now have to take action
Civil society organisations send urgent letter on climate to financial sector
Amsterdam, 8 July 2021 – The Shell ruling has consequences for the financiers of major climate polluters. That is the message in a letter from a number of civil society organisations, including Oxfam Novib, Eerlijke Geldwijzer, Milieudefensie, Greenpeace and Both ENDS, to the biggest banks, pension funds and insurance companies in the Netherlands. In the letter, they call on the financial institutions to reduce CO2 emissions from loans and investments in line with the 1.5 degrees goal laid down in the Paris climate agreement.
Gas in Mozambique
In 2011 one of the world’s largest gas reserves was found in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of Mozambique. A total of 35 billion dollars has been invested to extract the gas. Dozens of multinationals and financiers are involved in these rapid developments. It is very difficult for the people living in Cabo Delgado to exert influence on the plans and activities, while they experience the negative consequences. With the arrival of these companies, they are losing their land.
Publication / 17 November 2019
Blog / 17 February 2018
Abolishing oil and gas subsidies is definitely effective
On 7 February, Dutch newspaper Trouw published an article on abolishing subsidies for fossil fuels. The article claimed that the measure would only generate a limited climate benefit. Yet the study on which the article is based shows the opposite. Niels Hazekamp (Both ENDS) and Laurie van der Burg (Overseas Development Institute, ODI) wrote a short opinion article on the issue.
Publication / 9 May 2018
Publication / 9 May 2018
Publication / 14 May 2017
Publication / 11 November 2020
Letter / 28 February 2023
175 CSOs call on world leaders to end OECD export finance for oil and gas
This joint position launched by 175 civil society organisations from 45 countries calls on world leaders to end OECD export finance for oil and gas, and explains how it can be done.
News / 15 April 2021
New initiative to phase out export support for fossil fuels lacks ambition
On Wednesday, April 14, seven countries, including the Netherlands, launched an initiative called Export Finance for Future (E3F), in which they set a number of ambitions with regard to phasing out export support for the fossil sector. Many NGOs worldwide, including Both ENDS in the Netherlands, have been calling for such an initiative in recent years and we are therefore pleased with this step. However, to achieve results and contribute to the Paris climate goals, countries will have to commit to much more ambitious goals than those now set. Concerned civil society organizations, including Both ENDS, therefore prepared a statement detailing the weaknesses they felt in the policy proposed by E3F, supplemented with recommendations for improvements.