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Shell’s decision to appeal sends the “wrong signal” according to Milieudefensie’s director Donald Pols.

‘Shell should act now, as the judge ordered. The longer the delay the more serious the climate consequences will be for us all.’ 

On 26 May 2021, the Hague court ordered Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. The judges ruled that this is necessary to stop dangerous climate change. The case was brought by Milieudefensie together with six other organisations and 17000 co-claimants, and supported by millions around the world. (1) 

Pols continues: ‘We are all facing an enormous task in tackling the climate crisis. The court has ordered Shell to drastically reduce its emissions. This appeal aims to postpone any action from Shell and is dangerous for our future.’

Roger Cox, lawyer for Milieudefensie, states:

‘The judges have passed a well-considered judgment on Shell in the verdict. We are confident that this judgment will be re-affirmed on appeal. The science is clear on the consequences of and solutions to dangerous climate change.’

The victory was a turning point in the fight against climate change. For the first time in history, a large polluting corporation was held responsible for its part in causing dangerous climate change. In addition, the judges confirmed that Shell’s large contribution to global CO2 emissions poses a threat to human rights.

The ruling sets a precedent for other court cases worldwide. For example, in France, the oil and gas corporation Total is due to appear in court in a similar climate case. 

Sara Shaw, Climate Justice & Energy Coordinator at Friends of the Earth International says:

‘The Shell verdict is a climate justice victory for movements and communities affected by climate change across the world. We have no doubt that it will lead to legal wins against other big polluters. Shell should not waste time in appealing: history, science and justice are on our side. There is no time to waste in tackling the climate crisis.’

Note to editors: 

  1. The six co-claimant organisations are: Greenpeace NL, ActionAid,Fossielvrij NL, the Waddenvereniging, BothENDs, JongerenMilieuActief

Press contacts: 

For more information and/or interview requests call press office Milieudefensie: persvoorlichting[at]

More information and photo material on the climate case can be found on:

Historic victory: judge forces Shell to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.