No sooner than the news about the verdict holding Dutch-British company Shell responsible four-square for climate damage, reached outside the court, jubilations, celebrations, laughter, singing, dancing and happiness engulfed the whole atmosphere teeming with the group of environmentalists.
Actually, this was on May 26th, that a court in Netherland passed a landmark verdict, holding Dutch-British company Shell responsible four-square for depleting our climate on earth and making planet unsafe.
Shell Company is the active target of climate aficionados and thus, claims considerable share in international news and headlines for quite some time for strange reasons, so much so that collective, connective and concerted effort was made in form of a lawsuit against it, by Friends of Earth Netherlands, Greenpeace Netherlands, Action Aid, Both Ends, Fossielvrij NL, Jongeren Milieu Actief, the Waddenvereniging and other 17,379 climate devotees who filed alongside co-applicants.
In fact, this has been the first time that a mega has been rapped on the knuckles for pushing climate change to the extreme for its vested interest and is advised to put efforts in reducing carbon emissions in its business processes. This is indeed horrific that greenhouse gas emissions totalled 1.65 billion tons of CO2 by it just two years back.
The verdict clearly maintains that Shell is among the 10 most polluting companies in the world and therefore, this is must that it should mend its policies fundamentally to target CO2 emissions reductions by 45% by 2030, which is inclusive to the goals of retaining global temperature increase to only 1.5 degrees Centigrade. Such is immensely necessary to keep down the risks of climate emergency else such a scenario is going to be troublesome and nasty.
Andy Palmen, who is interim director at Greenpeace Netherlands, hailed the ruling as : “this verdict is a historic victory for the climate and everyone facing the consequences of the climate crisis. Congratulations to Milieudefensie and all other plaintiffs. Shell cannot continue to violate human rights and put profit over people and the planet. This verdict is a clear signal to the fossil fuel industry. Coal, oil and gas need to stay in the ground. People around the world are demanding climate justice. Today the court confirmed that the fossil fuel industry cannot continue their climate pollution and that we can hold multinational corporations worldwide accountable for the climate crisis”.
This must be kept in mind that although verdict decreed by the Hague District Court is applicable only in Netherlands, but still, its nature and degree of severity is such that it would be impactful in scores of cases around the globe and also in United Kingdom and USA and in other countries wherever climate is shoved into crisis out of ignorance and greed of earning money. Also, such is the first time that a court has clearly notified a mega energy company is entitled to causing harm to the climate on a large scale thrilling environmentalists at length.
Interestingly, on the very same day, Shell’s competitor based in US has also suffered a jolt at the hands of investors who have become too worried about the environment now. Actually, in Exxon Mobil Corporation, a shareholder with limited stake pulled the company in court and won arguments with giant oil producer and managed to gather a couple of seats in company’s board.
In simple terms, The Science, justified and rational, is said to have earned an ally, i.e. The Law and together they grapple with the interests greased with The Greed and clarified that CO2 emissions must be brought under control and that no other oil and gas projects should be given permission to dig into earth’s crust at any cost for oil and gas projects.
Not surprisingly, this has been a unique and unprecedented judicial outcome when and where, a judge considers a large corporate’s utter responsibility in damaging the earth climate and pushing #ClimateChange. Such has been a rejoicing moment for climate aficionados but still the Defenders Of the Earth are not willing to hold their horses here and want to take their struggle worldwide. Truly, this time, it is Shell, following would be all other polluters who threaten human life on earth.