Classes to sue Shell over climate change

Some 17,000 people and six organisations have signed up to Milieudefensie's call for co-defendants in the case, which the green group hopes will lead to a judge 'forcing Shell to stop being a major cause of climate change'.

Climate activists intend to send a court summons in a court case to Shell.

The summons is being delivered to Shell's headquarters in The Hague on Friday afternoon.

Shell greeted the protesters with coffee from an electric drinks van. It said that while it "shares concerns about the climate" it "believes in a solution outside the courtroom".

"We are taking Shell to court because it's not keeping to the aims of the Paris climate agreements. This way we are trying to prevent huge damage".

Other groups involved in the case include ActionAid Netherlands, Both Ends, Fossielvrij NL, Greenpeace NL and Young Friends of the Earth NL.

They say even if Shell's goals were specific to emission reductions, the company's target of a 50 percent reduction by 2050 still falls short of the IPCC recommendation that carbon emissions reach net zero by mid-century.

"We also feel action against climate change is needed right now", the company said in a statement.

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Shell has known about the risks of climate change for decades, according to documents unearthed previous year by Jelmer Mommers, a climate and energy journalist for the Dutch news organization De Correspondent.

The new case is not seeking compensation; it focuses instead on pushing Shell to take more action to rein in emissions.

Shell is responsible for 1.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions between 1988-2015, according to a peer-reviewed study of the 100 most polluting companies released two years ago.

Shell becomes the first supermajor or major oil and gas company to announce it was leaving Afpm due to disagreement on climate policies.

Shell did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in a December 2018 press release said it "aims to reduce the net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050, and by around 20% by 2035, in step with society's drive to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement".

"In line with our desire to provide greater transparency around our activities related to climate change, and in response to requests from institutional investors, we have reviewed our memberships in industry associations in Australia, Europe and North America", Shell said, in its 48-page Industry Associations Climate Review (reviewed by Kallanish Energy).

Climate change is a pressing issue in the Netherlands, where at least a third of the country lies below sea level.

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