Home Global warming Campaigners behind Shell’s climate verdict target 30 multinationals

Campaigners behind Shell’s climate verdict target 30 multinationals

  • KLM, Ahold, ABN Amro among those to receive letters
  • Milieudefensie seeks science-aligned net zero plans
  • Warns court of option if companies are slow to move

AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The Dutch arm of environmental group Friends of the Earth, which won a historic court victory against Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) last year, is targeting 30 major corporate emitters in a of a campaign launched on Thursday.

Milieudefensie has set its sights on large companies with legal bases in the Netherlands, where a court ruled in May that Shell must reduce its environmental footprint. Read more

Business leaders were receiving letters asking them to provide plans outlining how they would reduce emissions by 45% below 2019 levels by 2030, in line with the Paris climate accord. Failure to do so could result in legal action, said Peer de Rijk, policy manager at Milieudefensie.

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“We are very clear that at the end of the day, if necessary, we are ready to go to court. But of course we hope that these companies will move on their own,” De Rijk told Reuters in an interview.

“We are willing to enter into talks, but we are also in a hurry, so we will not agree to talks for the sake of talks themselves,” he said. “The climate science is very clear. This is exactly what we need. … There is no other choice, so they will just have to do it.”

Shell is appealing The Hague District Court’s order to cut emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Among the leaders in finance, distribution, oil and energy majors, manufacturers and industrial manufacturers are on the KLM list, the Dutch branch of the airline Air France KLM (AIRF.PA), the bank ABN Amro ( ABNd.AS) and supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize (AD.AS).

“You run a business with control and influence over a substantial amount of CO2 emissions. A business that can and should contribute to the system change needed to prevent dangerous climate change,” said a draft letter seen by Reuters. , asking, “Are you a favorite or a laggard?”

Some of the companies are “small in the Netherlands itself, but they have a very large global and international impact and Shell’s verdict makes it very clear that it is … possible to hold them accountable for their global emissions via Dutch law , ” he said.


Milieudefensie’s move follows a pledge by countries to accelerate their emissions cuts at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in November, with investors managing $130 trillion in assets subscribing to net zero and lobbying on companies to make sure their plans are good enough.

The broadening of Milieudefensie’s campaign also comes amid a rise in climate-related litigation around the world, with more than 1,000 cases brought since 2015, according to a study by the London School of Economics.

Milieudefensie, which said it was approached by dozens of affected companies after Shell’s verdict, set a three-month deadline until April 15 for companies to present a climate plan.

They will be used to establish an emissions baseline against which companies’ progress in reducing climate heating gases can be measured, the group said.

KLM said while it could not comment in detail until it officially received the letter, it is committed to aligning its net zero path with climate science and plans to use more aviation fuel. sustainable.

An ABN spokesperson said the bank supported efforts to limit global warming and was working to reduce emissions from its loans, including encouraging homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and increasing its renewable energy loans.

Ahold Delhaize said it had not yet received the official letter and could not comment.

In addition to targeting companies, Milieudefensie has also called on the Dutch government to enshrine the Paris Agreement in Dutch law to ensure corporate compliance.

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Reporting by Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam and Simon Jessop in London; Editing by William Maclean

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