Climate change activists have won a big legal victory against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. A Dutch court ruled Wednesday that the company must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030, based on 2019 levels.
The case could set a precedent for similar lawsuits against huge oil companies that operate across the globe.
"Our hope is that this verdict will trigger a wave of climate litigation against big polluters, to force them to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels," said Sara Shaw of Friends of the Earth International.
The 2030 goal affirmed by the court is more ambitious than Shell's target of becoming "a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050." Shell argues the 2050 goal is in line with the Paris climate accord. But The Hague District Court determined Shell's plans were not adequate.
The ruling applies to Shell and its suppliers and covers not only the companies' emissions, but also emissions from products burned by its customers.