Carlo Vittorio Giabardo, ‘Climate Change Litigation and Corporate Responsibility. A Comment on Milieudefensie and Others v Shell (2021)’

On May 26, 2021, the Hague District Court (commerce division, first instance) ordered Royal Dutch Shell (hereinafter RDS, the multinational giant oil and gas company) to reduce the total emission of CO2 of the entire Shell Group by 45% by 2030, compared to the levels of 2019 (much more than planned). The reason is that, even if RDS’ current amount of emissions is not contrary to existing regulations and thus is not unlawful per se, its current corporation policy and future climate targets violate the private law obligation by which everyone must act in compliance with the ‘due standard of care’, as to not cause unjust harm to others (see Art. 162, §2, Book 6, Dutch Civil Code). The judicial order is expressively qualified as ‘immediately enforceable’ and RDS has already announced that it will appeal it.

Giabardo, Carlo Vittorio, Climate Change Litigation and Corporate Responsibility. A Comment on ‘Milieudefensie and Others v Shell’ (2021) (June 8, 2021). gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, Climate and Environment Views, June 2021.

First posted 2021-06-24 09:00:03

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