Cathleen Berger

Jul 29, 2021

3 min read

Court Orders Shell To Set Stricter Climate Targets — Other Companies Should Follow

Targets Must Include Scope 3 Emissions

On May 26, 2021, the Dutch District Court in The Hague (Rechtbank Den Haag) issued a landmark ruling in support of fighting the climate crisis. Upon review, the Court deemed Royal Dutch Shell’s current targets inadequate. The stipulated that the global fossil fuel giant’s greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced at much larger scale — including scope 3 — use of product emissions (cf. definition in 2.5.4 of the ruling).

Current Climate Change Trajectory

According to the latest science, we are on the terrifying trajectory of the UN IPCC’s worst-case scenario RCP8.5, with levels of warming, sea level rise and destruction that are hard to impossible to process.

Screenshot of a Tweet by Dr. Ronge mapping RCP8.5 with data from actual observed patterns, showing that we are headed in the direction of the worst-case scenario.

How Do We Change Trajectories?

As Greta Thunberg says: “#MindTheGap between words and action.”

What’s Next?

Even if scope 3 emissions are included in a company’s environmental report, it is critical that responsibility cannot be deferred to someone — anyone — else. Otherwise, we will miss the necessary reduction targets.