Second day of hearing in the appeal: Shell denies its part in the climate crisis

The second day of the hearing in Shell’s appeal of our landmark climate lawsuit has ended. Shell and Stichting Mens & Milieu were given time to present their arguments to the court. The hearings confirmed what we already knew: Shell keeps avoiding and denying its responsibility to stop dangerous climate change and denies its part in the climate crisis.

Shell: “the judges were all wrong”

On day 2 of the hearing, Shell claimed that the court was ‘all wrong’ when it pronounced its landmark climate ruling in 2021. The verdict ordered Shell to cut its emissions by 45% by 2030. Today, Shell argued why the verdict should not be upheld.

Shell once again denies its part in the climate crisis

Shell repeated the arguments from day one: it’s the company’s customers who are responsible for their CO2 emissions, not Shell. That's why Shell argues it is not responsible for reducing its consumers' emissions (which account for over 95% of their total emissions!). This confirms what we already knew: Shell keeps avoiding responsibility and is deliberately vague about its own impact and part in the climate crisis.

Shell predicts that if the ruling forces them to transition to green energy, customers will stop buying from them. If that happens, Shell claims, consumers would transfer to competitors . It would only slow down the energy transition. Shell also fears that other multinationals would fill the gap in the market. On the third day of hearings, our lawyers will be countering these arguments in court.


Climate case Shell team in front of the courthouse in the Hague. Photographer: Tengbeh Kamara

Shell’s plans will increase emissions, not reduce them 

Shell claims that the 2021 ruling undermines European climate policies. These policies are already effective enough to combat climate change. Why would you force a private enterprise such as Shell to slash emissions if adequate European regulations already exist? Completely illogical, Shell insists.

Shell also claims that all its plans and activities are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. But during the hearings, even Shell admitted that their project plans could lead to an increase, rather than a reduction of CO2-emissions. Can Shell truly claim that their policies are climate-proof?

Tomorrow, it’s our turn

Tomorrow, on April 4th, we have the entire day to convince the court that Shell has a duty to act in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Milieudefensie lawyer Roger Cox:

“We’ll have a full day to prove to the judges why the 2021 court ruling must be upheld. We have all the confidence in our Milieudefensie team and our team of lawyers. We’re ready,, and looking forward to it.”

What’s next?

The hearings of the appeal are spread across 4 days. On April 4th, we will have the entire day to present our arguments. On April 12th, the last day of the hearings, all parties will present their closing remarks. You can watch the hearings through this livestream (in Dutch).

Header photo: lawyer Roger Cox, campaign leader Nine de Pater and head researcher Sjoukje van Oosterhout in front of the courthouse in The Hague.