Shell scores poor grades in first report monitoring progress towards verdict

Amsterdam, 15 May 2023 - Two years after the verdict in the Shell Climate Case, Shell still scores very poor grades on compliance with the verdict. That is according to the first edition of the annual monitor published by Milieudefensie before the group's general meeting of shareholders. The court ordered Shell to stop causing dangerous climate change and to reduce its CO2 emissions by net 45% by 2030 relative to 2019. Milieudefensie now reveals that Shell itself does not expect any drop in CO2 emissions for almost all, 95%, of their emissions in that year. *

Nine de Pater of Milieudefensie: "Shell knowingly continues to threaten human lives and has no intention of doing anything about it. This is an affront to the court. And it is a slap in the face of people who are already struggling daily with the consequences of the climate crisis. Shell has to change its course now."

Shell expands to Sao Tome and Principe, Uruguay, and South Africa

To implement the verdict, Shell needs to cut back its fossil fuels portfolio drastically. However, last year, Shell decided to add Sao Tome and Principe, Uruguay, and South Africa to the over 70 countries where it already operates **. And Milieudefensie previously revealed that Shell (partly) owns more than 750 untapped oil and gas reserves, accounting for 4.3 billion tonnes of additional CO2; 30 times more emissions than the whole of the Netherlands by 2021.

Green antifreeze and sandwiches

Also, the sustainable ambitions with which Shell profiles itself are a lot less green than they seem. According to Shell's annual figures, the company invested 14% of its budget in energy transition last year. Only a mere 8% of Shell's investments goes to truly sustainable sources, such as solar and wind. Nine de Pater: "The rest is spent on selling, for example, antifreeze and lubricants, sandwiches, and flowers at its petrol stations." Shell also claims the sale and production of 'fossil electricity' with gas is sustainable. De Pater: "It is incomprehensible that Shell, with €40 billion in profits last year ***, is skimping even on the meager 14%, pretending to be greener than the company is."

Shell has no plans to reduce 95% of its emissions

The report shows that Shell still has no plans to reduce 95% of its CO2 emissions. While Shell itself says it is well on its way and adhering to the Paris Agreement. Nine de Pater: "CEO Wael Sawan indicated that Shell wants to drop its already minuscule green ambitions for the benefit of shareholders.  We are going to challenge him on that at the shareholder meeting in London. And we will keep up the pressure with our actions."

Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) is a member of the worldwide environmental network, Friends of the Earth International.

* page 10
** page 14
***page 17 and 18

Photo: Activists with oil hands carry a banner and stand in front of Shell's headquarters. The banner reads: Shell stick to the verdict, time is running out! Credit: Muzi Ndiweni for Friends of the Earth Netherlands