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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Euronext Amsterdam  >  Royal Dutch Shell plc    RDSA   GB00B03MLX29

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

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Shell faces Dutch court as climate change activists demand end to emissions

12/01/2020 | 07:52am EST
Protest outside court during a hearing in a case against Royal Dutch Shell, in The Hague

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Environmental activists took Royal Dutch Shell to court on Tuesday, demanding the energy firm drastically reduce the production of oil and gas to limit its effects on climate change.

Seven activist groups, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, filed the lawsuit in the Netherlands in April last year on behalf of more than 17,000 Dutch citizens who say the oil major is threatening human rights as it continues to invest billions in the production of fossil fuels.

They are demanding that Shell cuts its greenhouse gas emissions almost in half by 2030 and to zero by 2050 - which would effectively force the Anglo-Dutch firm to quickly move away from oil and gas and direct its investment to sustainable sources of energy.

Shell has repeatedly said it agreed that action to fight climate change was needed, but that this court case would not help.

"No company can change the energy system by itself," Shell's lawyer, Dennis Horeman, said in court.

"All countries where Shell operates are determining policies to shape the energy transition. Shell will have to adjust its priorities and investments to those policies."

The plaintiffs say Shell is fully aware of the detrimental effects fossil fuels have on climate change.

"Shell's policies put it on a collision course with international climate agreements," the groups' lawyer, Roger Cox, said in his opening statement at the court.

"It is extremely dangerous and puts a brake on any action individual countries might be willing to take."

Shell has ramped up investment in biofuels, hydrogen and wind power in recent years and has promised to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy products it sells by 30% by 2035, compared with 2016 levels, as it aims for "net-zero emissions" by 2050.

But the green groups demand at least a 45% reduction of Shell's total emissions by 2030, relative to the pollution caused in 2019, as a step towards carbon-neutral production two decades later.

They feel strengthened by the so-called "Urgenda" case, in which the Dutch High Court last year ordered its government to step up the fight against climate change, as it said a lack of action was putting Dutch citizens in danger.

But Shell said that even though it supported international agreements to combat climate change, companies were not parties to these and cannot be held responsible in the same way as governments.

The district court of The Hague, where Shell is headquartered, has planned four days of hearings in the case in December.

It is not yet clear when the court will reach a decision.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Alex Richardson)

By Bart H. Meijer


© Reuters 2020
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 213 B - -
Net income 2020 -13 078 M - -
Net Debt 2020 73 545 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 -8,66x
Yield 2020 3,33%
Capitalization 154 B 153 B -
EV / Sales 2020 1,07x
EV / Sales 2021 0,85x
Nbr of Employees 83 000
Free-Float 99,8%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 13
Average target price 22,94 $
Last Close Price 20,23 $
Spread / Highest target 56,3%
Spread / Average Target 13,4%
Spread / Lowest Target -38,7%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Bernardus Cornelis Adriana Margriet van Beurden Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Charles Otis Holliday Chairman
Jessica Rodgers Uhl Chief Financial Officer & Director
Harry Brekelmans Director-Technology & Projects
Linda Gillespie Stuntz Independent Non-Executive Director
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