Royal Dutch Shell plc has confirmed that it will appeal a ruling issued by the District Court in The Hague, in May 2021, that Shell must reduce its global net carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.
Shell wants to rise to the challenge of the ruling and accelerate its Powering Progress strategy to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
As part of this strategy, Shell had already set its own short- and medium-term targets for cutting carbon emissions. It is working with customers, governments and wider society, sector by sector, to establish rapid and realistic ways to get to net zero.
“But we will appeal because a court judgment, against a single company, is not effective. What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system. Climate change is a challenge that requires both urgent action and an approach that is global, collaborative and encourages coordination between all parties.”
Shell published details of its Powering Progress strategy in April 2021. The court did not consider this because the hearings that led to the ruling took place several months earlier. In May 2021, Shell became the first energy company to put its energy transition strategy to a vote of shareholders at its Annual General Meeting. It secured 89% support. Shell will continue to give investors an annual vote on its progress in delivering on its strategy.
Shell has set out its intention to reduce both the emissions from its own operations, referred to as Scopes 1 and 2, and those produced when customers use the energy products it sells. These Scope 3 emissions account for over 90% of Shell’s emissions, so Shell is working with its customers to achieve this reduction.
Shell has already set out a number of actions to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions through a combination of energy efficiency improvements, the elimination of routine flaring, carbon capture and storage technology, working with suppliers to use renewable electricity in facilities and concentrating its global refining portfolio from 13 Shell-controlled sites in 2019 into five Energy and Chemicals parks by 2030. Shell is working on a plan to scale-up and accelerate these efforts within its Powering Progress strategy.