The Dutch court has asked Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019. It was the first time a judge ordered a company to comply with the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Shell had targeted a 20% reduction in the carbon intensity of its business and products by 2030 and 45% by 2035. The CO2 intensity refers to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with each unit of energy sold.
The Anglo-Dutch company also announced plans in September to become a net zero emissions company by 2050, a goal that will cover 90% of its emissions from the use of its products.
“But now we’re going to look for ways to reduce emissions even further in a way that continues to be targeted and profitable. That will likely mean that we will take some bold but measured steps in the years to come, ”said the Shell CEOOn Wednesday.
Legal experts called the ruling “groundbreaking”, saying that similar proceedings could be launched against other oil companies already under mounting pressure from shareholders and activists to abandon fossil fuels and invest in cleaner energy sources.
Van Beurden said the energy transition is too big for a company. It would take a global effort.
“We need to work with society, governments and our customers to bring about real, meaningful changes in the global energy system,” he said.
Shell’s latest investment plan is to invest between $ 2 billion and $ 3 billion annually in renewable energy and hydrogen. And although it believes its oil production peaked in 2019, it still plans to invest around $ 8 billion annually in oil exploration and production.
“We assume that we will provide energy in the form of oil and gas products for a long time to come, both to meet customer demand and to maintain a financially strong company,” said Van Beurden on Wednesday.
If Shell stopped selling gasoline and diesel overnight, emissions would be drastically reduced, but demand for fuel would not change. Customers would “refuel their cars and vans at other filling stations,” said Van Beurden.
Shell will work with its customers to reduce their emissions and increase demand for low-carbon products, but government policies and regulations are also needed, he added. “Greater collaboration between governments, businesses and customers will enable us and others to build our low-carbon energy business the fastest way possible.”