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The People vs. Shell

Shell is destroying the climate. We are taking Shell to court.


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Shell is one of the biggest climate polluters in the world. This transnational company has known about the severity of climate change and the impacts of oil drilling for years, but has not only misled the public on the issue, it continues drilling for oil. In Nigeria Shell continues to leave a trail of oil spills, gas flaring, water contamination, human rights abuses and destruction. To stop Shell from wrecking the climate, Friends of the Earth Netherlands is taking Shell to court.

We cannot save the climate if large fossil fuel corporations continue to drill for oil and gas. Friends of the Earth Netherlands is taking Shell to court to stop its climate wrecking activities. This historic case could set a powerful legal precedent: if we win, one of the world’s biggest polluters will have to stop its climate wrecking activities.

Shell is a British-Dutch company. Its headquarters are in the Hague in the Netherlands. Shell proclaims it will stick to the Paris Agreement targets, but it emits two times the total greenhouse gas emissions of the Netherlands and continues to drill for more oil and gas. Worse still, it has known that fossil fuels cause climate change for over 30 years.

We only have a few years to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. People around the world are acting to reduce emissions, but a mere 25 fossil fuel companies and state-owned entities are responsible for more than half the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. By continuing to extract fossil fuels they are undermining our ability to avoid climate catastrophe.

Friends of the Earth International, our member groups and allies are challenging these companies in the courts, on the streets and in parliaments around the world. We need binding laws to force big business to keep to fossil fuels in the ground and reduce emissions. Together we are people power and we are fighting for climate justice.

  • Legal letter to Shell 4 April 2018
  • Shell’s response to legal letter 28 May 2018
  • Summary of Court Summons 5 April 2019
  • Legal Summons in full, unofficial translation from Dutch original
  • Interview with Roger Cox, leading lawyer in Friends of the Earth’s case against Shell
  • Check the English-language Milieudefensie website for the latest case developments


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