Mar 15, 2022

Climate group prepares legal action against Shell directors

Shell's board of directors bear personal responsibility for not preparing to cut emissions fast enough, an environmental shareholder group has claimed in the first significant attempt to hold individual executives legally accountable for alleged failures to tackle climate change. ClientEarth, a Shell shareholder, notified the energy major on Monday that it would commence legal proceedings against the company's 13 executive and non-executive directors for what it said was the board's failure to adopt a strategy that "Truly aligns" with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The new legal action comes less than a year after Shell lost a landmark climate case in the Netherlands, where it was ordered by a court to reduce its emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 compared with 2019 levels. Shell has said it will cut emissions from its own operations by more than the court has ordered but has appealed against the decision. Climate litigator Roger Cox, who is not involved in ClientEarth's proceedings but led the Dutch case against Shell last year, said the effort by a shareholder to hold board directors personally accountable was part of a "Paradigm shift" in how society viewed corporate responsibility for climate change.

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