THE HAGUE : Environmental groups faced off against Shell before a Dutch court on Tuesday in a landmark bid to force the oil giant to meet emissions targets in the Paris climate accord.

The ''historic'' case being heard in The Hague was launched in 2019 by the Netherlands branch of  Friends of the Earth, backed by 17,300 Dutch citizens who have registered as co-complainants.

Six other activists groups including the Dutch branches of Greenpeace and Action Aid are backing the lawsuit against the Anglo-Dutch multinational, whose failure to act ''endangers the future of our children,'' they said.

The 2015 Paris accords committed all nations to cut carbon emissions to limit warming to two degrees Celsius. [3.6 Fahrenheit] above pre-industrial levels and encouraged them to go down to 1.5 degrees.

''Shell's corporate policy is on a collision course with the global climate target,'' Roger Cox, lawyer for the environmental NGOs, told the court.

The company ''contributes to the realisation of great danger to humanity, human rights, future generations, the environment, and nature,'' said Cox.

''The Shell Group is the 11th largest industrial polluter in the world in terms of CO2 emissions,'' he added.

''The company is one of a select group of. 25 multinational companies that have caused more than half of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions in the past 30 years.''

Shell lawyer Dennis Horeman said the company was ''already taking serious steps'' to support the global transition away from the fossil fuels, and that the ultimate decision rested with governments. [AFP]


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