Taking Big Oil to Court: Lessons of the Shell Case for Climate Litigation Against Corporations

In 2019, a group of seven Dutch NGOs and more than 17,000 claimants filed a case against oil corporation Shell, seeking a declaration that its annual CO2 emissions were an unlawful act against the claimants. In May 2021, the Hague District Court agreed and delivered a groundbreaking decision ordering Shell to reduce its emissions by 45% by 2030 across all of its activities. This case is a landmark ruling in climate and human rights law: it is the first time that private companies are considered to have a duty to lower emissions and the first time a court has required a company to do so. This webinar will explore the key features, precedents, and lessons of this case for future litigation and climate action around the world.