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A Law Suit Could Be Faced By Shell Directors Over The Firm’s Climate Transition Plans

A Law Suit Could Be Faced By Shell Directors Over The Firm’s Climate Transition Plans
A law suit against the directors of Shell was being prepared by environmental lawyers ClientEarth, the organization has said. The legal action is being brought in over the climate transition plan of the company. This would also be the first law suit of its kind if it materializes.
The lawyers are bring in personal liability of the directors of Shell for what they believe is a complete failure of the directors to take steps for the global shift to a low-carbon economy, said the ClientEarth lawyers, adding that the legal actions will be based on an alleged breach of the directors' duties under the UK Companies Act.
The legal firm has already sent a written notice to Shell in which the company has been notified of the claim that it was making and was also awaiting a response from the company prior to filing papers at the High Court of England and Wales, ClientEarth said. A permission by a competent court would be needed by ClientEarth to start the court case.
Shell has said that it would be fulfilling its pledge on its global strategy that was in line with the Paris Agreement on climate, including by "transforming our business to provide more low-carbon energy for customers", according to a written response by the oil company to the media.
"Addressing a challenge as big as climate change requires action from all quarters. The energy supply challenges we are seeing underscore the need for effective, government-led policies to address critical needs such as energy security while decarbonising our energy system. These challenges cannot be solved by litigation," Shell said.
The business models of global energy firms are facing a challenge as more countries attempt to phase out the use of fossil fuels, one of the primary causes of man-made global warming, and aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by middle of the current century.
In a previous statement, a pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 was made by Shell. However ClientEarth said that the net-zero target of the company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of the company’s products – which accounts for the majority of the emissions from an oil and gas company, were not far-reaching enough.
ClientEarth added that the company's operating plans or budgets did not adequately reflect Shell's net-zero target.
A court in the Netherlands had last year challenged the quality of climate transition plans of Shell as the court ordered the company to do more in this respect. That ruling is being appealed against by Shell.
The urgent need for faster global action has been repeatedly stressed by UN climate scientists, saying that if the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial norms were unmet, it would result in irreparable damage.
The directors of Shell would be charged with alleged breach of the UK Companies Act which mandates that company directors should act in a way that promotes the company’s success, and achieving them with exercising reasonable care, skill and diligence, ClientEarth said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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