This case is due to take place on March 15th with far reaching results for all of us. Below is the background to it:
In The Netherlands there have now been two prominent climate cases. In 2015 Dutch NGO Urgenda won its case against the Dutch state, demanding more ambitious reduction of greenhouse gases. Now Friends of the Earth (FoE) has prevailed against a private company in a climate case. Shell was ordered to adopt corporate policies to reduce the CO2 emissions from the group’s activities by net 45% by the end of 2030 compared to 2019. This reduction obligation applies to the Shell Group’s entire global energy portfolio. Shell must not only reduce its own emissions but also ensure that the emissions of its suppliers and customers (Scope 3 emissions) fall drastically.
The verdict and court documents, reveal that this is some sort of 'sweetheart' case in which the parties agreed on the facts. Shell could hardly defend itself against the alarmist statements put forward by FoE because the company had previously made similar statements. Nowadays, a large, publicly traded company cannot publicly deny the “climate crisis.” If a company were to do so, it would have the media, activists, and a large number of politicians all condemning it. No public company can afford such reputational damage. Climate activists exploit the inability of corporations to defend themselves.
FoE in power
With the big win against Shell in its pocket FoE has demanded ambitious 'climate plans' from 30 major Dutch companies, including food companies and even banks and insurance companies. These climate plans have been verified by the “New Climate Institute,” a consultancy known for the “Climate Action Tracker” that has turned climate into a huge revenue model. The result was a red “climate crisis index” rating for the vast majority.
These companies face the same dilemma as Shell. If they fight back they will likely suffer huge reputational damage. Shell moved its headquarter from The Hague to London last year, and will receive huge subsidies for CCS-projects (Carbon Capture and Storage) and green hydrogen. Ultimately, the bill for all these 'climate plans' will have to be paid by citizens and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Small companies are already suffering due to high energy prices, which are only partly related to the war in Ukraine and for the rest the result of environmental and climate policies.
Intervention by Clintel
Clintel says enough is enough. In October Clintel sent a request to the court of appeal to join the case as a third independent party. Clintel's aim is to make clear that the judge based its verdict on a distorted picture of climate science, the role of the IPCC and the state of the climate. It will also defend the rights of citizens and democracy.
Not surprisingly, but disappointing nonetheless, both Shell and FoE oppose Clintel‘s proposed intervention. The court ordered a hearing on March 15th 2023 in which Clintel can plead its case.
We launched our own special website for this court case: climatecaseofthecentury.org.
Everyone in the world can (free of charge) join our case (as a citizen/lawyer or as a scientist) by filling in a form on the website. The more people participate, the better for making your voices heard. You can also help us by sending this newsletter to other people that might want to join our case.
Of course, we also need a lot of financial support for this big court case. All the details about how you can contribute are available on climatecaseofthecentury.org.
We are truly living in extraordinary times. As has been said, above, all this is going to drive up prices which we will all be paying. It will also lead to shortages, as some businesses will go broke. I hope that many of these businesses will help to fund the Clintel legal team, as it is ultimately for their benefit, just as it will be for us. I suspect that there will be huge and complex arguments about what counts as a "carbon emission" and who is responsible for what. All this will lead to long and expensive court cases. It is utter madness brought upon us by foolish governments and courts. It will probably be looked at in future centuries in much the same way as we now see the Spanish inquisition and the Salem witch trials.
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