Court rules Shell needs to do more to cut carbon emissions

In May, a Dutch court ruled Shell should cut its gas emissions 45 percent by 2030. The ruling has the attention of climate lawyers including Margaret Peloso, an attorney with Vinson and Elkins. Her work focuses on climate change risk management and environmental litigation. 

MPR chief meteorologist and Climate Cast host Paul Huttner spoke with Peloso following the announcement. 

“This ruling is significant because the company in question here, Shell, actually has its own very significant climate policies, including a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Peloso said. “And we have a court stepping in and saying, ‘You're not going far enough, fast enough, and you need to be doing more.’”

Peloso says the ruling is significant because Shell developed its own climate policies with a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. She says the court stepping in is a sign that Shell’s plan doesn’t move fast enough. 

“The biggest thing I will be watching in the near future is how companies choose to message on climate and how they are going to balance the demands of different stakeholders,” Peloso said. “It's important to watch both how companies will respond to new regulatory pressures that are likely to arise and also how they're going to continue to think about managing what we call their social licence to operate. So basically their acceptance by society as a company in satisfying the demands of these different stakeholder constituencies.”

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. Subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast for more.

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