Environmental activists threaten to sue 30 big companies over carbon emissions


The Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth is targeting nearly 30 multinational companies to produce a plan to cut greenhouse emissions, with similar demands that won them a landmark case against Shell last year, Report informs referring to Barron’s.

The Milieudefensie activists gave companies including international bankers, retailers, manufacturers, as well as Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport three months to come up with a plan “to reduce your business’ C02 emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030, compared to 2019.”

“We expect your plan to be climate-just. The deadline for this climate plan is April 15 2022,” Milieudefensie’s director Donald Pols said in a letter, co-signed by the group’s youth director Neele Boelens.

Milieudefensie said the letter was delivered to 29 major companies including Ahold Delhaize, AkzoNobel, BP, Dow, ExxonMobil, KLM, Unilever and Tata Steel.

Last year Milieudefensie won a major Dutch court battle against Shell, when judges ordered the oil giant to slash carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030, saying the company was contributing to the “dire” effects of climate change.

Campaigners hailed the “historic” verdict as the first time that a company had been made to align its policy with the 2015 Paris climate accords.

Milieudefensie said it would assess companies’ climate plans in collaboration with the German-based NewClimate Institute and publish a ranking in June.

Shell, it added, was not sent a letter because of the climate court case, “but we will still assess their climate plan,” Milieudefensie said.

“It is neither our wish nor our ambition to engage in legal battles with all of the Netherlands’ large polluters,” Pols said in the letter, adding the group would “much prefer to enter into a dialogue.”

“We will acknowledge and, if required, support frontrunners; stragglers can count on our unrelenting pressure,” the letter 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.


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