What does Dutch pollution ruling against Shell mean for likes of Sasol + Eskom?
A court has ruled that Royal Dutch Shell has to cut its global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2030, compared to 2019 levels.
The case was brought in the Hague District Court by climate activism groups.
It's reported that the oil giant is expecting to appeal the ruling as it is already “investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy".
Will the ruling set a precedent for other international companies responsible for pollution?
In South Africa, environmental groups are taking government to court over poor air quality in the Mpumalanga highveld.
Major polluters in the area include Eskom and Sasol.
Bruce Whitfield interviews Tracey Davies, Executive Director of non-profit organisation Just Share.
She describes Wednesday's ruling in The Netherlands as "extraordinary".
We've seen an increasing number of these cases around the world, largely as a result of totally inadequate action from governments and from major fossil fuel companies in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's [IPCC] really strong finding...Tracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
... that if we're going to stand a hope of keeping global temperature increases to below 1.5° there has to be a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 45% by 2030.Tracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
In South Africa we have a constitutional right to an environment not harmful to health and wellbeing, so we arguably have a much stronger legal system for this kind of case.Tracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
Each time one of these cases is decided it takes things a little bit further... Courts really do look to one another for guidance specifically on these big global issuesTracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
Davies says the Shell judgment is interesting from a South African point of view, considering that Sasol is a huge carbon emitter on a global scale.
She believes the energy and chemical company is very vulnerable to this type of litigation.
Sasol's Secunda factory is the single biggest point source of carbon dioxide emissions on earth.Tracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
Sasol and Eskom together emit more than half of South Africa's greenhouse gases, so there's huge potential for litigation here.Tracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
The court in The Hague also said that a very important thing to take into account... is the historical emissions of the company involved. And Sasol is on the list of the 100 companies on earth which currently, and historically, have contributed most to climate change from a corporate point of view.Tracey Davies, Executive Director - Just Share
Listen to the enlightening discussion below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : What does Dutch pollution ruling against Shell mean for likes of Sasol + Eskom?
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