Shell wants to rise to the challenge of the ruling and accelerate its Powering Progress strategy to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change. As part of this strategy, Shell had already set its own short- and medium-term targets for cutting carbon emissions. It is working with customers, governments and wider society, sector by sector, to establish rapid and realistic ways to get to net zero.

“We agree urgent action is needed and we will accelerate our transition to net zero,” said Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden. “But we will appeal because a court judgment, against a single company, is not effective. What is needed is clear, ambitious policies that will drive fundamental change across the whole energy system. Climate change is a challenge that requires both urgent action and an approach that is global, collaborative and encourages coordination between all parties.”

Shell published details of its Powering Progress strategy in April 2021. The court did not consider this because the hearings that led to the ruling took place several months earlier. In May 2021, Shell became the first energy company to put its energy transition strategy to a vote of shareholders at its Annual General Meeting. It secured 89% support. Shell will continue to give investors an annual vote on its progress in delivering on its strategy.

Shell has set out its intention to reduce both the emissions from its own operations, referred to as Scopes 1 and 2, and those produced when customers use the energy products it sells. These Scope 3 emissions account for over 90% of Shell’s emissions, so Shell is working with its customers to achieve this reduction.

Shell has already set out a number of actions to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions through a combination of energy efficiency improvements, the elimination of routine flaring, carbon capture and storage technology, working with suppliers to use renewable electricity in facilities and concentrating its global refining portfolio from 13 Shell-controlled sites in 2019 into five Energy and Chemicals parks by 2030. Shell is working on a plan to scale-up and accelerate these efforts within its Powering Progress strategy.

Notes to editors

  • On Wednesday May 26, 2021, the District Court in The Hague delivered its ruling in the climate change case filed against Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), other NGOs and a group of private individuals. The court ruled that Shell must reduce the CO2 emissions of Shell group operations and energy-carrying products sold by 45% (net) by the end of 2030 compared to its emissions in 2019. See updated FAQ.
  • Shell’s Powering Progress strategy includes targets to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 1.5°C. To find out more, visit www.shell.com/powering-progress
  •  To read Shell’s Energy Transition Strategy document, which was submitted for a shareholder vote, visit www.shell.com/energytransitionstrategy.
  • Shell expects that total carbon emissions for the company peaked in 2018. For more information on Shell’s emissions visit www.shell.com/emissionsexplainer.
  • Shell’s oil production peaked in 2019 and it expects that oil production will decline gradually by 1-2% a year, including divestments, until 2030.

 Cautionary note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. In this Release “Shell”, “Shell Group” and “Group” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These terms are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular entity or entities. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this Release refer to entities over which Royal Dutch Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to as “joint ventures” and “joint operations”, respectively. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in an entity or unincorporated joint arrangement, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

Shell’s operating plan, outlook and budgets are forecasted for a ten-year period and are updated every year. They reflect the current economic environment and what we can reasonably expect to see over the next ten years. Accordingly, Shell’s operating plans, outlooks, budgets and pricing assumptions do not reflect our net-zero emissions target. In the future, as society moves towards net-zero emissions, we expect Shell’s operating plans, outlooks, budgets and pricing assumptions to reflect this movement.

This Release contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “aim”, “ambition”, ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, “milestones”, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this Press Release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; (m) risks associated with the impact of pandemics, such as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak; and (n) changes in trading conditions. No assurance is provided that future dividend payments will match or exceed previous dividend payments. All forward-looking statements contained in this Release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2020 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov). These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward-looking statements contained in this Release and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this Release, 20 July 2021. Neither Royal Dutch Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this Release.

The content of websites referred to in this Release do not form part of this Release.

We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this Release that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov.

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