Business and human rights implications of climate change litigation: Milieudefensie et al. v Royal Dutch Shell

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Abstract

In Milieudefensie et al. v Royal Dutch Shell, the District Court in the Hague ordered the respondent company to cut its global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent by 2030, as compared with 2019 levels. The landmark judgement represents the first imposition of a specific mitigation obligation on a private company over and above reduction targets set by existing ‘cap-and-trade’ regulations and/or other governmental mitigation policies. In interpreting Royal Dutch Shell's duty of care under Dutch tort law, the Court referred extensively to international soft law, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This note considers the implications of this case for corporate responsibility for environmental and human rights.

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Macchi, C., & van Zeben, J. (2021). Business and human rights implications of climate change litigation: Milieudefensie et al. v Royal Dutch Shell. Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, 30(3), 409–415. https://doi.org/10.1111/reel.12416

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