Last update:

Climate litigation by Milieudefensie v.s. Shell, The Netherlands

The Dutch environmental group Milieudefensie is suing the Royal Dutch Shell for failing to play its part in the fight against climate change, thereby breaching its duty of care under Dutch law and human rights obligations.


The case is about the environmental group Milieudefensie/Friends of the Earth suing the Royal Dutch Shell for failing to play its part in the fight against climate change and thereby breaching its duty of care under Dutch law and human rights obligations.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Climate litigation by Milieudefensie v.s. Shell, The Netherlands
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Shell is one of the largest oil companies worldwide and produced 3.24 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboe/d) in 2021 [9].

Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:2019
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Milieudefensie
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Global warming
Potential: Oil spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The case has not been decided yet, since Shell appealed the court's decision.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[4]Macchi, C., & Zeben, J. (2021). Business and human rights implications of climate change litigation: Milieudefensie et al v Royal Dutch Shell. Review of European, Comparative &Amp; International Environmental Law, 30(3), 409–415.
[click to view]

[1]Milieudefensie. (2023). About Milieudefensie. Milieudefensie - Friends of the Earth Netherlands.
[click to view]

[2]Shell plc. (2022). Royal Dutch Shell plc changes its name to Shell plc. Shell Global.
[click to view]

[3]Riley, T. (2021, August 25). Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says. The Guardian.
[click to view]

[5]Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. (2022, May 25). Milieudefensie et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell plc. Climate Change Litigation.
[click to view]

[6]Boffey, D. (2021, August 25). Court orders Royal Dutch Shell to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. The Guardian.
[click to view]

[7]Wilson, T. (2021, December 10). Shell investors back moving HQ from Netherlands to UK. Financial Times.
[click to view]

[9] Shell plc. (2022). Annual Report and Accounts 2021.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Julia Schauerte
Last update27/02/2023
Conflict ID:6295
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.