There’s always a first time, and it’s surprising it took this long. A court (a Dutch court in The Hague) ordered a company (Royal Dutch Shell) to reduce its carbon emissions by a specific amount (45%) by a specific date (2030). The company had a plan, but the court decided that it carried no substance. Company announced initiatives are necessary, but this time they are being enforced. The court agreed that the consequences directly affected lives. Corporate policies can sound good, but without enforcement there may not be a significant change in the company’s impact on people and the planet. With this precedent, other courts may feel empowered to do something similar with other companies and regions. With the possibility of such additional rulings, the companies may have more motivation to treat emission controls more seriously. The case will be appealed.
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