Lessons on Strategic Litigation from the Shell Climate Case: building new cases across different industries and jurisdictions

Speaker: Mr. Roger COX (Paulussen Advocaten)
Date and time: Tuesday 18 January 2022 from 3 to 4.30 PM (CET)
Place: webinar – live only
Participation: free – registration

On May 26th the Dutch NGO Milieudefensie and its codefendants won their climate case against Royal Dutch Shell. The court in The Hague imposed a reduction of CO2 emissions with 45% by 2030. The judgment created a shock wave in the boardrooms of polluting multinationals. Investors, policy makers or politicians and the general public realized that investments in oil and gas extraction became a risky business.

This case and the Climate Case by Urgenda in 2015, are two landmark cases on climate. The common thread between both is the lawyer who acted on behalf of Urgenda and Milieudefensie, Roger COX. Over the last decade Roger has taken the lead in showing that the battle to stop climate change can be fought in courtrooms. Time Magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people of 2021.

During the webinar Roger will explain how the precedent of the Shell case can be replicated in other jurisdictions and sectors. His sparring partner during this Q&A webinar will be Hendrik SCHOUKENS, professor of environmental law at the University of Ghent.  

Discussion topics will include:

  • How to evaluate legal standing and territorial activity?
  • Is useful to take a class action with different NGOs?  
  • Should forum shopping be considered?
  • Why are the courts of The Netherlands a fertile ground for climate cases?
  • How to identify and select target industries and companies?
  • Is it possible to aim for subsidiaries or can only parent companies be held liable?  
  • Which evidence is relevant and how can it be gathered?
  • To which extent can “climate attribution” be helpful?
  • Is a preliminary notice of default useful?
  • What are the merits of the duty of care of Article 2 and 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights?
  • Which other legal grounds could be invoked?
  • How should the claim be formulated?
  • Reflections on the claim by Deutsche Umwelthilfe against Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Wintershall DEA?  
  • Questions submitted by participants

This webinar is for staff of NGOs interested in learning more about strategic litigation on climate change and how to launch a similar procedure in different countries or industries. Participants with an academic, business or other background are all welcome. A general understanding of legal terminology will be helpful, but not required.

This event is organised by Klimaatzaak/L’affaire climat and supported by the visual changemakers of Visuality.