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Shell’s Court Rebuke Marks the Start of a New War Against Big Oil

The group that won a landmark climate ruling by a Dutch judge is already working on cases against other fossil fuel companies 

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Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Climate lawyers are gearing up to take on more fossil-fuel companies after a Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc to cut its emissions on the grounds that the oil giant is violating human rights by contributing to global warming. 

“We are already supporting other organizations to set up similar cases in their countries,” said Donald Pols, director of environmental group MilieuDefensie, or Friends of the Earth Netherlands, which brought the case against Shell. “This court case and verdict open a whole new approach to climate litigation and because of its success it will be copied by other civil society organizations in the rest of the world.”