Business climate lawsuits complicate achieving climate goals, writes Ingrid Thijsen, president of VNO-NCW at Employers fed today.
Thijssen explains in “What matters is that we all want to achieve climate goals together” Radio NOS 1 news. “Legal issues don’t help, because it creates uncertainty for businesses.”
She says the lawsuits are now succeeding due to a lack of government frameworks. According to her, reducing carbon dioxide emissions is a process on a scale that we only know from post-WWII reconstruction. “The government has to coordinate aggressively, otherwise we will not achieve the climate goals.”
Violation of human rights
Milieudefensie, which last year Courts forced Shell to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in response, the organization said it agreed with Thijsen that the policy was too late, but the club would continue to go to court in the meantime. A government spokesman said: “It is a life-threatening crisis and for violations of human rights must go to court.” In ruling in the case against Shell, the judge said that Shell’s carbon dioxide emissions pose serious risks affecting the human rights of residents.
Last month, the environmental organization sent letters to 29 major companiescalling for a drastic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and threatening legal action.
According to Milieudefensie, there are already frameworks that companies can adhere to. “We’ve known for years through science that global warming should be limited to 1.5°C,” the spokesperson said. “We are obligating companies to these frameworks by going to court.”
According to Thijssen, there is a lack of legislation and regulations on how to achieve goals. In addition, lawsuits will worsen the investment climate. Abroad, what is happening in the Netherlands is amazing, she says. “This is certainly a discussion on the boards of directors, for both Dutch and foreign companies, whether or not to make their sustainable investments here.”
Milieudefensie says if clear EU regulations are introduced that go far enough, this problem will become less relevant. Then we don’t have to go to court and the rules are the same in different countries.
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