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United Kingdom

ClientEarth v Board of Directors of Shell

Jurisdiction: High Court of Justice of England and Wales


Side A: ClientEarth (Ngo)


Side B: Board of Directors of Shell (Corporation)


Core objectives: Holding the Board of Directors of Shell Liable under the UK Companies Act s.172 and 174. ClientEarth UK are arguing that the board has not implemented a climate strategy that is in keeping with the Paris Agreement goal.


Summary
On March 15, 2022, ClientEarth issued a press release stating that they were taking a claim against the Board of Directors of Shell under the Companies Act 172 and 174. The legal environmental charity allege that the Board of Shell have failed to implement a climate strategy that is in-keeping with the Paris Agreement goal. The Companies Act 2006 section 172 states that companies have a duty to “act in the way he considers … would be most likely to promote the success of the company.” Whilst section 174 states the “duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.” Despite Shell committing to being a net-zero company by 2050, ClientEarth's analysis of Shell’s company strategy displays them exceeding this goal considerably, going so far as to add to a rise in emissions by 2030. This is thought to be the first UK case of its kind that has taken derivate action against a board of directors for failing to consider efforts towards achieving net zero. Client Earth is currently waiting on response from Shell Board of Directors.

Full case documents will be added as they become available. 
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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