Friends of the Earth says to sue Shell over climate change

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Shell is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Friends of the Earth plans to file a lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell, accusing the oil company of failing to act on climate change, the environmental activist group said on Tuesday.

Shell has set out “ambitions” to halve carbon emissions by 2050 and expand in renewables, but the Anglo-Dutch company has come under pressure from investors and activists to reduce its carbon footprint and comply with the 2015 international Paris climate agreement.

Friends of the Earth informed the oil and gas company last month it planned to take legal action if Shell did not reduce investment in fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

In response, Shell Company Secretary Linda Szymanski said in a letter, dated May 28, seen by Reuters, that the company did not believe that these claims had merit. “Nor do we consider that the courts provide the right forum to advance the global energy transition.”

A Shell spokeswoman confirmed the letter had been sent and its content.

Sam Cossar-Gilbert of Friends of the Earth International said in a statement: “Yesterday Shell rejected our demands, so now we will take them to court, formal summons will be issued shortly.”

The lawsuit will be filed in the Netherlands.

Reporting by Ron Bousso. Editing by Jane Merriman