• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

  • 2023421.08ppm

News & Views

Shell facing legal action over oil and gas operations

ClientEarth launches case against Shell directors for ‘failing to move away from fossil fuels fast enough’.

Content Tags: Legal  Energy  UK 

Environmental law firm ClientEarth has launched legal action against oil and gas giant Shell, specifically targeting the firm’s board of directors for an alleged failure to shift the firm’s resources to a clear net-zero pathway.

The case is being brought by ClientEarth in its capacity as a shareholder in Shell, claiming the firm is “failing to move away from fossil fuels fast enough”. ClientEarth also claims that this legal action is the first case of its kind to seek to hold corporate directors personally liable.

The claim has been supported by institutional investors including UK pension pool London CIV and pension fund Nest, Swedish pension fund AP3, French asset manager Sanso IS, Belgian firm Degroof Petercam Asset Management, and Denmark's Danske Bank Asset Management.

In a letter of support, Jacqueline Jackson, London CIV’s head of responsible investment, stated: “Over the next few years, one billion lives and trillions of pounds will be at risk due to a single issue: climate change.

“Recognising the dual materiality of this global emergency and the associated financial opportunities associated with the green transition, London CIV has a fiduciary duty to its 672,000 beneficiaries to understand climate risk, maximise associated opportunities and reduce its carbon footprint.”

The legal action by ClientEarth comes one week after Shell reported record profits in the wake of increased energy costs across Europe sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

According to ClientEarth, the action against the Shell board has now been filed at the High Court of England and Wales.

In a statement, ClientEarth claimed that Shell’s current plans are “simply unreasonable”, put the company’s long-term commercial viability at risk, and threatens efforts to protect the planet, further increasing the risk to the company.


Over the next few years, one billion lives and trillions of pounds will be at risk due to a single issue: climate change.

Jacqueline Jackson, head of responsible investment, London CIV

Shareholder support

Responding to the case and ClientEarth’s claims, a Shell spokesperson said: “We do not accept ClientEarth’s allegations. Our directors have complied with their legal duties and have, at all times, acted in the best interests of the company.

“We believe our climate targets are aligned with the more ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement: to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Our shareholders strongly support the progress we are making on our energy transition strategy, with 80% voting in favour of this strategy at our last AGM.

“ClientEarth’s attempt, by means of a derivative claim, to overturn the board’s policy as approved by our shareholders has no merit. We will oppose their application to obtain the court’s permission to pursue this claim.”

In responding to ClientEarth, Shell also stressed that institutional investors such as those that signed a letter of support for the legal action against them only represent 0.2% of the firm’s shareholder base.

This week oil and gas giant BP also reported record profits, while at the same time scaling back previous commitments to reduce the amount of oil and gas it produces by 2030.

In September last year, Shell announced that CEO Ben van Beurden would step down at the end of the year and be replaced by Wael Sawan, then director for integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions.

According to Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, the appointment of Sawan could yet result in updates to Shell’s renewables agenda.

Content Tags: Legal  Energy  UK 

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