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Rosie Frost
Newsletter Editor | @RosiecoFrost
This week
World leaders have descended on the Cornish coastal town of St Ives ahead of the G7 summit this weekend. As those in charge of the seven largest economies on Earth come together to discuss our most serious societal challenges, climate change is high on the agenda.

The environment is one of the focus points for the summit with topics including carbon border tariffs, national emissions targets and climate aid expected to be covered. It is a chance for those in power to hash out the finer points of big decisions that need to be made at COP26 in November.

It’s timely, too, as the net appears to be closing in on some of the world’s biggest polluters. Last week a court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by almost half in the next nine years. Johnny White, a lawyer from environmental charity ClientEarth says it is a landmark verdict.

The case linked pollution to climate science and human rights illuminating a pathway for future action against any high-emitting company.

“What this made clear is that it’s not good enough for firms to focus on financial and business risks alone,” says White, “they must act on their real-world environmental and social impacts, irrespective of the bottom line, or risk significant legal consequences.”

But can we trust that what these big polluters are promising will lead to change? A report from Corporate Accountability, Friends of the Earth International, and the Global Forest Coalition has found that the ‘net zero’ targets a lot of businesses are pushing for do not actually reduce emissions.

The Big Con outlines how some of the worst offenders are placing profit over people and colluding with policymakers to greenwash their environmental footprint. Lobbyists for these companies attending climate talks are singled out as being instrumental in weakening the Paris Agreement.

Continuing to pollute the same amount while mitigating in other areas is not the solution. The report says that corporations need to stop betting on risky technology and treating carbon as a simple mathematical equation to bring about real systematic change.
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Shell climate case 'is a stark warning to any corporate polluter'
Last week, a Dutch court ruled that one of the world’s biggest oil companies has to almost halve its emissions in the next nine years. ClientEarth lawyer Johnny White gives us his take on the verdict of the Shell climate case.
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