The Duty of Care of Individuals for ghg Emissions under Dutch Tort Law: Has Shell Opened the Floodgates?

Björn Hoops*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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In 2021 the District Court of The Hague ordered Royal Dutch Shell to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% until 2030. The Court emphasised the relevance of each individual reduction to the fight against global warming, raising the question of whether also individuals have a duty of care to reduce their emissions. Applying the considerations of the Court to individuals, this contribution first argues that as human rights not only protect the victims of global warming but also individuals meeting their needs through emissions, individuals do not bear such a duty of care. However, we may soon observe the gradual development of a social norm outlawing excessive emissions for non-basic needs.

This contribution goes on to argue that the tort law liability of individuals for their ghg emissions would also not be desirable from a law-and-economics perspective. It would be more effective and less costly to hold big companies liable or to impose emission standards or carbon taxes.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)310-329
Aantal pagina's20
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Comparative Law and Governance
Nummer van het tijdschrift3-4
Vroegere onlinedatum9-nov.-2023
StatusPublished - 2023

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