Members of the environmental group MilieuDefensie celebrate the verdict of the Dutch environmental organisation’s case against Royal Dutch Shell Plc, outside the Palace of Justice courthouse in The Hague, Netherlands, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Shell was ordered by a Dutch court to slash its emissions harder and faster than planned, dealing a blow to the oil giant that could have far reaching consequences for the rest of the global fossil fuel industry | Peter Boer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Fossil fuel companies are having a big reckoning with climate change this week. Shareholders for Exxon and Chevron voted for measures that could force them to take more responsibility for their emissions, while a Dutch court is forcing Shell to slash its pollution.
Taken altogether, the actions reflect a growing push for the energy sector to phase out fossil fuels. Major oil companies had already taken some steps to at least appear to address climate change, but activists are pushing for more action on a faster timeline to meet the scale of the climate crisis.
Climate activist Bill McKibben called it a “watershed day,” adding that the ruling against Shell could be “g…