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Shell chief blasts Dutch court’s landmark ruling on climate change as ‘a body blow’










Shell’s boss has lashed out at a landmark climate change ruling from a Dutch court that he said felt like a ‘body blow’.

Ben van Beurden said it was ‘deeply troubling’ that the oil giant was being singled out for the way the world uses energy.

His comments in an interview on Shell’s website are likely to anger environmental campaigners, who claim Shell has fallen behind its competitors in the fight against climate change. 

Shell chief exec Ben van Beurden said it was 'deeply troubling' that the oil giant was being singled out for the way the world uses energy

Shell chief exec Ben van Beurden said it was ‘deeply troubling’ that the oil giant was being singled out for the way the world uses energy

The ruling last year forced Shell to speed up how quickly it meets ambitious climate targets to reach net zero by 2050.

He said: ‘I was listening at home as the judge gave her verdict. 

It felt like a body blow, I found it deeply troubling that Shell as a single business should be held accountable for how the world produces and uses energy. 

That goes against everything I believe in when it comes to climate change, namely that this is a societal problem, not a problem for a single company to solve.’

The 63-year-old added: ‘When people attack Shell for not going fast enough that feels deeply personal.

‘But I cannot walk away from it or hide under my desk.’

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Richard Branson launching his first European blank-check company in Amsterdam in next few months, snubbing London










Snub: Richard Branson is launching his  company in Amsterdam

Snub: Richard Branson is launching his  company in Amsterdam

Richard Branson is launching his first European blank-check company in Amsterdam in the next few months, snubbing London

The tycoon aims to list the special purpose acquisition company, or Spac, on Amsterdam’s Euronext stock exchange as he raises money to pursue takeover targets. 

The firm aims to raise around £170million from investors, according to Sky News. 

Virgin Group said it did not comment on ‘rumour or speculation’. 

The decision to overlook London comes as a blow to the City – particularly as the Virgin Group empire is based in Britain. 

Branson’s space venture Virgin Galactic and his satellite programme Virgin Orbit Holdings went public by merging with Spacs. 

Spacs are shell companies that raise money on stock markets to buy private businesses, providing an easy route for the target to gain a listing without going through the rigorous process of a traditional initial public offering. 

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