Grand narratives of history are woven around pivotal moments, and it’s just possible that when the history of this period is written, 26 May 2021 will be one of them.

A little under a month ago, Royal Dutch Shell got told in no uncertain terms by a Dutch court to stop Royally Ducking up the Planet. Specifically, it got what in legal parlance is known as a hiding.

The oil giant stood accused of endangering the rights to life and to family life by its actions, i.e. by continuing to drill for oil and therefore warming the planet. A three-judge panel upheld that accusation and ordered Shell to slash its emissions PDQ. Like in-half-within-nine-years PDQ.

To understand how the (s)hell this happened and help us wrap our minds around the consequences, we’re joined by Sjoukje van Oosterhout from Milieudefensie, the campaign group who brought the legal action.

Read more about the historic ruling on Milieudefensie’s site here:

Sustainababble is your friendly environment podcast, out weekly. Theme music by the legendary Dicky Moore – @dickymoo. Sustainababble logo by the splendid Arthur Stovell at Design by Mondial. Ecoguff read out by Arabella.

Love the babble? Bung us a few pennies at


Available on iTunes, Spotify, Acast & all those types of things, or at Visit us at @thebabblewagon and at Email us at