On Wednesday, 24 January, the VU Climate and Sustainability Law Clinic submits a complaint against One-Dyas, an Amsterdam-based company that seeks to drill for fossil gas in the North Sea with its N05-A project. The complaint argues that One-Dyas is violating requirements of good business practice laid down in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and will be lodged at the Dutch National Contact Point. For this complaint the Climate Law Clinic teams up with the community groups and NGOs North Sea Fossil Free, Scientists for Future NL, Scientist Rebellion NL and Deutsche Umwelthilfe. The complaint is submitted the day before the Rechtbank Den Haag holds its hearing on the appeals against the Dutch government for issuing the extraction permit to One-Dyas. 

N05-A project will harm human rights and environment

According to the complaint, One-Dyas has failed to comprehensively assess the adverse impacts of the N05-A project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on human rights and the environment. In particular, One-Dyas has failed to consider GHG emissions caused by the burning of the extracted gas by end users (so-called scope 3 emissions), which constitute by far the largest part of the project’s GHG emissions. Moreover, the project’s GHG emissions will make it more difficult to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. One-Dyas has also consistently misrepresented the climate impact of the N05-A project to the public. The complaint has been researched and developed conjointly by VU law students and researchers. Renske Natté, student of the VU master track “International Business Law: Climate Change & Corporations”, sums up the complaint: “New fossil extraction projects will cause further climate breakdown. Corporations which pursue such projects are violating requirements of responsible business conduct.” 

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and National Contact Point

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises prescribe rules of responsible business conduct. Affected individuals and communities can bring possible violations before the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP). If the NCP accepts the complaint, it will invite One-Dyas to enter a process to engage with the complainants to find a solution to the complaints. The NCP will also release a final statement on the matter.