Sunday, April 22, 2018 4:20 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has thrown its weight behind plans by Friends of the Earth Netherlands to take Shell to court as bringing the oil giant to book will open doors to more suits.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands’ case is part of a growing global movement to hold companies to account for their contribution to dangerous climate change.
“if Shell does not act on demands to stop its destruction of the climate we will join Friends of the Earth Netherlands and give them all necessary backings to ensure Shell is made to pay for the evil it has been committing over the years in destroying our climate” ERA/FoEN noted in a Press statement made available to The Niche signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Philip Jakpor.
Donald Pols, Director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands said ‘Shell is among the ten biggest climate polluters worldwide. It has known for over 30 years that it is causing dangerous climate change, but continues to extract oil and gas and invests billions in the search and development of new fossil fuels.’
In Nigeria, according to the UNEP report on Assessment of Ogoni (2011) Shell is guilty of polluting community lands, community waters and gassing communities through gas flaring which is a major contributor to climate change. Aside the widely known Ogoni pollution which Shell is responsible for, it still continues to flare gas in contravention of a High Court judgment in Nigeria in 2005 that makes gas flaring illegal in Iwherekan and other Nigerian communities.
ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Ojo expressed optimism that Justice will catch up with Shell one day despite all its effort to evade and scuttle Justice.
Said Ojo: “By the day it is becoming evident that Shell may be running from its mess but cannot evade justice. The plans by Friends of the Earth Netherlands to take Shell to court will further embolden impacted communities in the Niger Delta to institute more cases to demand that their lives seized and ruined by Shell’s activities are taken back”
“We anticipate the Friends of the Earth Netherlands suit will open the doors for impacted communities to demand that Shell and its co-polluters in the fossil fuels industry are made accountable for their environmental injustices across the globe. This is the way to go”.
Also the case is supported by Friends of the Earth International, which campaigns for climate justice for people across the world impacted by dirty energy and climate change.
Friends of the Earth International has 75 member groups globally, many of them working to stop Shell extracting fossil fuels in their country.
Karin Nansen, Chair of Friends of the Earth International said ‘This case matters for people everywhere. Shell is doing enormous damage worldwide – climate change and dirty energy have devastating impacts around the world, but especially in the global South. With this lawsuit we have a chance to hold Shell to account.’
It would be recalled that in January, the city of New York went to court to claim compensation from the five largest oil companies, including Shell, for the consequences of climate change. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland as well as several counties in California are doing the same.
In same vein a Peruvian farmer is suing the German energy company RWE for its contribution to glaciers melting above his village caused by climate change.