Environmentalists want Shell expelled from climate talks
Environmental experts have called for the expulsion or exclusion of Shell, which they described as a big polluter in the Niger Delta, from the United Nations (UN) 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) climate talks in Paris, France.
In a statement issued in Calabar, Cross River State, they expressed concern that the alleged climate -unfriendly company is being given red carpet treatment at the conference.
The experts and communities negatively impacted by Shell’s operations made the call as Fossil-fuel Trade Association (IETA) hosted representatives from the firm to an event at the COP 24, saying “Shell is one of the world’s largest polluters and has a long track record of obstructing climate policy making. In 2013, Shell was found guilty of environmental crimes in the Niger Delta.”
Sara Shaw of Friends of the Earth International (FEI), said: “We have a message for Shell and companies that pretend the solution to the climate catastrophe doesn’t demand the end of fossil fuels. To the Shell executives who got rich from the suffering of the Ogoni people and communities living on the front-lines of dirty energy and climate change impacts, we say you are the last gasp of a system on the way out. You are on the wrong side of history. We will not rest until you stop extracting fossil fuels and pay for the damage you have caused.”
The Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, said: “Yesterday, the world celebrated 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the Niger Delta we have endured 60 years of gross oil pollution, gas flares and human rights abuses.
Today the world has 12 years to right the wrong. These corporations have continued to pollute and devastate the environment, the communities.”
Rita Uwaka of Friends of the Earth Nigeria (FEN) stated that “Shell is a big-time polluter playing saint at the COP. Their track records of environmental degradation and human rights abuses have continued to affect communities in the Niger Delta with differentiated impacts on women and vulnerable groups.
“Having Shell organising a side event at this COP to promote false solutions is not only a slap on our faces and impacted communities in the front-line, it is a sacrilege on Mother Earth. If we must make progress with the climate talks, Shell should be kicked out of COP. We demand climate justice for all.”
The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth International (ERA/FEI), Dr. Godwin Ojo, said: “We must kick big polluters out of the talks. Big polluters are writing the script behind the scene and this side event is evidence. We need to kick them out of the COP process.”
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.