BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Environmental rights groups around the world are united in their desire to stop multinational oil production outfit, Shell from destroying the climate via a court case to be initiated by Friends of the Earth Netherlands.
At a press briefing addressed by the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria(ERA/FoEN), Godwin Uyi Ojo, in Benin City on Monday, he disclosed that apart from his group, the Friends of the Earth International is also in support of the moves by Friends of the Earth, Netherlands to initiate court proceedings against Shell “if it does not act on demands to stop its destruction of the climate.”
Ojo quoted the Director of the Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Donald Pols, as saying that “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 billion in the search and development of new fossil fuels.”
According to 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.”
Karin Nansen, chair of the Friends of the Earth International was quoted as saying: “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.”
Ojo described the Friends of the Earth Netherlands case as been unique “because it is the first climate lawsuit demanding that a fossil fuel clmpany acts on climate change, rather than seeking compensation.
“This ground breaking case, if successful, would significantly limit Shell’s investments in oil and gas globally by requiring them to comply with global climate targets.”
Friends of the Earth International’s Karin Nansel is of the opinion that winning the case by rights groups “has major consequences for other fossil companies, and opens the door for further legal action against other climate polluters.”