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Coalition Of Civil Societies Protests Against Shell Company’s Oil Pollution In Niger Delta, Asks Church Of England To Stop Financing Firm

The groups lamented the level of penury and agonies the activities of Shell and other oil giants had subjected Nigerians in the host communities to.

A coalition of civil society organisations on Monday protested against the activities of multinational oil company, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The coalition led by the Africa Network for Environmental & Economic Justice (ANEEJ), stormed the Lagos Corporate Headquarters of Shell, carrying placards with different inscriptions.


The groups lamented the level of penury and agonies the activities of Shell and other oil giants had subjected Nigerians in the host communities to.

While demanding an end to what they called “perennial inhumane activities of the cooperation in the Niger Delta,” the group called on the church of England and other financiers of Shell to withdraw their financial and moral support having known that Shell had not respected the global warming agreement to 1.5°C neither had they align their strategy in line with Paris Climate agreement and Glasgow 2021 Commitment for net-zero.

Some of the placards read: "We demand a just Energy Transition,” "We say No to Carbon Emission,” "We say No to Global Warning," "We say No to Environmental Degradation,” "We say No to Gas Flaring,” "We Say No to Shell Transition Strategy," among others.

Although the protest was peaceful, no one from Shell came out to address the group.

It was observed that officials of the oil giant were all peeping through windows, while the police stood by watching.

Speaking at the rally, the Convener/Executive Director of ANEEJ, Mr. David Ugolor, said it was high time people showed empathy, altruism and compassion for the host communities of these oil giants following the level of environmental decay and wrought brought by the exploiting companies.

“We are calling on the Church of England and other financiers of Shell to completely withdraw their moral and financial support to Shell, a major fossil fuel extracting company whose operations in Nigeria’s Niger Delta have contributed to carbon emission, environmental degradation, destruction of livelihoods and other human rights’ violations.

“Last year, ANEEJ brought together 40 West African NGOs in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd. Justin Welby, asking the Church of England Pensions Board (and by extension other investors) to desist from lending its moral and financial authority to Shell, and voting for Shell’s climate and energy plan; but the letter was ignored.

“Few days after Shell’s last AGM, the company faced two strong challenges to its energy transition strategy from official institutions. First, the International Energy Agency concluded that no new oil and gas fields should be approved for development after 2021 if the world is to reach its agreed 2050 net-zero emissions target.

“Latter on, a Dutch court ruled that Shell must cut its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, with immediate effect. The judgment found that the same Shell policies praised by the Church of England “largely amount to rather intangible, undefined and non-binding plans for the long-term”, concluding that Shell is causing a danger to people’s right to life. Shell’s bosses didn’t feel accountable, didn’t change the company’s strategy, nor appealed the verdict. Unfortunately, in all of these, the Church of England kept quiet," he stated.

Ugolor, however, stressed that only recently, the Church alluded to the possibility of not granting its moral authority to Shell via its role in the $68trillion Climate Action 100+ initiative, saying that the civil society mass action would see to major civil society activists’ participation and link up to actions of the Stop Cambo Movement in the UK, the Green Anglicans in Southern Africa, and with several other groups and networks around the world.

Meanwhile, the coalition in a session called “People’s AGM” resolved that Nigerian oil-bearing communities and citizens who were the victims of Shell and other International Oil and Gas Companies would vote “NO” to shell’s Energy Transition Strategy during its annual AGM on Tuesday May 24, under ANEEJ Platform.

They also resolved that, the Church of England and other investors should stop lending moral and financial support to shell and should vote against Shell’s energy transition strategy during the AGM.

Other members of Coalition are: Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice, HEDA Resource Centre, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Environmental Rights Action, Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Ogoni Peoples Assembly, Youth Advocacy Centre, Peoples Advancement Centre, Indigenous Centre for Energy & Sustainable Development, MAC-JIM Foundation & Green Concern for Development.