Shell: Use your profits to clean up your mess

New report about damage to the environment and communities caused by Shell

Janaury 31, 2007

Friends of the Earth/ Shell Accountability Campaign

Amsterdam (The Netherlands) / London (UK), January 31st 2007 - A new report, launched the day before oil giant Shell announces its 2006 annual profits (on 1 February 2007) calls on Shell to use the profits to begin cleaning up damage it has caused to communities and the environment [1].

The report offers proposals and figures for where and how Shell should repair some of the damage it has caused in nine communities around the world.

The report is published by the Shell Accountability Campaign, a network of environmental, human rights and community groups, includingFriends of the Earth Australia. The coalition has analysed existing information and carried out new research to work out costs of cleaning up damage Shell has caused at specific locations in Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Curacao; Brazil; the USA; the Philippines, Ireland and Barbados..

Adverts calling on Shell to use its profits to clean up its mess are also appearing in British newspaper The Guardian and Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant on 1 February. The adverts are signed and financially supported by more than 7.000 people from across the world through a dedicated website: www.shelladvert.org

In Nigeria, a country devastated by the impacts of oil extraction, Shell should begin by immediately stopping illegal gas flaring at a cost of about $1.55 billion. It should also start reserving money for clean up of oil spills and compensating the Ijaw communities, which will cost at least $11.5 billion.

In Sakhalin Island, Russia, a Shell consortium is constructing a controversial oil platform and pipeline which threatens critically endangered whales, other wildlife and habitats as well as the local fishing industry. An initial cost of repairing environmental damage has been estimated at $376 million.

In Durban, South Africa, local communities are calling on Shell to replace the old refinery and pipelines which would cost approximately $6 billion. The existing ageing infrastructure means that accidents and leakages happen on a regular basis. The local community suffers from health problems due to air pollution.

In Ireland, where Shell is building a controversial on shore gas refinery and high pressure gas pipeline in an unstable peat bog area and protected coastline, the company could choose to listen to the local community’s concerns and refine the gas at sea rather than on land. This reduction of damage and risk would cost Shell approximately $736 million.

“Despite its massive public relations investments , Shell continues to be among the worst oil companies when it comes to the brutal reality of how it operates on the ground. Shell’s neighbours have had their health, their livelihoods and their communities destroyed by the company. Today’s report and full page advertisements however prove that public support is growing for this campaign to hold Shell accountable.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

IN AUSTRALIA: Cam Walker 0419 338 047

IN THE NETHERLANDS: Anne van Schaik, Milieudefensie +31-205507333

IN BELGIUM: Paul de Clerck, Friends of the Earth International corporate campaigner: +32-494380959

IN THE UK: Hannah Griffiths, Friends of the Earth England Wales and Northern Ireland: +44-2075661666

IN NIGERIA: Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth Nigeria: +234-8037274395

IN THE USA: Denny Larson, Global Community Monitor +1-4158454705

IN SOUTH AFRICA: Bobby Peek, Friends of the Earth South Africa: +27-824641383

-- Notes

[1] The report “Use your profit to clean up your mess” is available from the above contacts and at "http://www.foei.org/publications/pdfs/mdshellh.pdf

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