Civil Societies in Nigeria have raised a petition and currently gathering more signatures to make Shell and other oil companies pay for the degradation of the oil rich Ogoni land among other communities in Nigeria.
Community Alliance for Good Governance, Initiative for Social Development in Africa (ISODAF), Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ led by Reverend David Ugolor are among the early Nigerian Civil Societies that have signed the petition.
According to the open letter, more people are encouraged to sign the petition in order to make oil companies, governments, and investors pay affected communities for the loss of livelihoods due to pollution from oil spills and gas flaring.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, David Ugolor in a statement on Friday early morning, according to Nigeria local time, said ANEEJ will attend COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik this month to galvanise support “for our call for Investors to send delegation to undertake Fact-Finding Mission to Niger Delta region of Nigeria to see the damage done by fossil fuel extraction”.
Adding, “On November 10, the anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 8, ANEEJ and her partner will hold a virtual symposium and launch a joint statement calling on governments, investors and oil companies to accept responsibility for damaging the Niger Delta and many other places on the planet, and to make loss and damage payments to communities as climate catastrophes mount”.
Meanwhile, the Open letter petition reads:
Please sign on below to support this open letter initiated by the Nigerian Civil Society.
The deadline for sign on is Wednesday, November 9 2022.
In the mid-1990s, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, led by Ken Saro-Wiwa, declared that Shell was no longer welcome to operate in Ogoniland, Nigeria.
The Movement argued that others had grown rich on the oil, while pollution from spills and gas flaring had led to the complete degradation of the Ogoni environment.
The Niger Delta region and other areas where fossil fuel extraction is taking place are highly polluted today, thanks to the operations of Shell and other multinational oil companies, leaving the people of the region with little more than sorrow, tears and blood.
Around the world, there is clear evidence of irreversible damage to the planet, the loss of homelands and the people’s livelihood sources, cultures, ecosystems, and more.
And it is the communities around the world that have contributed the very least to climate change that are paying the highest price.
In the last few weeks, 33 million people were forced by floods to flee their homes in Pakistan, damage that will cost Pakistan US$15 billion according to World Bank estimates.
Ravaging floods also rendered millions of people across several states in Nigeria homeless, damaging properties worth billions of dollars.
In sharp contrast, Shell has already made US$30 billion in profits this year, and agreed to pay out US$18.5 billion to its investors. The top seven global oil companies have made US$150 billion profits this year.
For far too long, big investors have profited from Big Oil, allowing Shell and other companies to issue misleading marketing statements while they use their influence to dilute and delay government action to resolve the accelerating climate and human rights emergencies.
In 2021, a Dutch court ordered Shell to reduce its emissions drastically this decade, to protect human rights. Yet Shell’s investors allowed Shell to defy and appeal the court ruling.
The People’s AGM Platform, established in May 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria, by leaders of community-based organizations from oil-affected communities, faith-based organizations, human rights groups, students, youths, and artisans agreed specific recommendations for oil companies and their investors.
It is clear that powerful oil and gas companies have shown no willingness to make significant changes on their own.
In line with the People’s AGM Platform, and on the occasion of COP27 in Egypt and of the 27th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others Ogoni leaders for their work to challenge oil companies, we the undersigned organisations and individuals therefore make the following calls on governments and on investors in oil and gas companies to:
- offer significant financing for loss and damages for the people of Niger Delta and other host communities and countries affected by the negative impact of fossil fuel extraction and climate change.
- introduce and enforce laws to stop oil and gas companies expanding.
- end fossil fuel subsidies, and instead tax oil and gas companies to provide money for communities.
Additionally, we call on pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers and all other investors in these companies, starting with those that have any kind of commitment on climate or on “net zero”, to:
- agree to participate in a fact-finding mission early in 2023 in collaboration with civil society actors to witness the true impact on communities of oil company operations in the Niger Delta
- stop lending moral and financial support to companies that are expanding oil and gas production in defiance of the Paris Agreement
- stop promoting flawed “nature-based solutions” for “offsetting” carbon emissions – many of which amount to a new carbon colonialism.
- pay communities for the cleanup of land degraded by oil and gas extraction
- agree that oil companies must make loss and damage payments.
Please sign below