Seventy-Thousand People Ask Shell to Clean up Its Mess in Nigeria
On the eve of the annual general meeting of oil giant Shell, Friends of the Earth International announced that it will deliver to Shell CEO Peter Voser some 70,000 signatures of people who want Shell to start cleaning up its mess in the oil-rich and highly polluted Niger delta in Nigeria.
The signatories believe that Shell must take responsibility for its pollution and provide a U.S. $1 billion emergency fund needed to start cleaning up the Niger Delta.
Friends of the Earth International Corporates campaigner Paul de Clerk will deliver the signatures at the Shell meeting in The Hague on May 22.
The signatures were collected by the organization SumOfUs in close cooperation with Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International.
Nnimmo Bassey, director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria and chair of Friends of the Earth International, said:
“Shell continues to reap obscene profits from the oil fields of Nigeria at the expense of the lives and the livelihoods of the poor people. As we speak Shell is intensifying its poisoning of the environment and the peoples of the region. By our records, Shell had over 200 oil spills in 2011 alone and the 2012 tally is rising already. Shell must stop the poisoning and start cleaning up its mess right now.”
Paul de Clerck, Friends of the Earth International corporate campaign coordinator, said:
"Almost one year has passed since the UN presented its report on Shell's pollution of Ogoniland. But we are still waiting for a comprehensive plan from Shell to clean up its mess. The first step recommended by the UN was a U.S. $1 billion emergency fund for clean up. We want Shell to commit to that today."
Friends of the Earth Netherlands campaigners will stand outside the May 22 Shell meeting and offer to Shell shareholders the opportunity to taste a sip of contaminated water from the Niger Delta: water with hydrocarbons such as benzene, but also other hazardous chemicals such as barium. This is the only 'drinking' water which many residents of the Niger Delta can drink.
Over the past decades Shell let tens of millions of liters of oil stream into the Niger Delta by refusing to properly maintain the pipeline network. Moreover, the AngloDutch multinational still does not comply with the Nigerian ban on gas flaring.
Because Shell is doing so little, Friends of the Earth Netherlands / Milieudefensie started an international campaign which members of the public can support by clicking here.
For instance, three people will win the opportunity to go with Friends of the Earth Netherlands / Milieudefensie on a mission to Nigeria and see with their own eyes what Shell has done.
In August 2011, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) launched a report about oil pollution in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta. UNEP’s report was harsh on Shell—for instance, it reported on the inadequacy of Shell’s previous halfhearted clean-up efforts, stating that “the difference between a cleaned-up site and a site awaiting clean-up was not always obvious.”
UNEP concluded that the maintenance of the Shell infrastructure “has been and remains inadequate” and calls for a $1 billion starter fund for clean-up in the Ogoniland region to be contributed.
For more information, click here.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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