The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
By Andy Rowell
And so it goes on. It might be a different day but the ongoing vortex of violence, pollution, protest and conflict continues in the Niger Delta.
The oil giant, Shell, is at the middle of this vortex, as it has been for decades, with the company unwilling to take adequate steps to stop the violence or pollution. So the protests continue.
Reuters is reporting that there were two fresh oil pipeline leaks in the Niger Delta on Monday, three days after the company declared force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude due to outages caused by oil theft.
Last year a UN report criticised Shell and the Nigerian government for contributing to 50 years of pollution in Ogoniland, the home of the executed writer Ken Saro-Wiwa. Ken was murdered by the Nigerian military for campaigning against Shell.
The latest spills come as the Oscar-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo, known for films such as “Mrs. Mandela," “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Hotel Rwanda," was among professionals who appeared in a two-minute film, called "Livelihoods," produced by Amnesty International.
The hard-hitting film calls on Shell to take responsibility for its actions in the Niger Delta. Depicting various individuals’ work being ruined by oil, it has oil dripping from Okonedo’s lips.
The film was released at the end of last month with Amnesty aiming to get at least 10,000 signatures in the UK against Shell. Amnesty International UK’s Director Kate Allen said, “What we’re seeing unfolding across the Niger Delta is nothing short of a human rights catastrophe, and this has inspired Sophie Okonedo and several others to join Amnesty’s campaign calling on Shell to clean up and pay up.”
"It is time Shell cleaned up their mess and adequately compensated the people of the Niger Delta,” Allen continued.
Amnesty is not the only organisation targeting Shell over its pollution. Friends of the Earth (FoE) Netherlands/Milieudefensie, has created another campaign called “Worse than Bad,” which also is campaigning to hold Shell accountable for their reckless pollution in the Niger Delta.
“Over the last 50 years Shell has helped turn the Niger Delta into the world’s largest oil spill,” argues FoE. “There has been no serious clean-up effort, no relief for the millions of people that live there, nothing. The tiny efforts Shell makes serve only as window dressing, and are not a real attempt to solve the problem. The situation is still getting worse everyday.”
This campaign is trying to convince the world of the severity of the situation in the Niger Delta, and is demanding immediate action from Shell to finally take responsibility for the pollution they’ve caused.
The two campaigns come as a new video has emerged that shows the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, speaking at a conference where he conceded that Shell could have employed “warlords” in the past. “There could be cases in the past where you have thought you were employing, you know, a genuine, bona fide contractor, and yet he is probably a militant or a warlord,” said Sunmonu. “So I will not argue that such a situation, you know, could have arisen in the past.”
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Europe is gearing up for another extreme heat wave that could set all-time records for several European countries.
Micro-Naps for Plants: Flicking the Lights on and off Can Save Energy Without Hurting Indoor Agriculture Harvests
By Kevin M. Folta
A nighttime arrival at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport flies you over the bright pink glow of vegetable production greenhouses. Growing crops under artificial light is gaining momentum, particularly in regions where produce prices can be high during seasons when sunlight is sparse.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) former head of the Office of Air and Radiation who was instrumental in drafting policies that eased climate protection rules and pollution standards is under investigation by a federal watchdog for his dealings with the fossil fuel industry he was supposed to be regulating, according to the New York Times.
It's no secret that the Trump administration has championed fossil fuels and scoffed at renewable energy. But the Trump administration is trying to keep something secret: the climate crisis. That's according to a new analysis from the watchdog group Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) who found that more than a quarter of the references to climate change on .gov websites vanished.
By Adrienne Hollis
Climate change is a threat multiplier. This is a fact I know to be true. I also know that our most vulnerable populations, particularly environmental justice communities — people of color and/or low socioeconomic status — are suffering and will continue to suffer first and worst from the adverse effects of climate change. Case in point? Extreme heat.