Friends of the Earth: Shell Wins Award in Davos: “…the first ever Public Eye Award for Irresponsible Environmental Behaviour…”: “Whether it's the shame of its behaviour in Nigeria or the humiliation of over estimating its oil reserves, Shell is a company we can rely on for a good scandal. Shell has shown time and time again that it will get away with as much as it can - it's time we stop trusting Shell to do the right thing and make it legally accountable for its actions" (ShellNews.net) Posted 27 Jan 05
Oil giant Shell today (Wednesday 26th January) received the first ever Public Eye Award for Irresponsible Environmental Behaviour at a ceremony outside the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland . The Public Eye Awards for Irresponsible Corporate Behaviour, organised by the Berne Declaration and Pro Natura (Friends of the Earth Switzerland), took place on the first day of the World Economic Forum at a ceremony opened by economist and globalisation expert Noreena Hertz.
Shell was nominated for the award for its operations in Nigeria , which have created a legacy of destruction and pollution:
In Nigeria, gas flaring produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined and is a major source of pollutants that are hazardous to human health. Gas flaring occurs twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year.
According to a 1995 World Bank report, Nigeria's 76% flaring of natural gas ranked highest, compared to 0% in the Netherlands. Although Shell has committed to stopping gas flaring in the Delta, it has recently admitted that this will be difficult. Gas flaring increased in 2003.
More than 4,000 oil spills have been recorded in the Niger Delta over the past four decades
Some 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against Shell in Nigeria in the last decade. Shell holds the oil bearing communities and the statutory courts in contempt and fails to accept accountability for its negative social and environmental impacts, refusing to pay compensation or costs awarded by the courts against the company.
Other nominees for the Public Eye Awards include more than 20 global corporations that have failed in their responsibilities regarding human rights, labour rights, the environment or taxes .
Presenting the award, Godwin Ojo of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, said:
"Shell is the villain of the Nigerian environment. It has laid its fangs and maintained a firm grip on the politics and economy of Nigeria distorting its core values and impoverishing the people. During exploration and exploitation for oil and gas, Shell's operations lead to environmental human rights violations, wanton destruction of the environment and traditional livelihoods, and pollution of rivers and streams."
Friends of the Earth Corporates Campaigner Hannah Griffiths said:
"Once again, Shell's reputation is under scrutiny. Whether it's the shame of its behaviour in Nigeria or the humiliation of over estimating its oil reserves, Shell is a company we can rely on for a good scandal. Shell has shown time and time again that it will get away with as much as it can - it's time we stop trusting Shell to do the right thing and make it legally accountable for its actions"