Governments, Oil companies and investors must pay communities for loss of livelihoods—Global CSOs demand

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT. November 16, 2022…. Over Eighty (80) Global Civil Society Organisations and Seven (7) leading environmental activists drawn from around the world have endorsed a joint letter calling on the  Nigerian Government and all Governments supporting Oil and Gas extraction in the Niger Delta to offer significant financing for loss and damages for the people of Niger Delta and other host communities just as they called on investors of fossil fuels to stop lending moral and financial support to companies that are expanding oil and gas production in defiance of the Paris Agreement.

Led by the Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor, National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay, PWYP, Nigeria Campaign, Otitaloye, PWYP International, Both ENDS,  350.org, BiPoC Climate Justice Network Germany, Ogoni Solidarity Forum-Nigeria, Electra Energy Cooperative (Greece),  Extinction Rebellion Germany, Extinction Rebellion Indonesia, among several, the CSOs wants Governments to introduce and enforce laws to stop oil and gas companies expanding

The CSOs, most of whom are converged at Sharm el-Sheikh for the COP27 also called for an end to fossil fuel subsidy, and instead, tax oil and gas companies to provide money for communities.

“We are calling on investors funding Shell and other multi-national oil companies 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.

“We want investors to top promoting flawed “nature-based solutions” for “offsetting” carbon emissions – many of which amount to a new carbon colonialism.” They demanded that Oil Companies and their investors to “pay communities for the cleanup of land degraded by oil and gas extraction and oil companies must make loss and damage payments to host oil and gas communities.”

They noted that 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. 

They further noted that “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.”

They wondered that 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 while poverty have remained pervasive in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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