BENIN-CITY, NIGERIA. May 18, 2021… As the board of the Royal Dutch Oil Company, SHELL, holds its Annual General Meeting today, Tuesday 18 May 2021, 41 Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria have renewed their call on the Church of England to vote against resolution 20 of the Church of England Pensions Board which seeks to have the oil company end carbon emission by 2050.
The 41 CSOs led by Executive Director, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev David Ugolor in a recent strong-worded letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby demanded that the Church of England should challenge Shell, and not to support continuation of environmental atrocities and sins against the people of Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
In a swift response to the 41 CSOs, the Archbishop of canterbury, through his aide, Katie Harrisonacknowledged the issues raised by the CSOs but added that the Church was forging ahead to vote for Shell’s position at the AGM: “Our Pension Board has decided, after much consultation, consideration and prayer, to take the approach they have outlined publicly. It is not a decision they have taken lightly or without stated expectations of further change by those with whom they engage,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby wrote.
But the 41 CSOs are insisting that Shell has to end carbon emission now, not far away 2050. “The Methodist Church announced it had divested its remaining fossil fuel holdings at the end of April 2021, including £21million in Shell, citing Shell’s inadequate Climate plans. We encourage the Church of England to follow suit at today’s AGM because delay will spell more Climate Catastrophes for our people in Niger Delta,” Rev Ugolor said.
“We thank the Archbishop of Canterbury for his quick response to our letter to him. We value that sense of urgency exhibited and we urge him to extend same to end carbon emission in Nigeria by impressing on his followers at the Church of England to do the needful by stopping Shell at today’s AGM.
Ace Environmentalist, Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation(HOMEF) and one of the signatories of the CSO letters to the Archbishop has called on the Church of England to impress on Shell to respect the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by voting against its tricky plan to continue fossil fuel extraction till 2050 when the whole world is moving with urgency to renewable energy sources.
“Fossil Fuel investments increase Climate Change and SHELL is notorious for human rights violation in Nigeria to perpetuate Climate crisis. They have promised several times to end gas flaring in Niger Delta communities and reneged on all their promises any further.” Adds, Mrs. Martha Onose of Community Empowerment and Development Initiative.