Friends of the Earth International
15 May 2007
THE HAGUE (THE NETHERLANDS), 15 May 2007 -
Environmental activists presented today several multi-billion dollar
bills to shareholders attending oil giant Shell's Annual General
Meeting in The Hague.
The Anglo-Dutch company should spend a portion
of its more than 25 billion euro 2006 profits to critically reduce
its environmental impact in a range of countries from Nigeria to
Ireland, according to environmentalists.
Costs for cleaning up the environmental damage
in Nigeria alone have been estimated at several billion of dollars.
“Shell's sky high profits over 2006 are made
at the expense of people and the environment. We present here the
unpaid bills. Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer should acknowledge his
responsibility for this and allocate money to clean up the mess he
made.” said Paul de Clerck, corporate campaigner at Friends of the
The largest bill unpaid by Shell consists of
pollution from oil pipeline leaks and gas flaring. In the report
`Shell, use your profit to clean up your mess'  clean-up costs are
estimated in the billions of dollars.
Oil leaks cause health problems, pollute
drinking water and ruin crops.
The gas which is flared at Shell oil and gas
facilities in Nigeria has been estimated to cause as much climate
change as half of all the pollution from private cars in the
Netherlands. The flaring releases many toxic gases which cause acid
rain and damage to health. Stopping the flaring would cost 1.5
In Ireland the `Shell at Sea' action group has
demanded that Shell build its refinery at sea rather than on land.
That would make the construction of a risky pipeline unnecessary. The
extra costs of building the refinery at sea have been estimated at
736 million dollars.
Irish activists were also present at the Shell
annual meeting today, including Willie Corduff, who won the
prestigious Goldman Prize in May 2007. Corduff was jailed for 90 days
in 2005 when he refused Shell access to his land for building the gas
Paul de Clerck, Friends of the Earth
International corporate campaigner:
Tel: +32-494380959 (Belgian mobile)
Friends of the Earth Netherlands /
Milieudefensie Press Office +31-20-5507 333 or +31-6-29593873. (Dutch
Willie Corduff, winner of the prestigious
Goldman Prize +31-6-29593881 (Dutch mobile, valid on May 15 only)
 The report is online here