2009 archive
UN Climate Conference closes without adopting 'Copenhagen accord'
Copenhagen: A disaster for the world's poorest
Danish PM tries to derail UN climate talks; Friends of the Earth suspended from the conference
Friends of the Earth suspended from UN climate talks
The angry mermaid winner is...
Africa moves to stop rich country power grab and protect kyoto targets
Statement on police tactics in Copenhagen
Five thousand people Flood Copenhagen for Climate Justice
Climate Capsule: People from around the world demand climate justice now
Public vote closes on Sunday for angry mermaid award
Obama to Receive Prize Based on Promise He Has Failed to Keep
Europe must commit to at least 40% reductions by 2020 without offsetting
Leaked Copenhagen accord text profoundly unjust
40% domestic emissions cuts in europe by 2020: feasible and affordable
Two million want climate justice in copenhagen
We can feed the planet and save the world
Rich countries scheme to ditch Kyoto targets
'CERTIFIED' PALM OIL NOT A SOLUTION
Friends of Earth International calls on President Obama to earn his Nobel
Angry Mermaid award to expose business lobby undermining climate action
First International Climate Justice Tribunal Started
climate talks regress
Rich Countries Try to Dodge Climate Obligations
Halt to Palm Oil Investments Welcomed
'Sustainable Palm Oil' advert false, says watchdog
Environmentalists Welcome World Bank President's Halt to Palm Oil Investments
Shell violates OECD Guidelines in the Philippines
Speechless novel Launched
European Union urged to reconsider its role in Central America
SHELL CLIMATE CRIMES EXPOSED IN NEW REPORT
US HOLDS U.N. CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS HOSTAGE
climate crisis: Politicians must find just solutions
Carbon Offsetting Exposed as Con
NEW REPORT CASTS DOUBT OVER BIOFUELS ‘WONDER CROP’ JATROPHA
public warned over 'Green Soy' scam
new research reveals that shell is the world’s most carbon intensive oil company
a welcome shift in united nations views on food sovereignty
ShellGuilty Campaign Launched
photo competition winners announced
World Forests Rapidly Disappearing
Negative impacts of monoculture tree plantations on women
GM CROPS FEED BIOTECH GIANTS ONLY
‘biodiversity photo competition starts today
NIGERIA TO STOP COMPANIES FLARING GAS
Friends of the Earth International Calls for an End to the Violence in Gaza
 
You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2009 / NIGERIA TO STOP COMPANIES FLARING GAS

NIGERIA TO STOP COMPANIES FLARING GAS

LAGOS (NIGERIA), BRUSSELS (BELGIUM), January 12, 2009 – While Europe faces gas shortages, Friends of the Earth International is putting the Nigerian government under pressure to ensure that oil companies stop flaring Nigerian gas.

Following a December 31, 2008 deadline to end harmful gas flaring in Nigeria, Friends of the Earth International started today a letter writing campaign - directed at the Nigerian President - asking the Nigerian government to prevent oil companies from continuing to flare gas. Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is the largest producer of gas and oil in Nigeria.

 

 

Gas is often found mixed with crude oil, and must be separated. The cheapest way to deal with the gas is also the most environmentally destructive way: burning it. This practice costs the African country about US$2.5 billion annually, while more than 66% of the population is estimated to live in poverty.

“Major oil companies are flaring gas in the oil-rich Niger Delta despite the fact that a Nigerian judge stated that flaring is illegal. Led by oil giant Shell, they have been burning gas for decades when they could be using it to provide energy to the local population. The government must ensure that oil companies stop this destructive practice now,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chair and Friends of the Earth Nigeria Executive Director.

Nigeria is one of the world's biggest gas flarers. Nigerian gas flares emit as many greenhouse gases as 18 millions cars, and release toxic substances in densely populated areas, damaging both the environment and the people in the Niger Delta. Flaring can lead to leukaemia, asthma and premature death. It causes acid rain which acidifies lakes and streams and damages the environment.


The Nigerian Federal Government recently pledged to halt gas flares in Nigeria and set December 31st, 2008 as the zero flare date. For the first time it also raised the prospect of punitive action for any breach.

 

The first attempt at forcing oil corporations operating in the Niger Delta to end flares was in 1969 when the administration of General Yakubu Gowon ordered them to put in place facilities to utilise associated gas within five years.

 

“Pressure on the Nigerian government to end gas flaring once and for all is mounting. The government must enforce its deadline and ensure the end of flaring. Local people have waited long enough. All oil companies, including Shell, should simply comply with Nigerian law” said Paul de Clerck, Corporates Campaigner for Friends of the Earth International.

 

In order to 'greenwash' its image and distract the public from its dirty track record in Nigeria and elsewhere, Shell engages in partnerships with organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. The Shell-IUCN partnership takes place despite the fact that most members of IUCN are opposed to the agreement. To protest this partnership, and to draw attention to Shell's dirty track record, Friends of the Earth International decided to leave the IUCN. [2]


In 2007 the oil giant earned record-breaking annual profits of US$ 31.3 billion, a massive 23% increase from 2006.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

IN NIGERIA:

Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chair and Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria Executive Director, Tel: +234 80 37 27 43 95 (Nigerian mobile)

 

Chima Williams, lawyer, Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria:

Tel: +234 80 38 85 94 77 or Tel: +234 80 23 64 98 90 (Nigerian mobile)



IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM:

Paul de Clerck, Corporates Campaigner for Friends of the Earth International:

Tel: +32 494 38 09 59 (Belgian mobile)

 

IN THE NETHERLANDS:

Anne van Schaik, Milieudefensie / Friends of the Earth Netherlands: Tel: + 31 6 21 82 95 89 (Dutch mobile)



IMAGES: High resolution images are online here

 

FOOTAGE: Watch Poison Fire, a stunning documentary on oil and gas abuse in Nigeria at

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bq2TBOHWFRc

For more information see www.poisonfire.org

 

NOTES:

[1]

More information on gas flaring in Nigeria is contained in a 2005 report published by the Climate Justice Programme and Environmental Rights Action, ‘Gas Flaring in Nigeria: A human rights, environmental and economic monstrosity’, which is available here: www.foei.org/en/publications/pdfs/gasnigeria.pdf

[2]

The Friends of the Earth International letter to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is online here: http://www.foei.org/en/publications/pdfs/iucn-withdrawal

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