In February 2007, Shell announced that its profits were sky-high for 2006, following on from record-breaking 2005 profits. With such wealth, one would expect Shell to adhere to its much touted commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Yet around the world, people living on the “fenceline” of Shell’s operations are paying dearly for its profits through severe environmental pollution and degradation.
A 2007 report from Friends of the Earth International provides nine case studies of climate change impacts from countries around the globe. Looking at impacts and adaptations, the case studies also feature testimonies which provide insight into dramatic first-hand experience of the devastation of climate change.
Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of the battle against “Global Europe”, the European Union’s new “external competitiveness” strategy, adopted in November 2006. FoEI has serious concerns about Global Europe and the EU’s current position in the World Trade Organisation and in bilateral trade agreements.
Shell is infamous for environmentally destructive and highly polluting oil operations around the world. So when Friends of the Earth campaigners saw a Shell advertisment depicting a refinery smokestack emitting only flowers, instead of smoke, they recognised it for what it was: blatant greenwash. And they took action, by filing simultaneous complaints to three European national advertising standards authorities in the Netherlands, England and Belgium.
The December 2007 climate summit, held in Bali, Indonesia marked the deadline for nations to agree on a “road map” for a new agreement to tackle climate change, beyond the current 2008-12 Kyoto Protocol commitment period.
Societies which bear the brunt of climate change impacts often simultaneously suffer from the root causes of this environmental threat; for example flooding due to climate change and conflicts triggered by petroleum exploitation.