Oct 11, 2012

Four Nigerian Plaintiffs take Shell to Court in The Netherlands

by Denis Burke — last modified Oct 11, 2012 05:50 PM
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Plaintiffs from devastated communities in Nigeria tell their stories in their own words.

For the first time in history, a European company, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shall, has been brought to court in The Netherlands for damages it caused abroad. The plaintiffs are four Nigerians whose livelihoods and communities have been massively impacted by Shell's operations.



Plaintiff Alali Efanga takes Shell to court for pollution in Nigeria


The court case against Shell's oil spills in the Niger delta has been filed by the four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria.


Plaintiff Chief Erich Dooh


The plaintiffs are demanding that Shell cleans up oil pollution in their villages and compensates them for damages they incurred. In this interview, Alali Efanga from the village of Oruma describes how he and his community have been affected by the oil spills.


Lawyers for both parties pleaded at a key hearing in The Hague on October 11, with a verdict expected on January 30, 2013.


Sep 18, 2012

Join the Global Frackdown for a Ban on Fracking!

by Denis Burke — last modified Sep 18, 2012 10:20 AM

Friends of the Earth International is supporting Global Frackdown, a mass global day of action on Saturday, September 22 demanding a ban on fracking around the world.

Frack Down

Fracking is a relatively new and highly destructive way of extracting oil or gas from the ground. It involves injecting millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals into hard shale rocks at high pressure to release the gas or oil that is trapped inside.


Gas from fracking (known as ‘shale gas’) is being promoted as ‘clean energy’, but the reality is very different. Fracking threatens our air, water, communities and climate. Fracking:


  • taps into a new and vast source of high carbon fossil fuels - one of the main causes of climate change and irreversible and catastrophic climate impacts
  • uses enormous quantities of water, an already scarce resource
  • involves highly toxic chemicals which can escape and pollute local drinking water supplies
  • will very likely lead to the forced displacement of communities and small farmers like other forms of fossil fuel extraction
  • releases dangerous levels of methane, another potent greenhouse gas that can also leak into nearby water supplies and cause explosions
  • can cause earth tremors


Fracking is just one aspect of the corporate-controlled global dirty energy system which we need to transform if we are to avert catastrophic climate change and improve the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of communities around the world. Dirty fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, and other dirty energies like agrofuels and energy from destructive mega-dams and waste incineration harm communities and the environment whilst mostly serving the energy needs of corporations, not ordinary people.


We need to replace this unsustainable and exploitative energy model with energy systems based on appropriate, clean, renewable energy under real democratic and community control.


This transformation is already under way, and Friends of the Earth International is campaigning to help make it a reality. One of the first steps is stopping dirty energy, and that is why we are supporting Global Frackdown, an initiative of Food & Water Watch.


Around the world hundreds of communities are organising to protect their land and water and resist fracking. Communities and campaigners have managed to stop fracking in Bulgaria and France. Campaigners in South Africa won a temporary moratorium, but saw this lifted last week showing that more pressure and global solidarity is needed.


Global Frackdown will unite concerned citizens everywhere for a day of action on September 22, 2012.


Over 125 actions are being planned all over the world to demand that decision makers oppose fracking and send a message to governments that we want a future fueled by clean, renewable energy, not dirty, polluting fossil fuels. For more information www.globalfrackdown.org



Some more information from Friends of the Earth Groups on Fracking

FoE England, Wales and Northern Ireland background information
FoE Ireland
recent community panel discussion
FoE Scotland

background information

FoE Europe






Feb 22, 2012

Europe must defy Canadian pressure on tar sands

by PhilLee — last modified Feb 22, 2012 12:20 PM

Nobel Peace laureates urge support to keep tar sands out of Europe.

tar sands handOn 23 February representatives from European governments will decide on plans to keep tar sands out of Europe. Friends of the Earth Europe is urging European governments to say no to the dirtiest forms of unconventional oil and defy pressure from both the Canadian and big oil lobbies. 


Last week, eight Nobel Peace laureates wrote to European heads of states to ask them to support the European Commission's efforts to keep tar sands out of Europe. This follows on from a letter written to President Obama which asked him to reject the proposal for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline – bringing oil from Canadian tar sands into the US. Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal last month.

Tar sands are the most climate hostile energy source in commercial production today. Producing oil from tar sands results in more than 20 % greenhouse gases (GHGs) than from conventional oil production.

Tar sands exploitation destroys pristine boreal forest and peatlands, produces huge quantities of toxic waste, pollutes air and water, devastates local wildlife and threatens the traditional livelihoods of indigenous communities around the world.


Further information

Find out more and take action on the Friends of the Earth Europe website

Jan 19, 2012

President Obama rejects the Keystone XL pipeline

by PhilLee — last modified Jan 19, 2012 12:00 PM
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Friends of the Earth US is celebrating the Obama administration's decision to reject the permit for the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline sought by Canadian oil firm TransCanada, determining that the project was not in the national interest.

no to xl pipeline"President Obama has shown bold leadership in standing up to Big Oil and rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline," said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth.


"The climate movement took on Goliath and won, demonstrating its growing strength. Sustained grassroots pressure aimed at holding the president accountable to the public interest proved more powerful than all the lobbyists and campaign cash the oil industry could muster."

This iconic David versus Goliath victory was fueled by years of persistent grassroots campaigning to stop the project led by indigenous activists, environmentalists, farmers, ranchers and youth climate activists. Americans submitted more than 250,000 public comments against the proposal, several thousand more turned out in small-town Nebraska, in Texas and in Washington, D.C. to testify against the pipeline in public hearings -- and 1,253 people played a pivotal role in August by getting arrested during peaceful sit-ins on the president's doorstep.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have pumped the world's dirtiest oil - tar sands oil - from Canada across America's heartland to Texas

Further information

Find out more about this historic campaign