Public asked to put name to shell advert petition.

People around the world are being called on to add their name to an advert petition in which thousands of individuals ask Anglo Dutch oil giant Shell to invest its profits in reducing the damaging impact of its operations around the globe. [1]

Friends of the Earth and community groups from all over the world, working together in the Shell Accountability Campaign, will use the signatures to publish large advertisements in Dutch and UK newspapers when Shell announces its 2006 results on February 1, 2007.

Shell has failed to meet its own standards or live up to the green promises used in publicity campaigns and, despite many promises, is still causing enormous environmental and social problems at a variety of locations around the world.

Friends of the Earth International Corporates Campaigner Paul de Clerck said: “This is the public’s chance to tell Shell that they want it to take responsibility for the social and environmental damage it causes. Shell can no longer ignore this message”.

In 2005 Shell reported the highest profits ever made by a Dutch company and expectations for 2006 are equally high.

Shell is a prominent member of the Global Compact, an ineffective initiative of the United Nations to promote Corporate Social Responsibility. Shell also developed Business Principles and was one of the first companies to produce a yearly Sustainability Report. Despite all the promises within these initiatives, people living around Shell facilities and the environment are still loosing out.

Case Studies:
NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA – November 2005: the Nigerian High Court ruled that gas flaring was a ‘gross violation’ of the rights to life and dignity. One year later Shell continues to flare more than 600 million cubic metres gas in Nigeria. The amount flared in 2001 equalled 40 per cent of gas consumption on the entire continent of Africa. In spite of all its promises to stop flaring gas, a good deal more gas was flared in 2005 than in 2002. The flaring causes serious air pollution. The population of the Niger Delta suffers from a range of health problems: an increased risk of asthma, chronic bronchitis, leukaemia and increased child mortality. According to the World Bank, smoke emitted during the flaring is the major source of greenhouse gases in Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information: Dr. Saro-Wiwa, brother of Ken Saro-Wiwa who was executed by the Nigeria government in 1995 for his protest against Shell, says: “I do believe Shell knows that they are gassing the community and no company in this world should be allowed to gas its community.”

SAKHALIN, RUSSIA – Shell is engaged in the world’s largest oil and gas production project, off the coast of the Russian island Sakhalin. The oil pipeline runs through the island, crossing 55 seismic faults and more than a thousand rivers. The environmental permit for the project was recently suspended by the Russian government, due to a large number of violations of Russian environmental law. The Russian government is even considering criminal prosecution. This would be justified: the environmental permit should never have been issued. The 1200 kilometres of the pipeline that have already been laid led to major social and environmental problems over the p-ast few years. Erosion and pollution pose a threat to wild salmon. This is an enormous problem for the indigenous people, who are mostly fishermen. The project also places the last 100 West Pacific grey whales in the world under threat. Russian environmental authorities estimate that damage from the project amounts to 10 billion rubles (295 million euros).

Friends of the Earth International: Paul de Clerck, Tel: +32-494380959 (Belgian mobile)
Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland: Hannah Griffith, Tel: +44 20 7566 1666
South Africa: Groundwork/Friends of the Earth South Africa, Bobby Peek, Tel: +27-824641383