Two stories on the impact of oil on marine mammals with environmental and Indigenous groups fighting back against the oil industry.
Two environmental groups have accused the British Government of covertly sponsoring Royal Dutch Shell’s Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project off east Russia, which they say is causing major environmental damage and threatening a rare species of whale.
WWF and The Corner House are seeking a judicial review of what they claim is crucial financial support for a project which does not meet official standards on conservation.
The case is filed against the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) – the government department charged with facilitating British business abroad. This follows the discovery that ECGD had committed to underwriting $1bn of contracts for the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) – despite three years of assurances to the British public that this decision was still being considered.
SEIC is a Bermuda registered company responsible for Sakhalin II, a major oil and gas development in Russia. The Sakhalin II project, which is, in fact, almost completed, has already caused serious environmental damage and threatens the extinction of the Western Pacific gray whale.
James Leaton, WWF-UK’s Oil and Gas Policy Adviser, said: “ECGD’s support for the Sakhalin II project effectively gave the backing of the UK government to an environmental catastrophe. ECGD has paid lip-service to the environment, but shows no intention of taking concrete action to prevent damage caused by the projects it backs. Supporting this project shows no coherence across the UK government on protecting biodiversity or tackling climate change.”