“This is a massive win for people all around the world. The Court’s ruling is crystal clear. Oil and gas companies can no longer hide behind empty climate promises and green PR. They will need to cut oil and gas production and sales to bring their emissions down in line with 1.5°C.”
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that two Nigerian communities – of more than 50,000 people – can bring their legal claims for clean-up and compensation against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary in the English courts.
Despite the warnings for years that we cannot burn new reserves of oil if we want a liveable climate, the West’s top nine oil majors alone are sitting on more than 28 billion barrels of oil equivalent of undeveloped resources. Much of this could end up going from being an asset to a liability, just as many predicted.
Tomorrow evening, our colleagues at PlatformLondon will be hosting an online global arts event in collaboration with MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People), Shake! And Virtual Migrants, to not only celebrate the Ogoni 9, but also for people to hear from other frontline environmental defenders from key battles against the oil industry. It promises to be an inspirational evening.
On November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists — Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine — were hanged by the Nigerian dictatorship in Port Harcourt. Their only crime? Exposing the devastating impact that Shell Petroleum Development Company’s extraction of fossil fuels from the Niger Delta had on the Ogoni land, lives, and livelihoods.
To do anything less than stopping all public money to fossil fuels dishonors the memory and sacrifices of Saro-Wiwa, the Ogoni 9, and countless others who have risked and lost their lives to defend their lands and communities.
Another grim, painful milestone is reached. It is now a quarter of a century since Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 were murdered in Nigeria by Shell.
Shell’s dirty shadow now stains the Court. Barrett must recuse herself from any climate legislation. Anything less will make a mockery of the Supreme Court and American Justice.
Why does the fight for justice take so long? Why is it so difficult to hold Big Oil to account? Why does it take years even decades to drag oil executives, kicking and screaming, into a court-room?
Some of the world’s worst polluting companies, including BP and Shell, have been regularly lobbying the UK Government offering money to be part of next year’s UN COP26 conference.