The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Jensen,Email:,

Shell's Climate Crimes Exposed

New report from environmental groups exposes Shell’s anti-climate lobbying activities


Friends of the Earth and Oil Change International released a report
today detailing oil giant Shell's colossal contribution to global
climate change and its continued investment in carbon-intensive fossil

The report also reveals new internal documents that show that Shell
knew of the environmental dangers of gas flaring in Nigeria more than
fifteen years ago, but chose not to stop for purely financial reasons.

"Shell greenwashes itself as a sustainable company when in reality
it is the dirtiest oil producer of all," said Ben Schreiber of Friends
of the Earth. "As evidenced by Shell's lobbying activities on the
flawed climate bill that passed the House last Friday, the company has
been instrumental in weakening climate legislation while claiming to
care about the environment."

Despite attempts by outgoing Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer to
portray a green image, the company has opted for a way forward that is
in stark contradiction with the need to reduce greenhouse gas pollution
that causes climate change. Shell's heavy investments in the most
carbon-emitting energy sources, such as tar sands, liquefied natural
gas and crude oil from Nigeria--which is associated with huge levels of
gas flaring--make it the dirtiest of all major oil companies with regard
to greenhouse gas pollution, according to the report.

Since 1996 Shell has promised to stop gas flaring in Nigeria--the
biggest source of heat-trapping gases in sub-Saharan Africa. But the
company has repeatedly broken its promises and rejected statements by
the Nigerian government that flaring should be stopped. Shell refuses
to implement the 2011 deadline imposed by the Nigerian government for
phasing out gas flaring and is now speaking about a 2013 phase out.

Steve Kretzmann from Oil Change International said, "Shell could
stop flaring gas in Nigeria for only 10 percent of last year's profit
for the company. The company's new CEO, Peter Voser, has the power to
stop gas flaring, spare Nigerians from inhaling deadly toxins, and help
to curb climate change in one stroke. The question is: will he?"

Today's report, "Shell's Big Dirty Secret,"
comes after a global backlash against the energy giant's abuses of
human rights and the environment. On June 8, Shell was forced to pay
$15.5 million to settle a lawsuit in the U.S. seeking to hold it
accountable for human rights abuses in Nigeria. The company is also
facing legal action in The Hague concerning repeated oil spills which
have damaged the livelihoods of Nigerian fisherpeople and farmers.

The report can be viewed at:

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

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