Press Release – 2021 WED: Dutch Court Gas Flaring Ruling and the Journey to Ecosystem Restoration
8th June 2021 0

In what was widely described as a landmark ruling, a Dutch court has ruled, recently, that the oil giant must cut its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to its 2019 levels. Reuters reported the court to have also ruled that Shell must take responsibility for its emissions and those of its suppliers.

For advocates pursing justice for environment across the globe, this ruling which came on the heels of the 2021 World Environment Day (WED) commemoration is seen as a remarkable step in the fight against environmental degradation and pollution which continues to affect human’s relationship with nature. Especially, environmental justice advocate, Friends of the Earth (FoE), which instituted the suit alongside six others, sees the judgment as the first policy move that “beats fossil fuel companies’ and guarantees the safety of the environment in line with the Paris climate accord.

While this should be rightly celebrated, the commitment of multinational oil firms towards reducing carbon emission remains a concern. For instance, after the judgment, the BBC reported the spokesperson of Shell to have issued the following statement: “the corporation fully expect to appeal today’s disappointing court decision.” Although he acknowledged that: “urgent action is needed on climate change, which is why we have accelerated our efforts to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050,” it is still worrisome that multinational oil companies will only want to take these actions at their own terms, with not much genuine empathy for global victims and the imperatives of climate change.

For us at SING Nigeria, as we mark this year’s World Environment Day with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration”, we join other advocates to celebrate the latest judgment which is not only a justice for the people of Netherland, but all victims across the world, especially host communities who are the primary victims of gas flaring, oil spillage and other climate change induced activities.

As an environmental justice advocate, SING Nigeria will continue to call for drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emission and oil spillage in communities in the Niger Delta. We also express the belief that victims deserve justice, and we are set to work with well-meaning organizations and individuals to seek justice for the people of the Niger Delta.

As part of our strategic efforts, and to mark this year’s WED, our organization is visiting some communities in the Niger Delta (Ekpetiama & Obunagha in Bayelsa state) on a campaign tagged: “Echoes of Victims” to harvest stories of victims of gas flaring and oil spillage. This year’s campaign, which consolidates our ongoing #endgasflaring campaign, is intentioned to “echo” and get the stories of local victims across to relevant stakeholders for justice and necessary interventions.

SING Nigeria reiterates its stand on the need for the country to seek alternative clean energy; and preparations for life beyond fossil fuel should begin in earnest in order not to be left behind. We call for political momentum and commitment, while also enjoining indigenous people’s actions for restoration of the ecosystem. It is indeed “only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

#Endgasflaring #CommunityEchoes #EchoesofVictims #GenerationRestoration #WorldEnvironmentDay #SINGNigeria

Victor Agi

Communication Manager

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