Decades later, oil giant Shell agreed to pay $111 million for its destruction in Nigeria

by Jessica Corbett

After decades of protests and claims over damages, Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday finally agreed to pay $111 million for the oil spill that has polluted Nigerian communities for more than half a century.

Lucius Nosa, attorney representing the Ijama Ibobo community attorney in Ogoniland, Rivers State, Tell France media agency. “The decision is a demonstration of society’s determination for justice.”

The spokesperson for the Nigerian oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria, She said that “the order to pay … to the claimant is for the full and final fulfillment of the judgment.”

The case dates back to 1991. A Nigerian court ordered Shell to compensate the people of Ijama-Ibobo in 2010, which the company repeatedly appealed but to no avail.

After losing its appeal, Shell began arbitration proceedings against the Nigerian government at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in February. Bloomberg Reports The company has not said whether it will withdraw the lawsuit now.

Shell plans to pay $111 million within the next three weeks. While some viewed the settlement as a kind of justice, it is a relatively small amount of money for a giant oil company mentioned Adjusted earnings for 2020 were $4.85 billion. The year before, before the coronavirus pandemic, the Anglo-Dutch multinational made $16.5 billion in profits.

Although Shell continues to blame “third parties” for the oil spill during Nigeria’s civil war, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) She said That settlement “is an affirmation of the issues we have raised regarding Shell’s environmental destruction of the Ogoni and the need for an appropriate treatment of the land.”

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Ogoni environmental activist Nemo Bassi… he praised the people affected by the oil spills for being “very persistent” in their case against Shell. “The scale of the pollution in the Niger Delta is massive, and people having to wait 30 years before the case is over has tested people’s patience. We really have to applaud people for this.”

Kentpe Ibriado, an environmental rights activist in the Niger Delta, said he saw the case’s outcome as an “alarm bell” for multinational companies. “It has opened the door for more communities in the Niger Delta to demand redress for the environmental atrocities they have devastated in the past 50 years,” he said. DW.

the BBC pointed that “earlier this year, in a separate case, a Dutch appeals court ruled that Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary was liable for damages caused by leaks in the Niger Delta from 2004 to 2007.”

The settlement news comes as Shell also faces global criticism for its contribution to the climate emergency. In May a decision that activists praised As a “landslide victory for climate justice” that could also lead to similar rulings around the world, a Dutch court has ordered the company to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.

seashells confirmed Her intention is to resume this matter last month. In response, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator Sarah Shaw She said That “Shell must not waste time on appeal: history, science and justice are on our side. There is no time to waste in tackling the climate crisis.”

Source: Shared dreams

Image source and caption: An Aboriginal in Bodo, Ogoniland District of Rivers State, attempts to separate crude oil from water in a boat in waterways contaminated by oil spills attributed to Shell equipment failure on August 11, 2011 (Photo: Bios) Otome Ekbe/AFP via Getty Images)

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