Shell slammed for pollution in Niger Delta

Shell has again been criticised for its poor environmental record in the Niger Delta.

A new report, published this week, slams Shell’s failure to take responsibility for limiting the environmental impact of its activities in the region.

The, published by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), examines five case studies carried out by NGOs operating in Nigeria.

“The case studies reveal a consistent thread of concerns,” the report says.

“These include a continuing failure by Shell to operate in the Niger Delta fully according to robust international social and environmental standards, severe pollution of air, land and water, inadequate inclusion of communities in decisions affecting their lives, short-termism and lack of vision.”

Gas flaring, the practice of burning off the natural gas that rises to the surface when oil is extracted from underground, came under particular criticism.

The practice is blamed for high levels of carbon emissions, and local water and air pollution.

The ECCR said Shell should stop gas flaring, as it promised in 2007.

It also urged Shell to provide clean drinking water to those affected by gas flaring, and to clean up the numerous oil spills that have occured in the region.

An estimated 1.5 million tonnes of oil have been spilled in the region since Shell began extracting oil there in the 1950s.

Other recommendations in the ECCR’s report included replacing aging pipelines and introducing on-going human rights training for Shell staff.

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