Target: Ben van Beurdan, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell
Goal: Demand that Shell restart the cleanup process in Nigeria and conduct necessary health and environmental screenings.
In 2015, the Royal Dutch Shell Corporation agreed to pay $83 million in compensation for two massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009 in the Niger Delta in West Africa. These spills combined were among the worst man-made disasters in Nigeria’s history, and led to the largest loss of mangrove habitat ever. Especially hard-hit were the 31,000 people residing in the Bodo community, whose fishing lifestyle was destroyed after the oil wiped out their livelihoods.
Nearly a decade later, Shell’s cleanup efforts have stalled due to issues with contractors and the company has been resistant to perform environmental testing. In 2015, a scientist hired by Shell revealed that the mangroves were still soaked in hydrocarbons, and expressed concern that the conditions were dangerous for the locals who bathed in the rivers and drank from hand-dug wells. Shell tried to conceal this and other findings, and has not offered to provide necessary health screenings for the Bodo people.
Shell is entirely culpable for the disasters that took place in the Niger Delta, which have devastated this community. In the same concealed 2015 report, data suggested it may take over 30 years for the mangroves to recover, and the human impact in terms of lifelong health effects due to exposure to the hydrocarbons remains to be seen. Shell’s actions are deeply irresponsible, and they must commit to doing whatever they can to ensure the cleanup is completed as soon as possible.
Sign this petition to tell Shell that they have a duty to continue the cleanup efforts, and must do more to inform and protect the Bodo people of the dangers the contaminated zones pose.
Dear Mr. Beurdan,
The disastrous oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2008 and 2009 are a chilling reminder of the dangers that fossil fuels can pose to the environment and to the people who rely upon it. Your company has been aware since at least 2015 that the hydrocarbon levels in the mangroves around the Bodo community are still far too high, and yet cleanup efforts have been effectively stalled and the Bodo people have not been given proper medical screenings. Your company has tried to suppress this information and conceal the harmful effects that the spill has had. Yet the scientific facts cannot be denied, and they must be shared, especially with those who have been most affected.
We the undersigned demand that you stop suppressing this information, and that you take the necessary steps to resume the cleanup, and offer health screenings for those affected by the spill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Milieudefensie