Thursday, 13 December 2012

New Legal Landscape making parent company liable for environmental pollution in the Niger Delta exposes Multinational Oil Company Shell to growing liability suits

In the past, I published some posts on the situation in the Niger Delta outlining the severe environmental pollution caused by gas flaring, an illegal practice used by multinational oil companies to extract oil in the Niger Delta.
Furthermore, a new Oil Industry Act expected to enter into force last year in Nigeria in September/October 2011 didn't pass in the Parliament and all hopes to find more suitable regulations to address and reduce the devastation in the Niger Delta vanished again.

Therefore, I was very pleased to review the report launched by the Essex Business and Human Rights Project outlining the importance of new distinguishing cases which could represent a turning point for the stalling situation. Actually, recent pronouncements of UK courts have condemned the subsidiary company of Shell operating in the Niger Delta (Royal Dutch Shell Plc) for environmental damages and created a direct link between the multinational oil company, accountable for environmental, health and safety standard breach caused by the subsidiary.

Shell will risks soon to face a growing number of suits to respond to allegations of  environmental pollution caused in the Niger Delta by the parent companies.

Furthermore, on October 11, 2012, four Nigerians filed a court case in The Hague, The Netherlands, against oil giant Shell over environmental damage to their communities. The court case against Shell's oil spills in the Niger delta has been filed by the four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria. The plaintiffs are demanding that Shell cleans up oil pollution in their villages and compensates them for damages they incurred. In this interview, Chief Eric Dooh from the village of Goi describes how he and his community have been affected by the oil spills. This video has been produced by for Friends of the Earth International.