Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image Academics speak out against Shell conference sponsorship


Members of 10 research and working groups of the Royal Geographical Society yesterday expressed their serious concern at the Society’s continued links to oil giant Shell against the backdrop of the corporation’s ongoing exploitative behaviour in Ireland and the Niger-Delta.

The academics held an impromptu meeting at the RGS’s annual conference in London where they heard how Shell has formed a consortium to exploit the Corrib natural gas field off the west coast of Ireland. The usual way to process gas is to do so on a rig off shore. The consortium, however, is instead attempting to build a dangerous, experimental pipeline to pump raw, untreated gas straight from the seabed over land to a huge refinery which they plan to build 6 miles inland in the Mayo Gaeltacht. To do this it would be necessary for them to go through a residential area.

The local community is totally opposed to Shell’s plans. When five local men refused Shell access to their lands in January 2005, Shell obtained a High Court injunction against them. When they broke it to stop Shell’s work, the men were imprisoned for more than 3 months. Since then, a growing campaign has emerged called ‘Shell to the Sea’ based in Ireland, County Mayo, around the coastal community of Rossport. Their aim is to stop Shell’s plans and save the local environment and community from destruction.

After numerous visits by RGS members to the Rossport Solidarity Camp this year, the academics decided to speak out against the clear contradiction between the RGS’s links to Shell and theme of this year’s conference – ‘Global Social Justice and environmental sustainability’. They formed a network and will be stepping up their pressure on the RGS in the coming weeks and months.

For more information about the Shell to the Sea campaign, see and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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