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The Guardian: Friends of the Earth vs Shell

Bibi van der Zee
Tuesday October 17, 2006

Campaign of the week

The Shell sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award – hosted by BBC Wildlife and the Natural History Museum (and handed out tomorrow night) – is causing a bit of a headache. According to Friends of the Earth, as one of the world’s major oil companies, Shell is a “wildlife destroyer” and “has played a significant part in contributing … to climate change. Shell’s sponsorship of the award completely undermines its value.”

In response to this, the director of the Natural History museum has told FoE: “It is not, of course, my role to defend the specific environmental impact of Shell.”
Shell obviously takes this all very seriously. The Shell Sustainability Report has come out every year since 1998, and covers everything from renewable energy strategies to disputes with local groups in Ireland over the Corrib development. “Climate change is the biggest problem,” it clearly states, making heaps of promises to invest in renewable energies and “make a positive contribution to conserving global biodiversity”.

But the reputation is proving hard to shake off, especially after a Nigerian judge handed Shell a bill for $1.5bn for pollution earlier this year (Shell is appealing), and a Russian government agent accused Shell of “destroying our nature” at the Sakhalin-2 project in eastern Russia: Shell’s environmental permit has been revoked by the Russian government, although the company denies mismanagement.

FoE is bringing some neighbours of Shell projects around the world to the UK to talk about their experience of Shell’s work. Maybe you’d like to let Shell know your views on these matters, too?,,1923971,00.html and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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