According to the report, Shell needs to address pollution in the Niger Delta before exiting the area.

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According to a report, Shell, the oil company, must be held accountable for its harmful pollution in the Niger Delta and properly decommission any abandoned oil structures before being allowed to leave the area.

Shell plc plans to sell its assets in the delta, but a report advises that it should stay until it has resolved any environmental damage caused in the past.

According to research conducted by Somo (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations), the region is still heavily impacted by past pollution and Shell is being accused of evading accountability despite profiting billions from the oil industry.

The accusations were made when Clive Lewis, a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, stated during a session in the House of Commons that the exit of British company Shell from the delta could result in the avoidance of their environmental responsibilities and duties.

The report addresses a significant lack of transparency regarding the funding for decommissioning. While Nigerian companies are legally required to allocate funds for decommissioning, there is no way to accurately determine the amount of funding they have actually set aside. This was reported by the authors.

The team at Somo did not find evidence of Shell establishing a fund or funds to pay for the decommissioning of the oil mining leases it has offloaded.

According to Audrey Gaughran, executive director of Somo, Shell has successfully executed a miraculous escape like Houdini. As the oil industry nears its end, whether in 5 or 25 years, Shell has divested its harmful assets and will not be responsible for them when the time comes.

For many years, Shell has made a substantial profit from extracting oil, causing the Niger delta to become one of the most polluted areas on the planet. As a result, the local communities are now facing severe consequences that will likely last long after the oil industry is gone.

The exit of Shell, who has held the top position and occupied a significant portion of the region for many years, will impact large parts of the delta and numerous communities, according to her statement.

Shell has consistently claimed that the pilferage of oil and disruption of pipelines are the primary factors contributing to the contamination of oil. However, the report states that this does not absolve the company from its obligation to address the issue. According to Nigerian legislation, Shell is required to remediate oil spills regardless of their origin. The report asserts that the company has not fulfilled this responsibility.

“The case of Shell’s unjust energy transition must not be disregarded,” declared Gaughran. “Holding them accountable for the historical pollution, insufficient funding for safe decommissioning, and insufficient financial transparency in Nigeria will serve as a crucial measure for promoting a fair energy transition on a global scale.”

During the current session of the House of Commons, Lewis expressed concern about Shell’s proposal to sell its Nigerian subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). He inquired about the government’s actions to prevent any potential environmental fallout from the departure of this British company.

According to Lewis, this is a crucial problem concerning both business and human rights in our lifetime. The actions of Shell, a company, have been a cause of extreme brutality, violence, and oppression towards communities in the Niger delta.

“Shell’s departing from the Niger Delta may establish a model for other UK-based corporations in developing countries who may be attempting to avoid accountability for causing environmental harm. This could leave affected communities with limited options for pursuing justice.”

A representative from Shell stated that divestments onshore by global energy companies are a component of a larger restructuring of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. After many years of developing their capabilities, local companies are now taking on a bigger role in helping the country achieve its sector goals.

As assets are sold off, the authorities are required to report to the federal government, allowing them to thoroughly review various matters and approve the sales if all criteria are met.


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