Pacific Grey Whale pays for Shell…

Shell Reports Record Profits – Pacific Grey Whales Pay the Price?

Feb 2

Friends of the Earth today (Thursday 2 February) called for a
windfall tax on the oil giant Shell which has reported record
annual profits of £12.93bn [1]. The campaign group said Shell was
profiting from climate change and people and the environment were
paying the price.

The group also highlighted the threat posed by Shell’s activities
to the last remaining population of Western Pacific Grey Whales.
Shell is currently seeking funding for a further oil platform and
pipeline off the Russian island of Sakhalin, disturbing the
endangered species’ feeding grounds [2]. An independent
international panel of experts convened by the World Conservation
Union last year warned Shell that the Sakhalin II project
increased the risk of extinction for the Western Pacific Grey
Whale [3]. Shell agreed to alter the route of the pipeline, but
has refused to relocate the platform, as recommended by the
experts.

Local fishermen and members of the public took part in a protest
at Shell’s activities on Sakhalin just last weekend. Friends of
the Earth is calling for funding for the project – due to be
decided by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development
later this year – to be blocked. It says that Shell must do more
to reduce the damaging environmental impacts of its activities
overseas.

Shell is also accused of profiting from climate change. Although
the company has invested in renewable energy in recent years, such
investments represent a tiny proportion of the profits it has
made. Friends of the Earth is calling on the Chancellor to
introduce a windfall tax on oil company profits – with the revenue
invested in renewable technologies to heat and power public
buildings.

Friends of the Earth’s Head of Corporate Accountability Craig
Bennett said:

“Shell is profiting from the current high oil prices, but we are
all paying the price. Oil companies must be forced to face up to
their wider responsibilities – on climate change, on the
environment and on human rights. Shell claims the costs are too
great to protect the Western Pacific Grey Whale – but yet again
announces record profits. This just shows the need for Government
intervention to make companies do more to minimise the
environmental damage they cause.”

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to use the
Company Law Reform Bill, currently going through Parliament, to
introduce tougher requirements for companies to report on their
environmental and social impacts [4]. It also wants the
Chancellor to make use of the coming Budget to introduce a
windfall tax on oil companies who are reporting record profits on
the back of the rising oil price.

Notes:

[1] Shell.com

[2] Shell has a 55% stake in the Sakhalin Energy Investment
Company which is operating the Sakhalin II oil and gas project in
the Russian Far East. It has requested a loan of $300 million
from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) –
a public bank funded by taxpayers money. The Bank is currently
consulting on the loan and is expected to announce its decision
later this year.

[3]Report

[4]press for change

—————————————————————
Friends of the Earth Email: info@foe.co.uk
26-28 Underwood Street URL: http://www.foe.co.uk
London Tel: 020 7490 1555
N1 7JQ Fax: 020 7490 0881

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About Leighton Cooke

The Original Cookiemouse
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