No Public Money for Shell’s Sakhalin Project
FOE press release
Last Western Pacific Grey Whales Threatened By Shell’s Oil and Gas
Public money must not be used to fund the destruction of the last
remaining population of Western Pacific Grey Whales, environmental
campaigners will today (Tuesday 28 February) tell the London-based
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Friends of the Earth will be among environmental groups raising
concerns at a consultation meeting organised by public-funded bank
to discuss funding for Shell’s massive oil and gas project on
Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East.
The oil giant is requesting $300 million of taxpayers’ money to
help fund a new oil platform and pipeline near to the summer
feeding grounds of the Western Pacific Grey Whale. Experts say
that the development could be disastrous for the whales, with just
100 of the mammals known to be alive.
Friends of the Earth Sakhalin Campaigner Mary Taylor said:
“Yet again, Shell has clearly put oil and profits before
environmental protection. The Bank should be ashamed to be even
considering this project which breaches the very environmental
standards it says it requires.
“EBRD should not be using public money to fund dirty fossil fuel
projects which do little to develop the economies they are
supposed to help and yet which lock us further into a destructive
cycle of fuelling climate change. The bank should switch off the
oil and gas funds and spend our money on clean green renewable
Work has already begun on the construction of Sakhalin II, the
world’s biggest oil and gas extraction project, despite warnings
from an international panel of scientists convened by the World
Conservation Union that the works threaten the already critically
endangered Western Pacific Grey Whale. Scientists believe that
the loss of even just one breeding female a year would be enough
to cause extinction of the species.
People on the island are also concerned by on-shore work to build
an 800 km pipeline which will carry oil and gas from the platform.
The route of the pipe crosses valuable salmon spawning grounds –
which feed the island’s valuable fishing industry. Local
environmentalists have documented many instances of bad
construction practice causing mud and silt to damage the water
quality. Millions of tonnes of dredging spoils have been also
been dumped in the important fishing waters of Aniva Bay in the
south of the island.
The London meeting is the first in the series of consultation
meetings being held by the EBRD before its final decision on
funding for the project is announced. Meetings will also take
place in Japan, Russia and on Sakhalin Island itself.
 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is
hosting the meeting on Tuesday, February 28, at the Park Plaza
Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1. Registration begins at
1400. Campaigners from Friends of the Earth, Wildlife and
Countryside Link, Campaign Whale, IFAW, Marine Connection, and WWF
will be outside the meeting handing out leaflets to highlight the