Keep it in the Ground: Intervention from Gulf of Mexico Indigenous Delegate at Shell Annual General Meeting
For interviews with delegate, high-res images and video contact:
Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network 0044 777 269 4327 [email protected]
Monique Verdin, 001 504 330 0768, [email protected]
- Indigenous delegate from Gulf of Mexico challenges Shell’s expansion of deep-sea drilling with intervention at AGM with 10-ft photographs presented to investors and board members, depicting environmental and community impacts in the Gulf
- Communities in Gulf of Mexico call for moratorium on deep-sea drilling in the Gulf, supported by environmental justice organisations in UK and Netherlands
- Intervention comes 2 weeks after Shell spilled 88,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, after putting forward $27m to expand their portfolio of deep-sea drilling in the Gulf.
Today at 9am at the Shell Annual General Meeting at the Hague, Monique Verdin, indigenous resident of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, staged a living exhibition of her large-scale photographs of the environmental and community impacts of deep-sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This comes two weeks after Shell spilled 88,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf offshore of Louisiana, after having bid $27m to buy more leases to drill there. Supported by UK Tar Sands Network and Indigenous Environment Network, Monique also entered the AGM to challenge board members and investors to pull out of the Gulf.
Monique Verdin, Council member-elect of The United Houma Nation, Louisiana:
“Shell may have pulled out of the Arctic, for now, meanwhile they continue to expand, explore and invest in some of the deepest and most dangerous territories in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell just put forward $27million to buy up new leases in the Gulf, taking advantage of a 114 million acre carbon grab. While they continue to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, communities across the planet will bear the brunt through health, economic and community impacts. Community mobilisations in the Arctic against offshore drilling have inspired Gulf communities to unsilence themselves to fight for the same; demanding ‘No new leases’ and an urgent call for a just transition away from fossil fuel extraction.’
A simultaneous action has been organised in New Orleans today by communities who demand that the US government denies Shell the new leases to drill in the Gulf.
Verdin’s 10-foot photographs displayed at the entrance to the Shell AGM at the Circustheater at The Hague, depicted environmental and community impacts of deep sea drilling as well as the aftermath of extreme weather events such as Hurricane Katrina, of which Verdin herself was an evacuee. They also convey the scale and proximity of the ‘Norco’ Shell refinery near her community.
Faith Gemmill, Executive Director of REDOIL, Alaska:
“In Alaska, we fought hard to keep Shell Oil out of the Arctic. As such, we stand in solidarity with Gulf Coast communities who are still fighting Big Oil in their waters. Our hearts go out to the communities dependent on the marine environment for job and food security, because we know first hand the devastation caused by oil development.”
Suzanne Dhaliwal, Director of UK Tar Sand Network
‘Shell attempted to portray themselves today as a relevant company, in this era of climate change. Meanwhile they are attempting to expand their Gulf drilling faster than any other oil and gas company. Shell wants shareholders to celebrate it’s newly created renewables division; but this ‘division’ represents less than 1% of the $30bn Shell pumps into oil & gas annually. They simply cannot continue to operate in the tar sands and expect unproven carbon capture storage technology to mitigate the devastating impacts on the environment and the global climate. Shell are not fit to navigate the energy transitions we need and they they need to stop pursuing new leases to drill which devastate communities and ecosystems in the meantime.’