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Shell tar sands expansion edges closer: First Nations vow to fight on

Today we want to acknowledge the many Indigenous communities living on the frontline of the tar sands industry who continue to fight hard to protect Mother Earth, despite incredibly difficult circumstances. We particularly want to send our solidarity and support to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). As you can see from this film, being located downstream from tar sands operations means the water and air pollution is causing a great deal of sickness and fear in the community of Fort Chipewyan. ACFN’s traditional subsistence lifestyle is getting harder and harder to maintain as the industry encroaches and spews toxins into their environment. Shockingly, the community’s legal ability to challenge these negative effects, or prevent new tar sands mines on […]

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Tar Sands protests to greet Canadian PM as he addresses Parliament

Tomorrow, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in London to address both Houses of Parliament, in advance of the G8 summit. This is the first time in nearly 70 years the honour has been extended to a Canadian leader. But his visit will be greeted by anti-tar sands protests outside, and an Early Day Motion from MPs calling on the UK government to support EU legislation discouraging future tar sands imports. The protest has transatlantic support from 30 organisations, including Greenpeace UK, Council of Canadians, Friends of the Earth – England Wales and Northern Ireland, the Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign and the World Development Movement. Concern in the UK over the impact of tar sands extraction has grown steadily in […]

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“I appreciate your answer, but I still disagree”

Cross-posted from Extreme Energy Initiative Last week I had the joy of attending Shell’s London shareholder meeting. It’s always a bizarre experience, where the board, shareholders, NGOs and members of frontline communities hurl polite comments back and forth, alternating between some of the biggest planet-altering issues you can think of and various petty technicalities like where the AGM should be held next year. The meeting I attended wasn’t the actual AGM, but a special presentation and Q&A session for UK shareholders. Unlike the AGM in The Hague earlier in the week, the questions focused much more on the technical and financial issues and less on the company’s myriad human rights and environmental abuses. In previous years Shell has organised a […]

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Shaming Shell and confronting Mr Tar Sands

Dear friends, Last week we attended the Shell AGM in The Hague with two powerful Indigenous women. Eriel Deranger and Mae Hank came all the way from North America to communicate their communities’ concerns about Shell’s plans to ruin their traditional territories through tar sands mining and Arctic drilling. The trip was a great success, made possible by the Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Eriel’s verdict was “it feels like they’re finally starting to take notice”. Read the full story here, and a huge thank you to everyone who contributed! We also went along to Shell’s shareholder meeting in London a couple of days later, where we confronted the company over its shameless lobbying against the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive. Shell’s answers […]

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Indigenous communities put the heat on Shell!

Yesterday I attended Shell’s Annual General Meeting in The Hague, to address the board and shareholders. Shell, one of the largest multinational corporations in the world and a company that prides itself in having strong stakeholder relations, was taken aback by a barrage of questions from shareholders and groups attending.  Shareholders questioned Shell’s inability to effectively and adequately meet the needs of local communities, basic safety standards, changing global energy models and economies, global climate change, and basic business standards of corporate social responsibility. Shell is a company that’s modelling its business projections on scenarios in line with a 6-degree global temperature rise, doubling its already huge tar sands developments on the traditional territory of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation […]

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Indigenous communities oppose ‘extreme energy’ at Shell’s AGM

Shell to face barrage of criticism tomorrow over financially risky and environmentally damaging new projects. As the business case for tar sands extraction falters, Arctic drilling is suspended, and the company is investigated for price fixing, Shell’s board will be under pressure to defend the direction it is taking at its AGM in The Hague on Tuesday 21 May. You can watch a live webcast of the event if you register. Two Indigenous women, representing communities impacted by Shell’s operations abroad, will attend the AGM to confront the Chairman and Board over the massive human and ecological rights violations and economic devastation that the company’s operations bring to Indigenous communities. They will argue that Shell’s decision to pursue highly risky […]

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Outrage in Oxford as University launches partnership with Shell

Protests from students, staff and alumni as Energy Minister Ed Davey attends opening ceremony   Today Oxford University launched a new research partnership with Shell, and opened the Shell Geoscience Laboratory. The ceremony was attended by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Alison Goligher, Shell’s Executive Vice-President for Unconventionals. The partnership with the Earth Sciences Department has drawn criticism from alumni, staff and students in a letter published in today’s Guardian. There are over 75 signatories (with more continuing to come in) including prominent environmentalists Jonathon Porritt, George Monbiot and Jeremy Leggett, Emeritus Fellow of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute Brenda Boardman, and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare […]

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Help a delegation of First Nations attend Shell’s AGM

Dear Friends, We’ve always been lucky in the past few years to be able to support First Nations community representatives to attend the AGMs of companies that threaten their land. This has allowed them to communicate directly to the board and other shareholders, who often have little idea about the disruption, illness, and environmental damage that these communities are experiencing. It has helped bring international attention to the issue of tar sands extraction, putting a human face to the impacts of extreme energy development. This year, it has been difficult to find the necessary funds to go towards airfares, accommodation and logistical support. The Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign has now launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds […]

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‘Tar Sands Oil Orgy’ blockades Canada House in London

Canada-EU Energy Summit disrupted as Canada’s aggressive lobbying threatens EU climate legislation Yesterday morning an ‘oil orgy’ performance-protest disrupted the Canada Europe Energy Summit, at Canada House, in London. The annual energy summit was hosted by Canadian High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and featured top officials from Shell, Total and Enbridge, along with Conservative Energy and Climate Minister John Hayes (who has recently received media attention for an alleged plot to promote the anti-wind farm agenda in the Coalition Government). The aim of the event was to promote Canada’s tar sands in Europe, and discussions included how to deal with ‘public policy risks’ such as impending European transport legislation which would discourage imports of highly-polluting fuels like tar sands into the EU […]

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Tar sands activists strangled in the streets!

Dear friends, Direct action against the tar sands has been taking place on both sides of the Atlantic this week! On Monday, we attended a high-level climate change conference in London which was sponsored by Shell and featured Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister, as a keynote speaker. We were there to point out that, far from being climate leaders, Shell and Canada are working together to strangle action on climate change. Campaigners greeted delegates with flyers explaining our concerns, whilst sinister black-clad figures representing Shell and Canada stalked the street, occasionally violently ‘strangling’ activists who were speaking up for climate justice, an end to tar sands extraction, and the removal of Big Oil from politics. Meanwhile inside, the stage was […]

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