The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other leaders of the Church of England to withdraw their support for the Shell’s climate and energy plan at the company’s 2021 annual general meeting.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, David Ugolor, who signed the letter on behalf of 39 other civil society groups in Nigeria, said Shell’s activities through its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), leaves much to be desires about its commitment to climate change and environmental protection.
Title “OPEN LETTER TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY” and
dated May 10, 2021, a copy of the petition was sent to the Chair of the Church of England Pensions Board as well as other Church of England Leaders.
The petition reads: “Your Grace,
We welcome the leadership that you are providing in this vital year for our climate, such as
your work convening global faith leaders ahead of the Glasgow summit.
“We fully agree with your statement that:
“We all have both a moral and financial responsibility to address the climate emergency and to use those tools available to us to support the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“For Christians and people of conscience, this is even more so when you see the impacts on the world’s poorest and least equipped to adapt to extreme weather, as well as the impacts on the beauty of God’s creation.
“In that context, we are extremely disappointed and concerned to see that the Church of England Pensions Board is lending its moral and financial authority to Shell, and plans to vote for Shell’s climate and energy plan at its 2021 Annual Meeting.
“We urge you to use all the tools available to you to encourage all parts of the Church of England to challenge Shell, rather than champion the corporation’s climate and energy plan.
“In a recent article the Church of England Pensions Board’s Chief Responsible Investment Officer wrote that Shell’s ”goal is clear and unambiguous, and Shell is accountable for delivering that target.
“We strongly disagree. Nigeria has deep experience with Shell, and as
representatives of Nigerian citizens’ groups we wish to tell you that we feel that the company is the opposite of accountable to most Nigerians, and has a track record of misleading
statements and commitments.
“Shell should not be rewarded for setting a long-term ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – we need urgent action now, starting this year.
“It is not acceptable for the Church to sign off on a Shell plan for this decade that makes no absolute carbon emission reduction pledges, includes huge increases in gas production, and relies on improbably large amounts of tree-planting.
“Indeed, Shell’s rush to find land for
‘nature-based solutions’ might well lead to further carbon colonialism, slavery and human rights violations in the global south.
“Aiming for net-zero carbon emissions has become another effort by polluting entities like Shell to avoid cutting emissions but rather continue in the harmful practices that drive global warming. Net zero is not zero emissions. It simply
means polluting and assuming the equivalent amount of carbon is absorbed by trees or is mechanically captured and stored by an assortment of risky and unregulated geoengineering proposals.
“Endorsing Shell’s plan is akin to handing the corporation a right to toy with planetary systems, while the poor and vulnerable continue to fight a losing battle against global warming.
“The Church of England has an important voice in the world on many topics. And on Shell your
responsibility is even weightier, as you lead engagement with the company on behalf of the Climate Action 100+, an initiative involving over 500 investors worth $54 trillion.
“With the effects of climate change more visible every year, the future of our children is at stake, in Nigeria, Africa and around the world. We hope that you hear our call, and take urgent steps to ensure that the church reconsiders its position on Shell.
“Endorsing the cynical climate
plan offered by Shell would mean believing that Earth systems operate according to the principles of calculus and negates the truth that the Earth is a wonderfully created system of interdependent and complex systems that no man can control by mechanical contraptions or imaginations for the sole aim of meeting shareholder’s pleasure.
“We urge you to continue to support our demands for ecological justice and the protection of our environment and will be happy to continue the dialogue with you as we look forward to a positive response.
Our Sincere Regards:
Rev David Ugolor, Convener and Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ).”
Ugolor said the petition was on behalf of some concerned persons and organisations, including Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation; Ken Henshaw (We The People); Joel Bisina (Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa); Bridget Emem (Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre); Edem Edem (Green Concern for Development (GREENCODE); Umo Isua-Ikoh (Peace Point Development Foundation); Nelson Nnanna Nwafor (Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD Nigeria);
Clinton Ikechukwu Ezeigwe (Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation); Tijani Abdulkareem (Socio Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC); Abiodun Oyeleye (New Initiative for Social Development (NISD); Tijah Bolton Akpan (Policy Alert) and Akinbode Oluwafemi (Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa).
Others were Nne Umoren (Women Initiative for Climate Change); Idongesit Alexander (League of Queens International Empowerment); Nwindee Namon (Gbogbia Feefeelo of K-Dere); Regina Fabian Asanga (Rural Health and Women Development); Emeka Ogazi (Transparency and Economic Development Initiative (TEDI); David Tola Winjobi (Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development); Lilian Ekeanyanwu (CPDE Nigeria); Bako Abdullazeez (Centre for Citizen Rights); Aroh Silverleen (Save the Child Initiative); Olusola Adeosun (Community Heritage Watch for Development initiatives); Keme Opia, (Bayelsa NGOs Forum); Felix Ekhator (New Apostolic Church Centre for Development); Israel Orekha (Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative); Inyingi Irimagha (Gender and Development Action, GADA); Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku (Civil Empowerment and Rule of Law Support Initiative (CERLSI).
Also among the signatories include Jude Obasanm (Josemaria Escriva Foundation); Chris Azor (International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC); Grace Ese Obakina (Caring Hearts Initiative For Advocacy Development and
Empowerment (CHIADE); Onose Martha (Community Empowerment and Development Initiative); Abiola Daisy Igaga (Take a Cue Development Initiative (TACDI); Batholomeu Okoudo (Keep Hope Alive Community Development Initiative); Doris Ogbeifun (Society for Empowered Youth Development); Philip Slabor (Development Initiators); Emeka Ezeigwe (Global initiative for Citizens Advocacy and Representation (GICAR); Agatha Erhabor (Women Youths and Children Advancement Programme); Deborah Olaolu Salami (CAFSO-WRAG for Development) and Perseverance Umukoro (Oghara Centre for Social Justice (CENSOJ).
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