In the North Sea, Greenpeace activists are leading a protest campaign against Shell. The Anglo-Dutch oil company is being called upon to pay for the damages caused by its continued production of fossil fuels, which is exacerbating the climate crisis. In Africa, where Shell also operates, more than 100 million people will be threatened by global warming by 2030.
“Shell and the wider fossil fuel industry are bringing the climate crisis into our homes, families, landscapes and oceans,” said Yeb Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. On the morning of Tuesday 31 January 2023, four of his comrades boarded a ship chartered by the oil company Shell en route to the UK North Sea, to protest against the energy company’s continued production of fossil fuels. The campaign, entitled “Stop Drilling. Start Paying” campaign, the protesters are carrying enough materials to occupy the rig for several days.
“So we’re going to confront them at sea, at shareholder meetings, in the courts, online and at their headquarters. We will not stop until we get climate justice. We will make the polluters pay,” says Yeb Saño. The White Marlin, the ship climbed by Greenpeace activists with ropes, is a key piece of production equipment that will allow Shell to unlock eight new wells in the Penguins oil and gas field in the North Sea.
Payment of damages
Greenpeace’s action comes as the Anglo-Dutch company is set to report a record annual profit of around $40 billion when it releases its 2022 financial results on Thursday, 2 February 2023. Like its rivals, Shell has benefited from soaring oil and gas prices resulting from the energy crisis triggered by the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Greenpeace would like to see the disbursement of funds from this oil rent to adaptation and climate change efforts in developing countries, particularly in Africa, where Shell is mainly present in Nigeria.
At the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the world’s countries agreed on the establishment of a financial mechanism to compensate for the “loss and damage” caused by global warming in the most vulnerable countries. The contours of the “loss and damage” fund have yet to be defined. But according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate), a “transition committee” will be set up to make recommendations on how to operationalise the new financing mechanisms and the fund at the COP28 in 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
However, the climate crisis is exacerbating in Africa. According to the United Nations (UN), more than 100 million people will be threatened by global warming by 2030.