Shell: Rejected by Lego, accepted by Malta

Environmental degradation, oil spills, gas flaring, groundwater pollution, breach of human rights and drilling in the Arctic.  Shell is responsible for all these issues.

Oil and gas production in the Niger Delta by Royal Dutch Shell has led to severe environmental degradation.  Over the last 50 years, the corporation has obliterated large areas in Nigeria and in the surrounding regions.  Uncontrolled oils pills and gas flaring were just the beginning.  These do not only cause severe negative environmental effects, but also lead to negative impacts on health.

Gas flaring, for example, has a direct affect on human health, as well as oils spills, which contaminate the area.  However, this will also lead to secondary problems such as river and lake pollution, leading to drastic declines in fish stocks; pollution of land by oil, meaning nothing can be grown for farming; groundwater pollution leading to citizens drinking polluted water; social and economic destruction of the country since people get sick and also die, leading to mass migration, which in turn will lead to the economic failure of the nation.

Shell is also known to be one of the first oil corporations to start oil exploration in the Arctic.  This means that if an oil spill occurs in this region, this will lead to dire environmental consequences.

Many organisations such as Amnesty International, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Greenpeace and others have criticised Shell for these criminal activities.

The Danish toy-brick maker LEGO was heavily criticised for its cooperation with Shell and Greenpeace even launched an entire campaign against LEGO.  However, recently LEGO, which has been undergoing co-branding relationships with Shell for years, decided to reject new plans of cooperation.

However, this week, the Maltese Government has decided to make new deals with Shell, which will be providing gas to power the new gas power station.  Although Malta has signed contracts with Shell for many years, it is shameful that this corporation which is known for the breach of human rights is accepted as a partner for supplying the new power station.

ADZ Malta Green Youth disagrees completely with this decision.  We do not want to make business with criminal corporations that causes so much harm.  ADZ Malta Green Youth has always supported the idea of sustainability and this agreement comes at a high environmental as well as social expanse.  Malta’s agreement with Shell will continue leading to the Niger Delta being exploited and polluted which leads to sever ecological, economic and social effects.

We urge the government to reject Shell, just like LEGO did, and make plans for cooperation with other, more ‘sustainable’, companies.

Pascal Aloisio (ADZ Executive Member)

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