To highlight the call for a phasing out of fossil fuels, our organisation has designed a project called Advancing the Paris Climate Agreement and Energy Transition in Nigeria (APTRAN) project. It is a one-year project designed to further our work on climate change and the environment. We consider this project an important one that seeks to advance the implementation of Paris Climate Agreement by encouraging investors to adopt the call for fossil fuel phase-out with a just energy transition projection to protect the natural environment from pollution and over-exploitation.

Already, Oil and gas exploration activities with its devastating impact are evident in the Niger Delta region and other locations. We are faced with gas flaring, oil spills, environmental degradation and pollution or contamination of the land, water, air, loss of livelihood, health challenges and other negative effects. Unfortunately, the oil and gas companies are more interested in making profit at our detriment, despite global agreements on emission reduction.

With the APTRAN project, we will get support from the SUNRISE Project who are driven by the imperative of climate justice. The Sunrise Project’s mission is to scale social movements to drive the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as fast as possible. That is why we are working to creatively promote the engagement with investors and shareholders of oil and gas companies to encourage them to adopt strong policies and negotiate with Shell and other multinational oil and gas companies operating in West Africa to achieve fossil fuel phase outs and a just energy transition.

We have studied the climate and energy strategy of Shell and other multinational oil and gas companies. Our studies indicate that they fall short of what is required to achieve the Paris Agreement – of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In fact, Shell’s emission reduction targets are intensity-based rather than absolute and despite the need to gradually wind down oil and gas production globally, the company plans to continue to invest billions of dollars in upstream oil and gas, planning to reach over half of its business by 2030. This will not support the global desire for a transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Just recently, we organized the People’s AGM in May 2022, in Lagos to discuss issues around the activities of multinational oil companies ahead of Shell AGM. The people’s AGM was attended by the people of Niger Delta region and environmental activists from different parts of Nigeria comprising heads and leaders of NGOs, CBOs, Faith Based Organisations, Representatives of Host Oil and Gas Communities, Human Rights groups, youths, students, artisans, victims and media practitioners.

At the Lagos people’s AGM in Lagos, key resolutions were reached to encourage investors to vote against shell’s strategy while urging the church of England/other faith-based organisations and other group of investors to stop lending moral and financial support to shell (and other multinational oil companies). The people’s AGM also called on the investors to immediately embark on a fact-finding mission in collaboration with civil society actors to ascertain the true situation of Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta and tasked Shell to go back to the drawing board and revise the 2021 energy transition strategy to align with Paris Agreement.

To achieve the desired impact, we need to work closely with key stakeholders to advance the project goal and take forward the resolutions of the people’s AGM. That is why we need to discuss the proposed Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project and agree on CSOs position and discuss how to advance the resolutions from the people’s AGM held in Lagos.

We expect you, going forward to join our struggle to get Shell and other oil companies to take responsibility for the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta. We are reaching out to their shareholders to get to companies to review their strategy to align with Paris Agreement.

Ugolor is executive director ANEEJ