ECCR joins coalition urging action on oil spills in Niger Delta

Following BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster, British and Irish church-based investor advocacy group the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) is one of many civil society organisations and leaders calling for a compensation fund to address the impact of oil spills in Nigeria.

BP has been grilled in Congress and rightly been forced to pledge billions of dollars in compensation to US communities, the international coalition says. But in the Niger Delta oil companies such as Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil have been largely responsible for decades of oil spills, destroying livelihoods and violating the human rights of local communities. Unlike victims in the US, villagers in Nigeria have had nowhere to turn for adequate remedies.

The coalition - which includes more than 40 Nigerian, UK, US and international organisations and individuals - is calling for Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan to oversee the establishment of an independent compensation body, funded by oil revenues, to address the impact of oil spills. It also advocates other measures such as early replacement of ageing pipelines and public reporting of all major spills, to halt and in time reverse environmental degradation in the Niger Delta.

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