Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International and Awardee of the Right Livelihood Award laureate (Alternative Nobel Prize), Nigeria
Africa it getting more and more into the focus of oil production. In the last couple of years new oil reserves have been found along the Atlantic coast of West Africa. By 2015 the U.S. alone wants to import 25 percent of their oil from Africa. But looking back the abundance of oil in Africa has been like a curse for the continent. In Nigeria, the sixth biggest oil producing country worldwide, the oil extraction of the British-Dutch oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell has destroyed great parts of natural and living environments since the 1950s. Renowned African environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey talks about the crimes of Shell in the Niger Delta, gas flaring, lawsuits against the oil corporation and the effects of climate change carbon trading on the African continent.
Nnimmo Bassey demands an international tribunal against climate crimes after the model of the International Court of Justice. Environmental crimes are a form of genocide, says Bassey. Those who are responsible for climate and environmental damage like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico should be held accountable. Therefore a reform of the justice system is needed. Secondly the price of oil does not reflect the real costs like human rights abuses and environmental destruction especially for local communities in the global South. That has to change, too.