Shell in the Niger Delta: A framework for change

Shell in the Niger Delta: A frame work for change

Read the full report here

Five case studies from civil society.

A major report from ECCR in 2010, funded by Cordaid.

1. Shell’s Social Licence to Operate: A Case Study of Ogoni
Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
2. Shell’s Poor Stakeholder Engagement
Patrick B. Ereba and Boniface B. Dumpe, Centre for Social and Corporate
Responsibility
3. Three Challenges Facing Shell in the Niger Delta
Stakeholder Democracy Network
4. Shell in Nigeria: A Conflict Perspective
Dr Emmanuel O. Emmanuel, Trans-Border Missionaries Interface Initiative
5. SPDC’s Global Memorandum of Understanding
Tracey Draper, Pro-Natura International (Nigeria

 

FT publishes ECCR Chair’s letter on shareholder activism

‘Shareholders have more power than they think’

On the 7th December 2017 the FT published a letter from Christopher Stockwell, ECCR Chair, stating that more needed to be done to educate people ‘in the pews’ on their ability to influence company behaviour.

Christopher’s letter was written in reply to a letter published in the FT on the 4th December 2017 advocating shareholder engagement as a powerful lever in the pursuit of decarbonisation.

The full text of Christopher’s letter follows:

Sir,

We heartily endorse the need for shareholders to engage with companies (Shareholders should help deliver decarbonisation 4 Dec). The Church Commissioners and other faith investors are to be commended for the role they have played in organising resolutions at company AGMs and in engaging in dialogues with company boards. Such activism by church shareholders is to be welcomed.

However, the call in the letter for other shareholders to engage and to challenge management begs the question of what is being done to make the ordinary men and women “in the pews” aware of the issues and of their ability to do something about it? The shareholdings of church goers in ISAs, pension funds, and savings dwarf those of church corporate funds. There is a need to make people aware of their ability to engage and their duty to do so.

Our experience of encouraging churchgoers to think about their use of money and resources is that many are very keen to tackle company managers about the way companies are run, not just in the oil and gas sector. There is a large body of people of faith who care about the world they and their children live in but who do not realise that they have the right to vote shares, which are held by managers or trustees, the ability to write to company directors, the right to question company policies in letters in newspapers etc.

I hope the signatories of the letter and others who share their concerns will help us and likeminded groups to educate and encourage shareholders to engage with companies they part own, and therefore the policies carried out in their name.

Christopher Stockwell

Chair, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR).

ECCR Newsletter: April 2017

This newsletter invites supporters to look at ECCR’s submission to the government’s consultation on corporate governance and introduces resources to help churches engage with the submission and the issues around governance. It announces the appointment of Alison Prout as our new Communications Director, provides an update on our activities relating to Shell and the Niger Delta, and announces a Tax Justice event that ECCR is helping to plan. And, as always, there’s a roundup of news and resources from areas of interest.

Download the pdf here.

ECCR Newsletter: March 2017

This newsletter highlights an action point relating to Christian Aid’s ‘Big Shift’ campaign – supporters are asked to email their banks and tell them how important it is to scale up investment in renewables, to help fight climate change. It introduces a new joint project with USPG on mining and solidarity with churches in countries where human rights and environmental solidarity are threatened by mining companies’ activities. It also notes a new course available from EMC West Midlands and Black Country. And, as always, there’s a roundup of news and resources from areas of interest.

Download the pdf here.

ECCR Newsletter: February 2017

This newsletter highlights an action point to take in conjunction with the Publish What You Pay Coalition – pressing the UK Government to stand firm on its commitment to a global transparency standard for companies involved in the extractive industries. It highlights action taken by ECCR alongside USPG and the London Mining Network  on compensation for the Marikana miners, a letter we sent as part of the Publish What You Pay coalition, our submission to government on Corporate Governance Reform. And, as always, there’s a roundup of news and resources from areas of interest.

Download the pdf here.

ECCR joins Publish What You Pay call for UK leadership on extractives transparency

PWYP UK members wrote last week to Business Minister Margot James, Treasury Minister Simon Kirby and International Development Secretary Priti Patel, calling on them to ensure that the UK Government continues to champion a strong global extractive industry transparency standard. We are also seeking assurance that UK Government commitment to require country- and project-level reporting of payments to governments by extractive companies remains strong.

The recent vote by US legislators to “disapprove” the rule implementing Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act is retrogressive. The Securities and Exchange Commission must still promulgate a new rule, and members of PWYP USA are committed to ensuring the United States remains on course to implement the global standard.

UK Government leadership has been crucial in establishing a global extractives transparency standard through the Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations 2014 and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). PWYP has particularly valued the effective collaboration with DfID, which has a track record of working internationally to achieve progress in this field.

The full text of the letter to Margot James can be found here.

ECCR calls Lonmin to account over Marikana

On Thursday, 26th January, ECCR joined with Bishop Jo Seoka, the former Anglican Bishop of Pretoria, from the Bench Marks Foundation, the Marikana Miners Solidarity Group, , USPG, the London Mining Network, Amnesty International UK and Plough Back the Fruits outside Haberdashers Hall in London, prior to the Lonmin AGM, to pay sombre tribute to the 34 mine workers killed by South African police in August 2012 in the Marikana platinum mine massacre. The groups were seeking to inform shareholders about, and to hold Lonmin to account for, the delayed progress in putting in place fair compensation for the widows, orphans and injured survivors in addition to improved conditions for the mine workers and their families.

The group was lobbying Lonmin about:

  • Compensating the widows, orphans and injured survivors, which Bench Marks Foundation argues should be in the region of 20 years’ wages that workers would have earned had they not been killed or critically injured during the massacre;
  • Erecting an appropriate Memorial at the Mine to commemorate those who died;
  • Comprehensively address the housing needs of workers, 33 000 of whom live in informal housing without access to electricity, basic sanitation services or running water; and
  • Implementing a living wage for mine workers of R12 500 per month.

Bishop Seoka said: “My attendance at Lonmin AGM is to expose the lie that Lonmin has fulfilled its obligations of meeting workers’ housing needs, improving their living conditions, or implementing a living wage.

ECCR & USPG are planning to work more closely on a joint advocacy project in 2017 in relation to the mining sector.

The photo below shows, left to right, Bishop Jo Seoka (Chair of the Bench Marks Foundation), John Arnold (Executive Director, ECCR), Bishop Michael Doe (Vice-chair & trustee of ECCR) and Rachel Parry (Director for Global Relations USPG).

 

ECCR Chair speaks on launch of ‘I Do’ Campaign

Fairtrade 9ECCR Chair the Rt Reverend Michael Doe spoke to Premier Radio about the launch of the ‘I Do’ campaign, encouraging couples to buy wedding rings made of Fairtrade Gold.

He noted: “I don’t think people realise that other things are going on connected to that Gold.

“Bodies are involved, bodies of miners which have often been injured and sometimes lost. Often young people, even children, in the mining process.

“Although [the couple] is using it for giving it’s also a sign of taking; taking away the lives and the environment from where that gold has been mined.”

You can hear the interview here

Photo Credit: Fairtrade Foundation, with permission

ECCR co-files shareholder resolutions at BP and Shell

ECCR has joined the shareholder resolutions that have successfully been filed at BP and Shell by the Church Investors Group (CIG). These will now feature on the ballot papers for both companies’ AGMs later this year. The resolutions are designed to be stretching for the companies and are intended to help manage the risks and opportunities that the transition to a low carbon economy will pose to their investment value. The full text of both resolutions is available on the CIG website – www.churchinvestorsgroup.org.uk.

53 institutional co-filers were identified by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Diocese of Westminster, Jesuits in Britain, Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation and the United Reformed Church Ministers’ Pension Trust together with ECCR, ICCR, and SHARE. ShareAction – Louise Rouse, and Client Earth also provided invaluable assistance as part of their ongoing work programme. The full list of co-filers can be found here.

Hydrocarbons: Concerns and Challenges (ECCR Bulletin, July 2012)

The contents of this bulletin, which focused on the hydrocarbons sector, included:

  • New Developments in the Niger Delta, by Steve Huckelsby
  • To the End of the Earth: Investor risk in Arctic oil exploration, by Louise Rouse
  • Safe Fracking: Do it right or don’t operate, by Steven Heim
  • EROI: The most important acronym you’ve never heard of, by Matt Crossman
  • Fighting Human Trafficking in the Run-Up to the London Olympics, by Julie Tanner

Download the full bulletin: ECCR_Bulletin_July12