Home News ETP 2060: Chevron, NLNG’s energy transition agendas silent over environmental damage- Study  
News - December 21, 2022

ETP 2060: Chevron, NLNG’s energy transition agendas silent over environmental damage- Study  

……SPDC’s reject meaningful communities’ participants

 

 

Stanley Ihedigbo (oluwastanley2@yahoo.com)

A researched report released on weekend by Spaces for Change (S4C), Youths & Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) and Extractives 360 have revealed that Chevron Nigeria and Nigeria LNG (NLNG) energy transition agendas were  silent on how they intend to reverse and repair the environmental damage caused by  decades of their gas flaring in the rich oil-communities.

Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP) is a pathway targeted to adopt natural gas as a transition fuel to aid the process of phasing out carbon –polluting fuels like crude oil.

They two companies appeared solidly committed to ending routine gas flaring but uniform silence of businesses on environmental restoration, clean up and remediation on damage caused by the gas flares, which results  killing of crops, polluting water, and damaging of human health.

The report also said that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in its energy transition agenda however promised to continue to partner with communities provides jobs, and encouraging local businesses to be part of their supply chain, not as participants that can exert influence on energy resource management, but as passive beneficiaries of development initiatives.

The research report further said,”SPDC favours a just transition that rides on extensive collaboration between governments, investors, non-governmental organizations, industrial emitters and oil and gas companies, to help unlock financing, accelerate technology development and encourage public support, with appropriate framework to intentionally grow the off-gird power and renewables industry taking advantage of foreign financial support and technology transfer. And communities’ participants were excluded from the company’s preferred list of collaborators.

“The silent by the companies, on how to repair the environmental damage caused by decades of gas flaring, that resulting poverty and massive harms to human health foisted on local communities. Widespread poverty in the resource-rich locales has driven large swathes of local populations into the artisanal refining trade. Increasingly popularity of this trade rolls back Nigeria’s efforts to transition to net-zero emissions. Interviews with oil-rich communities in Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa states reveal that environmental injustices endured by host and impacted communities of extractive activities must be resolved first before major shift away from oil are implemented,” it reported.

However, the report further stated  oil and gas corporations have unveiled energy transition agendas that make veiled reference to communities , but a deep scanning reveals shallow commitments that require little, if any, deviation from current corporate behaviour and practices.

“While business perspectives on energy transition make bold promises of emission reduction, accompanied by ambitious blueprints for achieving them, the tradition of relegating communities to mere spectators and beneficiaries of social programmes has been stanchly retained. For instance, corporations like SPDC, Chevron, Total Energies and NLNG have retained the same asymmetrical arrangements of the fossil –fuel era for delivering social goods and services to communities commonly packaged as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“In short, CSR initiatives represent the philanthropic contributions of extractive corporations to the communities where they operate. In the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, these philanthropic commitments are usually codified into poorly negotiated contracts called “General Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU)” executed between corporations and communities. Communities neither make any inputs into the drafting of the GMOUs nor receive expert guidance to negotiate better deals and benefits. Not only those, GMOUs are largely uncoordinated, and are neither monitored by state departments nor independent third parties for implementation and verification. As part of the necessary ingredients of a just transition, there is need for enforceable legal standards prescribing the modalities and the precise oil company contributions to community development, which empowers communities to hold mult-nationals accountable for non-adherence to negotiated agreements. It also represents a departure from the current practice of giving communities handouts in the name CSR”, it said.

The report noted that, SPDC’s strategy document, released in 2021, expressed support for energy transition and commits to becoming a net-zero energy business by 2050.

“The company’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress in achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change. With this target the company intends to contribute to a net-zero worlds, where society stops adding to the total amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Becoming a net-zero emission energy business means that we are reducing emission from our operations, and from the fuels and other energy products we sell to our customers.

“Also, SPDC’s 2021 powering progress strategy has four main goals. One of these goals seeks to support livelihoods, communities, and an inclusive society in light of the energy transition, promising to continue to partner with communities, provide jobs, and encourage local businesses to be part of their supply chain, promote entrepreneurship, and offer shills training in communities of operation. Other provisions include managing and enlightening communities close to its operations about the impacts of oil activities.

“Chevron has been vocal about its support for energy transition and the need for a lower –carbon energy future. Determined to achieve 95 percent reduction in gas flaring, previously flared gas will be gathered for commercialization purposes in communities. The Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI), created to address socioeconomic challenges in the region , was stated as one of the initiatives set up to enable a peaceful environment characterized by growth and human capacity building initiatives in communities,” the report added.

While on the NLNG, “They fully embracing Nigeria’s energy transition plan and wants to be a globally competitive energy company whose projects can provide employment and skill acquisition opportunities to Bonny Island inhabitations in the Niger Delta while also providing food, supplies, and economic benefits to local communities. Of particular significance is the plan to use the Train 7 project to address the environmental issue in affected communities as a result of oil operations while also increasing liquefied natural gas emissions”.

Speaking on the research report, Chief Contributor and Executive Director, Spaces for Change (S4C), Ms. Victoria Ibezim –Ohaeri, said, “One thing is clear, the missing elements of meaningful community participation and environmental accountability regurgitate the flaws associated with fossil fuel economic into the plans for a low-carbon future. As with the national energy transition plans, corporate sector-led transition proposals ostensibly pay lip service towards communities. It is evident that these plans were characteristically developed in formal spaces that traditionally exclude local voices and community participation.

“ Official communication and engagement strategies to advance a just transition have therefore, been elitist –formulated and propagated by various elite groups in the government and corporate circles –with little scope for integrating the priorities of communities whose livelihoods are dependent and intertwined with the extraction and production of fossil fuels,” she lamented.

 

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