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ekklesia.co.uk: Christian resolution on corporate responsibility makes agenda for oil multinational

10/03/06
Oil multinational Shell has accepted a resolution to be discussed at its forthcoming Annual General Meeting following a campaign by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR). The campaigners are concerned about Shell's activities in Nigeria, in County Mayo, Ireland, and at Sakhalin II in Russia.
ECCR has been in dialogue with Shell about these and other issues since 1994 but feels that the time has come to highlight these issues publicly at the company's AGM.
Campaigners say that Shell's failure to adhere to standards for environmental impact assessments, to respect fundamental human rights, to consult stakeholders properly, and to address grievances has led to conflict in Nigeria. In County Mayo five local farmers were imprisoned for 94 days for preventing Shell contractors from accessing their land to construct a high-pressure gas pipeline that would run close to homes. And in Sakhalin, Shell made its decisions on project design and began implementation before gaining essential information on biodiversity and local people.
ECCR's resolution calls on Shell to achieve significant improvements in the quality of its risk analysis, social and environmental impact assessment and community consultations, and to implement rigorous policies and independent assessments when proposing untested technical solutions.
In order to submit their resolution to Shell's AGM, ECCR needed the support of 100 individual shareholders.
It has now been signed by more than 130 shareholders representing well over 600,000 shares.
Shell has informed ECCR that it has accepted the resolution and will circulate it to shareholders under the provisions of the Companies Act.
The resolution will now be presented at Shell’s Annual General Meeting 16 May 2006 and voted on by its shareholders.
“In a world where money talks, it is increasingly important that ethical shareholders make their views known to try and influence company behaviour,” said Andrew Pendleton, from Christian Aid, a partner of ECCR.
ECCR is an ecumenical organisation and it includes within its membership representatives of many mainstream Christian denominations, corporate agencies of the churches, religious communities and orders, and many interested individuals.

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