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The Queen’s birthday honours: a lean year for environment heroes

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Two OBEs for Shell employees, but only a handful for conservationists and environmentalists

Gongs all round in the Queen’s birthday honours list for top corporates and scientists involved in the most controversial environment issues. With woeful timing, in the week that Shell settled £9.6m on the Ogoni families who had accused it of complicity in the deaths of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists, there was a knighthood for James Smith, chairman of Shell UK. Coincidentally, there was also an OBE for former top Shell man Chris Haynes who was employed by Nigeria LNG to extinguish Shell and other oil companies’ flares in the Niger delta. Sadly, Chris, Shell and Co have only managed to stop about 40% of the flaring in eight years, thereby infuriating the Nigerian government, the courts and the people who must live with the flares. 

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