Global Witness uncovers transparency concerns in Africa, FPIC in Colombia and why Shell divested Arctic assets
Global Witness is putting pressure on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which boasts more than 90 of the world’s biggest oil, gas and mining companies among its members, to make the anonymous ownership of oil and mining assets in a number of Africa countries a thing of the past.
Colombia should prioritise people
It wants communities to decide how their land is developed and, in a recent report, argues that Columbia is doing too much to support the efforts of companies to exploit territories for profit.
The backdrop to this latest campaign is the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Many people that were forced from their lands during the armed conflict between the two are now looking to return. Amnesty International predicts that the civil war in Colombia has forced around six million people from their homes since 1985 because of violence. Now, it says that any peace deal is meaningless unless the rights of indigenous people are protected.
Shell gives up drilling in the Arctic
Did Shell abandon its drilling operations in the Arctic because of mounting opposition from environmentalists? The energy business had been pursuing exploration in the region, convinced of the enormous hydrocarbon potential there. But, according to some reports, executives within the business were “surprised by the popular opposition it faced”.
Some reports suggests that continued exploration in the Arctic was undermining the company’s attempts to influence the debate about how climate change might be tackled. It was forced to exit membership of the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leader Group – a group it helped to found – because of its drilling activity.
The likes of Greenpeace were quick to claim responsibility for Shell’s decision, saying that it was a “big nod” to the global opposition to the company’s Arctic drilling plans, and especially the seven-million-strong Save the Arctic movement.