In this episode and the next few, we are taking a slightly different approach. We want to take stock of a few major events in recent months, how they have affected Shell and the larger oil and gas sector, and what this means for strategies to dismantle Shell.
In this episode, we’ll talk about the fact that Shell moved its headquarters to the UK in January 2022. The biggest change that this shift of headquarters brings is that the fiscal residency of the company will move from the Netherlands to the UK.
In other words, the taxes Shell pays over profits, the rules for issuing shares and other financial decisions the company takes must all fall in line with UK law, rather than Dutch law. But what does this mean for the company and its shareholders? And more importantly, what does this mean for movements against Shell and for the project of dismantling Shell?
We speak to two experts to tackle these questions. We will speak with Olanrewaju Suraju, anti-corruption campaigner and chairman of the NGO HEDA Resource Center, or the Human and Environmental Development Agenda. We will also be speaking to Nicholas Hildyard, founder of the Corner House, a research and advocacy organization that advances environmental and social justice by supporting democratic and community movements. They have worked extensively on a court case against Shell and Italian oil and gas company ENI – they are suing the companies for corruption in the process of acquiring oil field OPL 245, an offshore oil field in Nigeria, in the Niger Delta region.
Olanrewaju, or Lanre, as we call him, was attacked and beaten at his home in Nigeria alongside his wife at the end of March 2022. The assailants stole valuables including phones, computers and a car. This was almost certainly an attack on the anti-corruption and human rights work that Lanre and his organization HEDA have been doing, and we condemn it.
How do multinationals operate (Dutch-language): https://www.groene.nl/artikel/hoe-multinationals-opereren
Shell plans to move headquarters to the UK: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59288593
Information on the OPL 245 case: https://opl245papers.org/en/
The attack on Olanrewaju Suraju in March 2022 and subsequent statements: https://saharareporters.com/2022/03/29/breaking-gunmen-attack-heda-chairman-suraju-family-threaten-kill-activist-and-wife-steal
Anti-corruption organizations in Nigeria CACOL and PWYP react: https://alayode.com/2022/03/31/anti-corruption-groups-condemn-attack-on-hedas-chairman-olarewaju-surajus-home/
Dutch climate movement organization Code Rood statement: https://code-rood.org/en/2022/04/08/nigerian-anti-corruption-activist-attacked/
MS: Welcome you two. I’m really excited to have you on board. We have been trying to get you on an episode for a while, so I’m really excited that it’s happening today.
Nick: That’s great. Thank you. Thank you so much for having us.
MS: So I will start and jump right into the first question. Of course today we want to talk about the move of Shell, the moving of the headquarters from the Netherlands to the UK and what this means. And we felt that it would be useful to first have a discussion on what the basic structure of a multinational corporation actually looks like. We know that Shell is a corporation operating on a global scale. So I think for some people it is not entirely clear what that means, like what the role of the headquarters is in comparison to, for instance, subsidiaries in other countries. So I’m curious to hear if someone wants to speak to that?
Nick: Well, Shell like most multinational companies is a huge sprawling empire. I mean, the last time I checked it had, I think about 1500 subsidiaries operating in about 70 different countries. And some of these subsidiaries are a hundred percent owned by Shell. In others, Shell has a minority shareholding. Anyone who wants to check them out, they’re all listed in Shell’s annual report, which you can get from its website and the listing stretches over, I mean, it’s over several pages. So Shell also operates through what are called joint ventures, where it teams up with another company to operate an oil field for example. If you take Nigeria, Shell has 18 different subsidiaries. All, but two are pretty much a hundred percent owned by Shell. The exceptions are Nigeria LNG, which is a liquid natural gas company and an associated shipping company where Shell owns the quarter of the shares. And historically, it has also operated in a lot of joint ventures with other oil companies, although in recent years, it has divested many of those as it is thought to move out of the Niger Delta, where many of those joint ventures operate.
MS: Okay. And what is the particular role of the headquarters?
Nick: Ah, well, now we get into a controversy. I mean Shell PLC, which used to be known as Royal Dutch Shell until last year when part of its restructuring it changed its name, Shell PLC is what’s known as the apex company in the group. It’s the top dog in the group. Now Shell insists that Shell PLC or Royal Dutch Shell as it was previously known, is just a holding company. That all it does is just take the profits from its subsidiaries and puts them into one pot and that each of its subsidiaries acts autonomously. I mean, there was a court case in 2016 in London and the company secretary, it’s really worth quoting actually what he said: He said RDS, you know what- Royal Dutch Shell- and I’m quoting is a holding company. It’s not an operating company. As a holding company it does not have any employees. Royal Dutch Shell does not involve itself or otherwise intervene in its many hundreds of subsidiaries. So basically what he was saying is, you know, look, we have nothing to do with the operations in Nigeria. US pension fund holders or whatever, investing in Royal Dutch Shell, but hey, you’re just investing in a holding company. We don’t even have any employee. No, I mean, many people will find it a pretty incredible statement. And the company secretary went on to stress, he said each operating company is autonomous with its own properly constituted board of directors, its own management, its own business purpose, its own assets and its own employees appropriate for that purpose. Its board and its management take the operational decisions necessary to run the business. Corporate separateness is respected and observed in the decision-making of the companies, that comprise the Shell group of companies. So the official line is that Shell has a completely hands off approach to its subsidiaries. It sets some group policies, but basically the operations are entirely down to the subsidiaries in the different companies and Shell has used this to argue that it can’t therefore be sued for damages – say in London or in the Netherlands- for injuries that are caused by its subsidiaries, including, you know, oil spills in Nigeria and so on. I mean, in fact, this autonomy of the Shell subsidiaries is a complete fiction in my view, and the courts in the Netherlands and in the UK have pretty much recognized this is the case. But that hasn’t stopped Shell continuing to make the argument in other jurisdictions. And in fact there’s a major damages case coming up in the UK where the degree of control exercised by Shell in Nigeria will be a key issue. I can go in if you’d like, I can expand a bit on just how much control Shell headquarters actually does exercise on average subsidiaries.
A: I think that would be interesting. And then after that we can get into why they might’ve moved, but do go on.
N: Well, one of the cases that Lanre and I have been working on together with our Italian partner Re:common and Global Witness in the UK is a case that we’ve been following for pretty much 10 years and involves the acquisition by Shell and by ENI, the Italian oil multinational, of an offshore oilfield in Nigeria known as OPL 245, and both companies were charged in Italy with corruption over the deal. They’ve denied that and they were recently acquitted, but this is now being appealed by the Milan Public Prosecutors and Federal Republic of Nigeria. And Shell is also being investigated over the same case in the Netherlands where the prosecutor has actually said there is a case to be answered. But as a result of the prosecution in Italy, a vast number of internal Shell emails, stretching over a decade came into the public domain. You can check them out, they are now in the public domain, you can check them out on the website and we can post the web address at the end of the podcast. And these emails show that Shell in the Netherlands controlled the negotiations over this deal every step of the way. The Nigerian subsidiary, who were the ones who actually signed off in the end were only involved after the deal had been finalised. So I think that email chain, as I said, stretching over 10 years, really undermines and shreds the notion by Shell, that these subsidiaries are completely autonomous.
A: Thanks Nick for sketching the relationship between the headquarters and the subsidiaries out very clearly. I think we can see that they’re really trying to separate off responsibility onto the subsidiaries, but of course that relationship is, real and one of responsibility. Could you maybe expand on why you think Shell might’ve moved their headquarters from the Netherlands to the UK?
N: Well, I think it’s pretty clear that the prime motive was to avoid tax. I mean, companies are taxed in the country where they’re headquartered and in the Netherlands. Shell has to pay a 15% withholding tax, which is charged on the dividends it gives the shareholders, but in the UK, there’s no such tax. So by moving from the Netherlands to the UK Shell massively cut its taxes. And the move to the UK, one should know, was also accompanied by other changes and some of these are quite significant. Historically Shell has had two types of shareholding, and it was because it was an Anglo Dutch company. Originally it had Dutch shares and it had British shares, but it has now abandoned this structure and it only has one type of share, which makes it much, much easier for the company when it comes to mergers and acquisitions. And it is obviously intending to do mergers and acquisitions as it moves towards more emphasis on renewables. But this simplification of its shareholding structure, I mean could have been achieved in my view without moving to the UK. So I think the tax advantages were probably the prime motivation.
A: Right. And do you think movements in the Netherlands against Shell had anything to do with the move? Or do you think it’s really about this tax?
N: Well, there’ve been loads of campaigns in the Netherlands and the campaigns by Shell Must Fall, by Milieudefensie, the ABP divestment campaign and these have been, I mean, truly inspirational, I think. I don’t know how Lanre views them from the Nigerian perspective, but I mean, I find them very inspirational. And undoubtedly it had an impact on Shells so-called license to operate in the Netherlands. And I am equally sure that they are factors that would have been taken into account, or are taken into account whenever Shell reviews its future. Whether they had an impact on the decision to relocate is not something that I have any knowledge about, but my instinct is that the decision was primarily about tax.
MS: Yeah, I’m curious Lanre, if you could speak a little bit more about what the move of Shell actually means for the wider Anti Shell movement and different campaigns. And hereby I am not only curious to hear more about campaigns in the Netherlands, but maybe groups that you are involved in.
L: I think actually it is less of serious information and concern for many people here in Nigeria because basically it is immediately considered as, okay, so we have the subsidiary here that we’re dealing with. But at the same time one significance that is of serious concern to an average advocate and activist here is the fact that the judgment of last year, that actually not only indicted Shell as also connecting the headquarters with the subsidiaries which should have given a great opportunity for communities that are impacted by the activities of the subsidiaries of Shell to proceed on actions against Shell are now wondering what would be the implication of this for such actions, either legal and political. And I am really with Nick in very large agreement to the extent that the movement in the Netherlands in terms of the social activism that is already building significantly against the operations and activities of these subsidiaries and also its operations in Groningen are also part of the considerations. But you can socially consider that as being responsible for the reconsideration of the location of Shell but also look from the final… relocation from the Netherlands. And I think this would also be a good opportunity to review for researchers and social activists, you know, what would make the UK a more fertile ground for the operations of the Royal Dutch Shell, now changing to its new name, that is also of implication to the social movement commitment to the respect and protection of communities where work is done. I think this would be the significant collaboration and consideration that should be coming from the social movements, both in the United Kingdom, in the Netherlands and some of the other countries like Nigeria, where you have the subsidiaries of Shell operate. What is also clear either to the UK or wherever it’s been established that the head office or the headquarter of the company totally absolved itself of the operations and activities of the subsidiary. So now we really need to locally build upon what they are sureis a fact that through the legal and political means that are necessary.
MS: I think you were mentioning some really interesting points. And as someone who has been involved in a couple of anti-Shell campaigns, I think the move, whether it had an impact on individual campaigns or not is really dependent on the strategy groups were using. So I know for the Shell Must Fall campaign, they were targeting the AGM, which usually took place in the Hague, which is now only going to happen in London. So I think these campaigns really have to reconsider their strategy and indeed maybe build new links to groups in the UK. You are more involved in the campaigns with OPL 245 oilfield and you’re trying to bring Shell to court. So using this strategy, I’m curious whether this has an impact for you, whether you would have to launch a new court case in the UK or whether you can proceed with like the strategy of your so far.
L: This is part of what we would really have to critically engage and sustain in all possible ramification and the little efforts that are available to us as advocates and activists. We would want to see how this is also going to shape go into the UK with the OPL245 but also some other cases and issues that will emerge. Currently we are also considering reviewing our strategy. Knowing fully well that it wasn’t easy getting some of the activities and actions against Shell going on the OPL245 in the UK. And it took the Italian prosecutor to ignite as much as we have it now. Some of the investigation and eventually prosecution are going on with Shell . The other part is that we still have the engagement and also the prosecutor in the Netherlands investigating some of the cases that are involving Shell, so a movement for Shell from the Netherlands to the UK is also something that we will really need to reconsider and also review and as much of how that would impact the ongoing investigation of the actual OPL 245 case in the Netherlands. And that is actually still ongoing on our end.
A: Lanre, could you tell us a little bit more about the status of that case briefly?
L: With the investigation, like you would also might have read in the public domain that, at a point before COVID the Dutch prosecutor already notified Shell that prima fascia case for illegal actions against , some of the issues on cases connected with the OPL245. Unfortunately there was the lockdown and at the same time there were also some legal moves by Shell to also try to change the decision of the Dutch prosecutor in terms of some of the documents that are uncovered during the investigation, and also formed evidence against Shell in the investigation. I think the decision has been taken at the court of first instance and is already on appeal with the action of Shell. So we are waiting for that decision, which can then allow for the Dutch prosecutor to proceed with the expressed intention for prosecution. In Milan in Italy, the Italian prosecutor lost the case at The court of first instance, and is moved already to appeal all the defendants were acquitted in that decision by the Italian court, but now it’s going to the court of appeal. So we’re waiting for the court to decide when the public trial will commence. Last week, you might be aware, the civil action by Nigerian government against the JP Morgan was in progress in the UK. This is where the Nigerian government is challenging JP Morgan for transferring $801 million to private accounts and individuals other than the government accounts. That case is in progress. It actually came up from the 23rd of February and it’s still in progress now. So we’re waiting for that decision by the UK courts on the action, by the FRN
A: And so you are still waiting to see how the move will impact what you do, or what happens in the Netherlands with the OPL 245 case. So I want to zoom out for a second and then we’ll circle back to movements and movement strategy in a little more depth. Nick, I’m wondering what does Shells move off their headquarters to the UK mean in terms of challenging Shell?
N: It shouldn’t, it shouldn’t affect challenges to Shell at all. I mean, it’s irrelevant to the challenges to Shell. Shell can be challenged wherever it operates. Wherever it has shareholders and wherever it’s registered on a stock market and wherever it sells its products. And it is being challenged in the Niger Delta even though it’s not headquartered in Nigeria. Its subsidiaries are on trial in Nigeria over the alleged corruption and OPL245. So regardless of what happens in the Netherland case, or the Italian case, they are on trial in Nigeria. It has already been taken to court in Italy, even though it’s not headquartered there, it’s being challenged through the courts in the US over its past corruption and indeed had a deferred prosecution agreement, even though it’s not headquartered there. It’s being challenged on climate grounds all over the place, even though it’s in countries where it’s not headquarters, it can be challenged wherever it sells petrol or other products through consumer boycotts. So the move to London, I mean, in my view is really not significant in terms of efforts to challenge the company. It may mean some rearrangement of tactics, the groups that have traditionally focused on the AGM in the Netherlands, but hey, you know, you can get on a Eurostar or a ferry and come to London. So, I mean, for me much more important than the way its headquarters are located is the strength of local movements that are seeking to challenge Shell. The strength of the alliances that they build, the strength of the tactics they use and so on and where they are strong and well organised, they threaten Shell. They can challenge Shell. The basis of the headquarters is neither here nor that.
A: Absolutely. We should all be continuing the fight. And I know we’ve heard whispers, you know, in the Netherlands from time to time that, you know, Shell has moved so we no longer need to campaign against Shell, but I think your answer shows us that this is…
N: Well Shell has only moved some things. I mean, there is still a lot of subsidiaries in Shell, including major components of its oil and gas industry that are based in Shell and that will remain in Shell. I mean, sorry, in the Netherlands and will remain in the Netherlands.
A: Absolutely, and I mean, their affects are both local and global if we look at the NAM the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij like the gas extraction company in the north of the Netherlands and Groningen. I mean, this is still continuing and it’s owned partly by Shell. So there’s very much extraction and other activities continuing to happen. Could you tell us a little bit more about whether you think Shell’s move to the UK, what it could mean for Just transition?
N: Well, I think that the move to London tells us quite a lot about Shell as a company and how it intends to ensure that any transition away from fossil fuels actually keeps things pretty much as are. I mean first it tells us that for all, it’s talk about being a responsible corporate citizen. Shell’s primary allegiance is not to the people of the countries where it operates, but to shareholder returns and profit. I mean, it saw a the tax advantage in moving and it moved and its historical ties to the Netherlands, to communities in the Netherlands, et cetera, et cetera meant absolutely nothing. It just packed its bags and went. And it may also be that it saw an advantage of moving to the UK because the move, according to some analysts, may place it beyond the jurisdiction, well certainly does place it beyond the jurisdiction of the Dutch court. So being headquartered in London may give Shell PLC the old RDS some protection against the recent Dutch ruling that as far as I recall by 2030 Shell has to cut its CO2 emissions by 45% compared to 2019 levels. But more generally it’s very clear from recent statements that Shell has made around the time of the move, but also later that oil and gas are going to remain the main means by which Shell makes its profits for the foreseeable future. I mean, yes, it’s investing in renewables, so called. But it’s funding these investments through oil and gas revenues, and it’s insistent that that is the way, the only way, you can fund them. And I mean the absurdity of net zero, which effectively allows you to go on extracting oil and gas and burning it so long as you have offsets or you commit to technologies that are yet completely undeveloped, like on carbon capture and storage means that Shell will be able to go on exploiting oil and gas for years to come. And I think that that is the expectation that activists should have. So for me, the move to London actually reveals Shell for what it is, a company driven by profit, which is totally willing to shift around the globe in order to take advantage of whatever regulatory regime offers the highest rates of returns to its investors. And it’s for that reason that I cannot, see Shell wherever it’s headquartered as actually being part of any just transition that’s worthy of the name. Certainly, not in its current form. For me a just transition encompasses more than simply moving away from fossil fuels it’s about moving away from capitalist forms of production and from capitalist forms of accumulation. And that’s just not on the cards for companies like Shell and other multinationals.
A: I think that’s eminently clear from the scene we’ve sketched today. Lanre, I just want to come to you to return to what you said about, you know, that this shift really affects us or movements in Nigeria against Shell. Can you, can you expand on that a little bit more?
L: Yeah, because the company, which is the Shell subsidiary that is directly connected to the operations in Nigeria is still here and it’s still operating. So the other subsidiary that also either full ownership of Shell or partial ownership are still operational here. The effects would mean to the extent of challenging some of the activities or operations of Shell will only move from possibly going to the Netherlands now to the UK, where it is actually far more expensive to undertake some legal action in the UK. And that is why I think it will be important to do some social research on the implication of getting Shell to be accountable. Either it is going to be better or it is going to be stiffer with the movement from the Netherlands to the UK. It’s important to start looking what this means for the operational accountability of some of the multinational companies when there’s this kind of a relocation from a company like Shell to then move to another location. It is not just what you can dismiss as just a natural movement, it is really informed by necessary issues and conditions that is worthy of investigation by people who are concerned about the operations and also accountability of the company. So for organisations, activists and communities in Nigeria, and in other countries where you have subsidiaries operating, the first point of action is to engage them at the company and, at the operational levels. And the next level of action is to see how that is taking to board at the new headquarters. Like I said, it’s a different ball game now because the social movement in the UK is not comparable to what you have in the Netherlands in terms of challenging the headquarters of Shell and some other multinational companies operating in the Netherlands or in the UK. So the difference would be the need to start also finding new alliances and at the same time, building a coalition that can then assist with holding now the headquarters responsible, and also using the legal instruments that are available within the system to have that level of accountability. Then the last one would be also engaging the embassies in Nigeria. Before now it’s been the embassy of the Netherlands. You know, taking responsibility for facilitating some level of interaction or reconciliation between the communities and Shell. And so now it’s moving to the UK. Will the UK system or the diplomatic circle be responsive to the plight of the communities and also take responsibility for it is a different question and a separate kettle of fish to deal with.
MS: Yeah, I think your last, statements really tie into our next question that we had, and that was really what does the move of Shell mean for our movement strategy? And Nick of course already has said that you can take action against Shell wherever you are in the world. You don’t have to be located in London or in the UK where the headquarters are. But I’m still intrigued about what you just said Lanre and you think there is a particular responsibility still for anti Shell campaigns in the headquartered countries to take action?
L: I think, like I said earlier, if the bird is learning to fly without perching , I think the shooters should also learn to shoot without missing. So it is now the duty for social activists and defenders to start building a stronger network. This is another opportunity to see how we bring some of our contacts in the UK up to speed with what has been happening. So also like Nick said, it is fine, actions can still be taking in other jurisdictions other than the UK to try and bring Shell to account. But like, I said Shell must have considered quite some other variables and factors before deciding to move to the UK. If there is really no significant difference, both in terms of finances, like the tax issues, social issues the possibly might not really be considered as such. But if it’s taken the decision to move to the UK, it is not impossible that they are more in terms of perception and also social relationship. Now it is our own responsibility to start building the consciousness and also awareness level of the new groups to understand what has been the track record of the company in terms of some of the concerns that we have in communities where they operate and also the human relationship that they cultivate with the operational outposts. And that for me would be very critical. And at the same time, it would be, like I said, to see how the diplomatic staff is likely to provide the necessary mechanisms, connections for ensuring that the process of holding accountable and at the same time, communicating concerns to the law enforcement and the UK regulatory agencies in the UK, and also the company itself in the United Kingdom.
A: Thanks Lanre. And as we wrap up, could you tell us what are the next steps for the OPL 245 case, and in the spirit of building this network of solidarity, what can movements in the UK, for example, do to support.
L: Yeah. We really don’t want to lose the movement that is already built in the Netherlands before we even get to the UK. So we want to sustain that in the Netherlands. And also ensure the understanding as a fall out that the movement from the Netherlands does not really change, to know the commitment and also responsibilities towards ensuring accountability for Shell. Movements in the UK, like you said, it’s also very important and very critical and, we’re also looking at how much of those that we can work with in terms of both, state, and non-state actors. In the Netherlands, it would not be the same pleasant experience that we would want to see in the United Kingdom. So for that, we would want to see how some of the regulatory agencies, the parliament, and also some of the bureaucrats take up the task in terms of ensuring that the operations of Shell is not allowed to negatively impact communities either in the UK or outside the UK going forward. And moving forward beyond that would be for us to also take on board some of social activists. Especially also in the legal environment of the UK, where it is actually very expensive to undertake legal action, to start seeing how we can build some socially oriented lawyers, who will be available to do some pro bono support and also public interest litigation that can assist in bringing some of the atrocities of companies like Shell before the judicial mechanisms. And that we would want to also move forward. So some of the civil society organizations and local NGO’s in the UK to also start, you know,engaging Shell and setting the minimum bar and standard for its operation in the UK and outside the UK.
A: Thanks, Lanre, it sounds like there are many different actors to engage to make this a success from lawyers to movements, to holding also government officials accountable in both the UK and the Netherlands and beyond. So I just want to open it up for last comments and then we’ll wrap up. So if you have anything to add, Nick, you can go first and then we’ll go to Lanre.
N: Yeah. I mean, there’s another aspect of where next steps around OPL 245, and Lanre can speak to this better than I can, but I mean, I just raise it now and maybe he can add comments, but because, the Nigerian government in particular took such a strong stand over the corruption cases around OPL245, they refuse to convert the original, oil prospecting license OPL into an oil mining license, which is the next stage of its development. And under the terms that the original license was granted back in 2011, ENI and Shell had 10 years in which to develop the field and get an oil mining license or the license would expire. Now the license has expired without them getting an oil mining license because Nigerian government president Buhari in particular said he was not going to make any decision on the field until all the court cases had been completed. So the license has expired and the court cases are still going through the courts and that Nigerian civil society, particularly environmental, but also human rights groups have another demand that the oil should be kept in the ground and that president Buhari should seek an international fund to be set up that would compensate Nigeria for the money that it wouldn’t get in order that the oil would be kept in the ground. And that funds would be used for a transition away from an oil and gas economy. In other words, diversify the economy. And that was major political ramifications. I think it would do a great deal to undermine the networks of corruption that really have developed in Nigeria since oil was first developed there. But Lanre I’m sure can add a great deal more to that.
A: Please go ahead Lanre.
N: Yeah, I think Nick illustrated the fact already sufficiently enough. But more importantly is that we’re looking at the possibility and hopefully at the conclusion of the criminal trial that are also ongoing in Nigeria against some of the suspects and those identified to have been connected with the OPL245 either by the allegation of corruption, money laundering or abuse of office. But the institution mentioned by Nick is the fact that the Nigerian government is challenging in Italy to have about $1.6 billion in total to the government. And it’s also asking for the $801 million from JP Morgan in the UK. Either with that or both of the compensation that is sorted. So sufficiently the country must have been compensated for what was the anticipated revenue from the sale of the OPL245. If the country is successful with the execution that is undertaken in Italy and also in the UK that informed our level of new advocacy for the oil to stay in the ground with Nigeria negotiating under the United Nations to have discussion for that to be compensatory payments that then allow for the stranded assets.. we don’t want to embrace the net zero agenda what we want to see is that the oil is grounded and Nigeria is compensated to the value of what it is expected to derive from the oil field over the period of a minimum of 25 years, and allowing it to keep the oil in the ground. And then it can be supported to justly transition from fossil fuel to clean energy. It should actually be part of the commitment, it shouldn’t be just fund thrown to the government to be used for some other frivolous expenses that are associated with governments when they get this. This can be tied to some very unserious projects within the country that also cannot affect, I suppose, the communities that are negatively impacted by the oil exploration and exploitation process.
A: Thanks Lanre, I think organising to make sure that a just transition fund gets set up in Nigeria is a great example of the local organising that is really necessary in addition to transnational organising. If we’re thinking about holding these companies accountable in courts that may be in Italy or in the Netherlands or in the UK to which I think like we’ve heard today, this move of Shell’s headquarters is actually quite a peripheral development or something that we can take in our stride and continue to organise. This move is not super important for the strength of movements and we just need to continue to push.
MS: Thank you so much. Both of you.