Dutch court orders Shell to compensate Nigerian farmers over oil spills

Court of Appeal in The Hague rules the British-Dutch multinational must payout over a 2008 case.

Updated at 14:00 GMT on Friday 29 Jan 2021

A Dutch court has ordered Shell to pay compensation over oil spills in Nigeria’s Niger Delta in a ruling which could pave the way for more cases against the multinational oil firm.

The Court of Appeal in The Hague on Friday ruled that the British-Dutch company must issue payouts over a long-running civil case involving four Nigerian farmers seeking compensation, and a cleanup, from the company over pollution caused by leaking oil pipelines. The climate crisis: Preparing for what’s already here US firm General Motors to ditch gas, diesel-powered cars by 2035 Jane Goodall: To fix the environment, fix poverty Hundreds of pelicans found dead in Senegal World Heritage site

“Shell Nigeria is sentenced to compensate farmers for damages,” the court said, adding that parent company Royal Dutch Shell was also liable to install equipment to prevent future damage.

The case was brought in 2008 by the farmers and the campaign group Friends of the Earth, who were seeking reparations for lost income from contaminated land and waterways in the Niger Delta region, the heart of the Nigerian oil industry.

The spills concerned were between 2004 and 2007, but pollution from leaking oil pipelines remains a major problem in the Niger Delta.

This is a breaking news story. More details to follow…

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