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Victory for Friends of the Earth as Dutch court orders Shell to pay Nigerian farmers over oil spills

news release

Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) wins court case against Shell at Court of Appeal in The Hague

In a huge victory for Friends of the Earth and Nigerian communities, Shell Nigeria has been ruled by The Hague Court of Appeals as liable for damages from pipeline leaks in the villages of Oruma and Goi. The court also ordered the Nigerian unit and its Hague-headquartered parent company to build better warning systems so future leaks can be quickly detected.

Reacting to this morning’s verdict, Rachel Kennerley, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: 

“This is a fantastic victory for Friends of the Earth Netherlands and Nigerian communities suffering the damages of oil drilling. For too long companies like Shell have been shirking their responsibility for the impact of the dirty industry they push on communities around the world. Thirteen years of fighting for justice has finally turned this around, and today’s judgement is a wakeup call for polluting companies and governments everywhere. The UK government should be ending all its investments in fossil fuel projects overseas, unless it wants to face legal challenges.”


For interview requests with Donald Pols (director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands), Channa Samkalden, Chima Williams and the four Nigerian claimants, please contact the Friends of the Earth Netherlands Press Office on +31622398887 or email

You can also contact the UK press office on 020 7566 1649 / 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number) or by emailing

For Nigerian journalists, please contact Friends of the Earth Nigeria Head of Media on +2348037256939 or email

Notes to editors

  1. The details of compensation to be awarded to the Nigerian claimants will be decided later
  2. The case against parent company Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) and Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria (SPDC) was instituted in 2008 by Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) and four Nigerian farmers
  3. About Friends of the Earth: Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page

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