The report, ‘Memory, Truth and Justice for Heroes in the Resistance against Mining Oil and Gas’, comes on the anniversary of the judicial execution of Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa. He and eight other Ogoni leaders were executed on 10 November 1995 for speaking out against the impact of Shell and other oil companies in the Niger Delta.
‘Ken Saro-Wiwa was a hero who died because of the world’s addiction to fossil fuels,’ said Nnimmo Bassey, the chair of Friends of the Earth International, from Nigeria.
‘His words still ring true in our ears today. This is why we set November 10 as a day of remembrance of the victims of mining, oil and gas. We demand that those who have orchestrated the murder of people for the sake of profits should be held to account. We also demand environmental justice and an end to fossil fuels: be it crude, tar sands or coal.’
People speaking out for environmental justice are the not the only victims of the world’s addiction to fossil fuels. Across the UK, people are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills as profits of the big six energy companies continue to rise. With their stranglehold on the UK market – providing 99% of household energy – they are keeping us hooked on expensive, polluting fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, the government plans to axe funding for the local and community green energy generation necessary to break free of the Big Six’s grip and work towards a low-carbon Britain – and a low-carbon Birmingham.
In a recent poll conducted by the Birmingham Mail, 94.6% of residents said they thought the government is not doing enough to bring down the cost of gas and electricity. And with energy bills rising, the people of Birmingham will be affected as much as anywhere else in the UK this winter. 20% of the city’s residents are in fuel poverty and charities offering advice are being swamped by people facing financial ruin because they cannot pay their fuel bills.
Friends of the Earth is calling for an urgent public inquiry into the power and influence of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, and for the Government to scrap plans to axe support for clean, local energy schemes.
Birmingham friends of the Earth are asking the people of Birmingham to join us in the campaign for affordable energy – go to the Friends of the Earth website and sign the petition.
Find out more about the ‘Final Demand campaign here.