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S.Africans protest against Shell oil exploration in pristine coastal area

Stock MarketsDec 06, 2021 08:52AM ET
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5/5 © Reuters. Wild Coast residents join a demonstration against Royal Dutch Shell's plans to start seismic surveys to explore petroleum systems off the country's popular Wild Coast at Mzamba Beach, Sigidi, South Africa, December 5, 2021. REUTERS/Rogan Ward 2/5

By Siyabonga Sishi

PORT EDWARD, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africans took to their beaches on Sunday to protest against plans by Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) to do seimsic oil exploration they say will threaten marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, seals and penguins on a pristine coastal stretch.

A South African court on Friday struck down https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-wins-court-case-start-seismic-surveys-offshore-south-africa-2021-12-03 an application brought by environmentalists to stop the oil major exploring in the eastern seaboard's Wild Coast, rejecting as unproven their argument that it would cause "irreparable harm" to the marine environment, especially migrating hump-back whales.

The Wild Coast is home of some of the country's most undisturbed wildlife refuges, and it's stunning coastal wildernesses are also a major tourist draw.

At least 1,000 demonstrators gathered on a beach near Port Edward, a Reuters TV correspondent saw.

"It's just absolutely horrendous that they are even considering this. Look around you?" said demonstrator Kas Wilson, indicating an unspoilt stretch of beach. "It's unacceptable and ... we will stop it."

Shell officials were not immediately available for comment, but the company said on Friday that its planned exploration has regulatory approval, and it will significantly contribute to South Africa's energy security if resources are found.

But local people fear the seismic blasting conducted over 6,000 square kilometres will kill or scare away the fish they depend on to live.

"I don't want them to operate here because if they do we won't be able to catch fish," said 62-year-old free dive fisherwoman Toloza Mzobe, after pulling a wild lobster from the ground. "What are we going to eat?"

Environmentalists are urging Shell and other oil companies to stop prospecting for oil, arguing that the world has no chance of reaching net zero carbon by 2050 if existing oil deposits are burned, let alone if new ones are found.

Earlier this year, a Dutch court ordered Shell to reduce its planet warming carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels, a decision it plans to appeal.

South Africa's environment ministry referred Reuters to a statement late last month that "the Minister responsible for environmental affairs is ... not mandated to consider the application or to make a decision on the authorisation of the seismic survey."

S.Africans protest against Shell oil exploration in pristine coastal area
 

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Comments (9)
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Dec 05, 2021 3:02PM ET
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Oceans: ON: Auto- Destruct- Enable.
Ben Brown
Ben Brown Dec 05, 2021 2:12PM ET
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I highly detest lib politics much more than the average person. I DO NOT believe man has the capacity via global warming to cause 2% of the damage the left whines about 24/7. However, from a surface view this project seems to have the potential to cause more harm than good. In situations like this it is necessary that all parties involved defer to Pascal's wager.
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Dec 05, 2021 1:51PM ET
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oil will be dead sooner than anticipated.wait for the liquidity squeeze and it will go to 40 USD or less...
Al Ose
Al Ose Dec 05, 2021 1:28PM ET
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Good for them. Save what’good remains
John Hat
John Hat Dec 05, 2021 12:31PM ET
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Liberals have feeble minds. On one hand, they want no oil, but on the other, they want OPEC to pump more and more. Oh no, gas is going up! Evil oil companies! But wait, don't pump any oil. Liberals are deeply confused or deeply evil.
بهروز هاشمی
بهروز هاشمی Dec 05, 2021 11:16AM ET
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very Good
بهروز هاشمی
بهروز هاشمی Dec 05, 2021 11:15AM ET
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woow
Christopher Attisha
Christopher Attisha Dec 05, 2021 11:14AM ET
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Drink S. Africas Milkshake….
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Dec 05, 2021 10:52AM ET
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shell go to *** go drilling back to Holland and see you get the permit there!!
 
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