Guyana’s government is being taken to court by two citizens seeking an end to offshore drilling by ExxonMobil and other large oil firms that will exacerbate the climate crisis. The case has been filed by Quadad de Freitas, a 21-year old Indigenous tourist guide from the Rupununi region, and Dr Troy Thomas, a university lecturer and former president of the anti-corruption organisation Transparency Institute Guyana. They claim Guyana’s approval of oil exploration licences violates the government’s legal duty to protect their right and the right of future generations to a healthy environment. It is the first constitutional climate case in the Caribbean to challenge fossil fuel production on climate and human rights grounds.
Guardian 31st May 2021 read more »
Environmentalists should think twice before celebrating the week that shook Big Oil to the core. Green activist victories against Shell, ExxonMobil, and Chevron are pregnant with unintended consequences. One of them is to interfere with future crude supply just as the market tightens ineluctably as a result of declining oil wells and chronic lack of past investment, increasing the risk of a violent price spike in the early 2020s and a disruptive shock before the world has reduced its economic dependency on oil. It is to tackle global warming the wrong way round, vilifying the drillers when the essential problem is the rest of us: global consumers, governments, and above all Xi Jinping’s China. If we want to cut fossil use, there is a beautifully simple, fair and clean market mechanism that avoids diversionary witch hunts: price fossils properly with a carbon tax and dividend (recycled to the least well off). This takes political courage, so instead we put oil executives in the dock, glibly dishing out moral opprobrium.
Telegraph 31st May 2021 read more »