How First Nations and eco-groups won over Shell in B.C.

Saturday Jan 5, 2013

Excerpted from the Toronto Star:

Was it the petition with 100,000 signatures and intractable First Nations and environmentalists that forced Shell Canada Ltd. to back off a project to drill for coal-bed methane gas in a pristine B.C. wilderness?

Or was it the odour of the Bad Gas Award that persuaded one of the world’s biggest companies to withdraw from the remote alpine meadows and marshlands in the province’s northwest, an area known to some as the Sacred Headwaters?

“The message is clear the community won’t stand for dirty energy projects,” says Karen Tam Wu, ForestEthics Advocacy senior conservation campaigner, who presented the award — featuring a model of a dead salmon — to a surprised Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser in The Hague in 2011. Three salmon-rich rivers find their source in the Sacred Headwaters.

The B.C. government, Shell and the Tahltan Central Council said in December that the company was abandoning rights to its 4,000-square-kilometre tenure. The province also announced a ban on all future oil and gas development in the region known as the Klappan in northwest B.C.

There was celebration within First Nations and environmental coalitions and praise for the government of B.C. Premier Christy Clark and for Shell Canada.

 

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