Shell: accept the need for transparency that this demands

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The FT reports:

Royal Dutch Shell and the families of Ken Saro-Wiwa, an executed Nigerian opposition leader, and other activists hanged by the military government in 1995, on Monday agreed a $15.5m settlement in a New York court case stemming from allegations the oil group was complicit in the executions.

The settlement, in which Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary denied any liability, ended a 13-year campaign by relations and supporters of Saro-Wiwa to hold the company accountable.

I am delighted that this has happened.

I remain disappointed that Shell has not accepted liability.

But let’s move this on: the lesson is that Shell, and others in the Extractive Industries, must learn a lot, lot more about transparency and use that experience to relate much more realistically to civil society.

It is possible, but without local accountability these conflicts will happen.

Country-by-country reporting is, of course, part of this.