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ENI off our Coast!

At 10:00 on Friday the 10th of May, at 82 Fairway, Durban North, the youth and community of Durban and surrounds will start their 2-Friday-event demonstration “Against Unlawful Endangerment“. These events will target shareholders in oil corporations intent on drilling for oil and gas reserves on our Dolphin Coast. The youth will demand divestment from corporations like Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi, better known as ENI, who are putting international climate goals at risk, threatening our shared future, robbing the youth of hope and white-anting the promise of change. They will be demanding 100% carbon-free renewable energy.

On Saturday the 11th ENI, the biggest foreign oil and gas producer in Africa, will hold its AGM in Italy.

On the 10th there will be a handover of a memorandum to the Italian Honorary Consul here in Durban, with the assurance that it will be passed on to Eni. The Italian State (30% shareholder of ENI) will also be called on by the youth to phase out its substantial investment in this fossil fuel giant that persists in destructive practices.

The youth will remind ENI that they did not and do not give their Free, Prior and Informed consent to ENI’s application for exploration drilling within Offshore Block ER236, ERM Ref: 0414229 on our coastline. This is the last true South African wilderness. It is the home to:
Critically endangered Natal shyshark, leatherback and hawksbill turtles,
Endangered scalloped and great hammerhead sharks, loggerhead and green turtle,
Vulnerable manta ray, raggedtooth shark, whale shark, olive ridley turtle, caspian tern, 
Protected Tiger shark, seventy four Natal wrasse, black oyster catcher, pilot whales, Risso’s dolphin, SA fur seal, sun Antarctic fur seal.
Migrations of humpback and southern right whales, ragged tooth sharks, sardine and the myriad of their associated predators, as well as leatherback and loggerhead nesting.
Environmentally significant areas of the Maputaland and St Lucia Marine Reserves, Tugela Banks, The Natal Bite with its crustacean trawl fisheries, Protea Banks, Aliwal Shoal and iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site

This frontier oil and gas drilling at great depths, in one of the fastest currents in the world, is reckless and dangerous. If anything goes wrong, this coastline will never return to what it is now. The youth have made it clear that their consent was not granted, as required under ILO 169 to which Italy is a signatory, to industrialise these deep open waters. The risk , they believe, is unquantifiable.

Existential threat

The seismic reconnaissance phase of this project saw the coincidence of the highest ever stranding figures for marine mammals, including unusual deepwater mammals, a dolphin with 2 broken jaws and the first ever recorded mass stranding on the KZN coastline in 2016. 

Broken jaw indicating potential confusion or fleeing perceived danger.

It is understood that not only does fossil fuel exploration and extraction impact the ocean environment and bioweb, but is not ecologically sustainable.  The youth of Durban believe that Eni South Africa BV has a business model which poses a threat to the Paris Agreement climate goals of limiting global warming to well below 1.5°C, to prevent a catastrophic and irreversible climate change. ENI has a social duty of care to take climate action, but they recklessly continue oil and gas development in South African waters, putting not only international climate goals at risk but also South Africans. The youth of Durban, along with support organisations, are concerned about losses to biodiversity and weather extremes increasing in both frequency and intensity. Drought, extreme heat and flooding are occurring more often and it is expected that hurricanes will get stronger. These impacts pose a substantial risk to the vulnerable and poor. ENI, as corporation and directors, management and staff, are knowingly violating their legal duty of care and are endangering human rights, lives and livelihoods. By choosing short-term corporate profits over protection against global damage ENI is therefore acting unlawfully. The youth will call on ENI to cease all operations that ultimately produce green house gas emissions in RSA thereby drastically reducing South Africa’s use of fossil fuels to follow the global emission reduction pathway of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Quit the Greenwash ENI! 

ENI has signed the Paris Pledge, supporting the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Yet ENI continues to squander opportunities to mitigate and forestall impacts of global warming by promoting the use of natural gas as a primary fuel in a decarbonisation context. Demands for a NO-CARBON PORTFOLIO not a low-carbon portfolio will be made this Friday.

This means stopping emissions, not compensating for their impacts by creating further ecological depletion elsewhere. The youth believe that using millions of square kilomentres of new plantations in Africa, which violate environmental and human rights through loss of biodiversity, land, homes and food sovereignty, in their game of “carbon offsets for emissions compensation” while they continue to exploit new gas reserves, fools no-one. The youth do not accept ENI’s greenwash and misleading arguments which still involve a massive carbon cost.

Durban youth and concerned citizens believe they owe it to our oceans to demand a fossil-free future starting now.

Support the youth and show up in your numbers from 10:00 – 11:00 this Friday.

For details of the Against Unlawful Endangerment March on the 24th please visit:

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