Shell Won’t Drill at U.N. World Heritage Sites

Royal Dutch/Shell, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, has pledged not to explore or drill for oil or gas on U.N.-designated World Heritage sites. A week before Shell made its announcement, the International Council on Mining and Metals, which represents the world’s 15 largest mining companies, made a similar promise to stay out of World Heritage areas. The companies’ pledges are part of a larger corporate trend to declare some contentious, environmentally sensitive areas as “no go” zones where they won’t do business. Enviros welcomed Shell’s small step but were not overly impressed. “I suppose you could call it a conceptual breakthrough for an oil company to say it won’t drill in the Grand Canyon or on the Galapagos Islands, but any school kid can tell you they shouldn’t,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network.