The Corner House Witness Statement
for the Judicial Review Application against the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Sakhalin II)

by Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

first published 15 August 2007

The Corner House submitted a 'witness statement' as part of its joint claim with WWF-UK for a judicial review of the decision of the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) in March 2004 to support the Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project off the far eastern coast of Russia.

The Corner House statement:

  • outlines the group's long-standing interest in monitoring and seeking to improve the ECGD's environmental, human rights and development policies and their accompanying procedures;
  • summarises its record of engagement with ECGD on the Sakhalin II project since November 2002, particularly in bringing to the Department's notice concerns raised by Russian and US non-governmental organisations, independent consultants, and official agencies of the Russian Federation;
  • describes its concerns about the ECGD's March 2004 decision to support the Sakhalin II oil-and-gas project. These focus on:
    • the ECGD's breach of its own policy in separating the project's Environmental Impact Assessment from the Department's legally-binding commitment to support the project;
    • the ECGD's attaching open-ended conditions without identifying any environmental or social issue to be addressed or providing a time-frame in which to do so;
    • a comparison with the ECGD's offer of conditional support for the Ilisu Dam in south-east Turkey several years ago.

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