Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Angry Mermaid Award

A new award - the Angry Mermaid Award - has been launched to shame the corporates and corporate lobby groups which are lobbying to sabotage effective action on climate change. Eight candidates have been shortlisted for the award and voting is open online at www.angrymermaid until Sunday 13 December

The Angry Mermaid Award, named after the iconic Copenhagen mermaid who is angry about the destruction being caused by climate change, will go to the corporate or industry lobby group which has done most to sabotage effective international action on climate change.

Lobby groups representing oil, coal, aviation, the chemicals industry and emissions trading are all on the shortlist for the Angry Mermaid Award 2009, alongside biotech company Monsanto, oil giant Shell and energy company Sasol.

The winner of the angry mermaid award will be announced at the Copenhagen climate talks on Tuesday 15 December 2009.

The eight nominees for the Angry Mermaid Award are:

• American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity - for pushing “clean” coal and for employing a lobby firm which ran a fraudulent letter writing campaign, sending fake letters to the US Congress on the US climate bill.
• American Petroleum Industry (API) - for spending millions of dollars on lobbying against US climate legislation, including setting up an “astroturf” campaign to create the illusion of strong grassroots opposition.
• European Chemical Lobby (Cefic) - for lobbying for free permits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, undermining the EU’s main measure to cut carbon emissions
• International Air Transport Association (IATA) – for promoting weak voluntary efforts to cut emissions from aviation in an attempt to pre-empt international legislation.
• International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) - for promoting emissions trading and carbon offsetting as the solution to climate change, despite the lack of evidence of real emissions cuts.
• Monsanto – a biotech giant, for lobbying for carbon credits for genetically modified crops and promoting GM crops as a solution to climate change.
• Sasol - for lobbying for carbon capture and storage as a way to clean up synfuel manufacture - where coal is converted to petrol using vast amounts of energy and generating huge levels of carbon emissions.
• Shell - for lobbying for financial and political support for carbon capture and storage while investing massively in environmentally destructive oil extraction from the Canadian tar sands.

Paul de Clerk from Friends of the Earth International, one of the groups organising the awards, said:

“All the candidates for the Angry Mermaid Award have lobbied to protect their own profits and prevent effective action to tackle climate change. As world leaders struggle to reach agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the influence of major polluters and lobbyists, and many others, needs to be exposed. We cannot tackle climate change and continue with business as usual - and that is what these companies and lobby groups want to do.”

The Angry Mermaid Award is organised by Attac Denmark, Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth International, Focus on the Global South and Spinwatch.