Greenpeace Occupies Global Business Day Conference

Activists expose carbon-intensive corporations sabotaging climate action

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Feature story - December 4, 2011
Seven Greenpeace climbers who peacefully occupied the World Business Council on Sustainable Development conference were arrested during an attempt to hang a banner demanding “Listen to the People, not the Polluters”.


Activists from groundWork and Greenpeace Africa, together with other groups, peacefully occupied the World Business Council on Sustainable Development conference on the beach front in the South African city. 

“The UNFCCC’s process has been undermined by polluting corporate interests, rather than serving the world’s people, which will lead to climate catastrophe” stated groundWork’s director, Bobby Peek.

The Greenpeace activists were particularly highlighting the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen', which includes Eskom’s CEO Brian Dames. “Meeting in the shadow of the vital UN talks these dirty dozen companies should be ashamed of their role in undermining global talks to tackle climate change. Companies like Eskom talk green, and yet continue to pollute the planet and the political process” said Melita Steele, climate campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

“It is time for governments to lock the door on dirty corporations who would celebrate failure in Durban”.

“Greenpeace is calling on the politicians who hold the fate of our economy and environment in their hands here in Durban to listen to the people instead of polluting corporations like Shell, Eskom and Koch Industries,” continued Steele. “Today we are naming the names of the Dirty Dozen who are holding us back from making progress on protecting the climate.”

Speakers at the protest included Bobby Peek from groundWork, Jamie Henn from, and Greenpeace spokespeople from several countries.

Who are the dirty dozen?

1.  Jorma Ollilo, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell        

2.  Lorraine Mitchell, CEO, Shell Canada             

3.  David Collyer, President, Canadian Association of Petroleum                                             

4.  Thomas Donohue, President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce                                  

5.  Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal                                                            

6.  Jürgen R. Thumann, President, BusinessEurope       

7.  David and Charles Koch, Koch Industries          

8.  Marius Kloppers, CEO, BHP Billiton               

9.  Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF                          

10. Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce

11. Jack N Gerard, President, American Petroleum 

12. Brian Dames, CEO, Eskom 

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The seven Greenpeace activists that were arrested earlier this morning, were charged with trespassing, fined and will be released shortly. There will be no court case.