Six Greenpeace climbers who peacefully occupied the World Business Council on Sustainable Development2 conference were arrested during an attempt to hang a banner demanding “Listen to the People, not the Polluters”.
Life size puppets representing corporations, including Shell, Koch Industries and Eskom, which are pulling the strings of key world leaders, joined the protest. In particular they highlight links to including the US Congress, European Union President Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Harper.
“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, to save lives, economies and habitats. Putting short-term private profit before public protection is morally repugnant,” said Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace International, from the gathering. “Our political leaders need to close the door on dirty corporations who would celebrate failure in Durban, they must listen to the people and not the polluters. Our children and their children deserve nothing less.”
Despite the urgency of the situation, the overwhelming scientific consensus, as well as the groundswell of support from the public and progressive corporations for real action on climate change, expectations of any meaningful outcome from Durban are at best low.
“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,” said Tzeporah Berman, Co-director of Climate and Energy at Greenpeace International. “Today we are naming the names of the Dirty Dozen who are holding us back from making progress on protecting the climate.”
The peaceful protest follows the launch of Greenpeace’s global report, ‘Who’s holding us back?’3 which details how carbon intensive industry is preventing effective climate legislation.
Speakers at the protest included Bobby Peek from groundWork, Jamie Henn from 350.org, Desmond D'Sa from SDCEA and Greenpeace spokespeople from several countries.
Greenpeace International in Durban:
Media: Susan Cavanagh +27 (0)76 5400493
African Media: Fiona Musana +27 (0)79 8940495
Events media: Szabina Mozes +27 (0)763799990
For interviews with Kumi Naidoo: Omer Elnaiem +27 (0)727202308
For Photo/video throughout the meeting: Maarten van Rouveroy +27 (0)713264981
All Greenpeace information and background on Durban, including press releases, can be found here:
Information for editors:
Greenpeace will be holding a press conference at the International Conference Centre at 11am to give a briefing on the Dirty Dozen report. Location: Bloukrans River, DEC.
1 Who are the dirty dozen? Download the report at www.greenpeace.org/dirtydozen
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
2 World Business Council for Sustainable Development
3 Who’s holding us back? www.greenpeace.org/whos-holding-us-back