Citizens from around the world will convene in Copenhagen next week for the COP15 U.N. climate conference, ready to voice their frustration at the slow pace of global action to address climate change. Friends of the Earth International recently launched ‘The Angry Mermaid Award,’ inviting everyone to vote for the worst corporate lobbyists who are primarily responsible for obstructing progress toward a global agreement.
Copenhagen is home to The Little Mermaid statue, a Danish landmark honoring Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale character. In Andersen’s tale, the Little Mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and then risks her voice and tail to win his love. If the prince chooses another bride, she is destined to turn into sea foam and disappear forever.
The Angry Mermaid Award is designed to shine a spotlight on the worst industry lobbyists whose actions have done the most to cripple international action on climate change, a delay which now risks unleashing climate chaos. In this real life story, it won’t be a fictional mermaid who disappears beneath the sea forever - it will be low-lying island nations like the Maldives.
Lobbyists for polluting industries have worked tirelessly to block effective action, while also seeking every possible way for their corporate clients to benefit from any agreement the nations of the world manage to reach eventually.
Cast your vote in the Angry Mermaid Award today and help decide which company or lobby group is doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change.
And the nominees are…
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) -
Nominated for being embroiled in a fake lobbying scandal against the US Climate Bill and for trying to hide the extent of its lobbying activities
American Petroleum Institute (API) - Nominated for organising an “astroturf” campaign against the US Climate Bills. In August 2009, a leaked memo from the API revealed it had invited its membership to attend a series of rallies in 20 key states, in order to give the impression of a groundswell of grassroots opposition to the climate legislation.
European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) - Nominated for successfully lobbying for free allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and for pushing to weaken EU and international climate policies.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) - Nominated for leading lobbying efforts by the major airlines against climate legislation and for issuing misleading and “meaningless” pledges on reducing emissions.
International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) Nominated for promoting a global market for greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of offsetting through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), even though this currently cannot guarantee emission reductions.
Monsanto and the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) - Nominated for lobbying for RoundupReady (RR) soy to be considered a “climate-friendly” crop that is eligible for carbon credits and subsidies under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and for pushing for meaningless ‘responsible’ label for RoundupReady soy, which could be used to certify ‘sustainable’ agrofuels.
Royal Dutch Shell - Nominated for actively investing in the energy-intensive tar sands, at the same time as pushing unproven Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) technology as a solution to climate change, whilst undermining initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions.
Sasol - Nominated for its national and international lobbying campaign to promote Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a clean solution to the dirty business of producing liquid fuels from coal and gas.
Don’t delay! Voting closes on Sunday December 13th, and the winner of the Angry Mermaid Award will be announced on Tuesday December 15th at a special event in Copenhagen.
Dis-Honorable Mention: DeSmog founder Jim Hoggan wrote earlier this week about the Chamber of Commerce, another industry mouthpiece working to kill the chances of successful international action to address climate change. While the Chamber isn’t among the nominees for the Angry Mermaid Award, DeSmog nominates the Chamber for an unofficial Dis-Honorable Mention.