Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Voting Opens in Climate Greenwash Awards

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GREENWASH AWARDS PRESS RELEASE

Brussels/ Copenhagen - The most outrageous green claims made by big business are exposed today as voting opens in the Climate Greenwash Awards 2009. Six companies have been nominated for the award which will be decided by an online public vote at www.climategreenwash.org

The winner will be announced at a special ceremony in Copenhagen on 23rd May as some of the world’s biggest carbon emitters gather there for the World Business Summit on Climate Change.

The Climate Greenwash Awards 2009 have been organised to highlight how companies are greenwashing their behaviour to claim they can be part of the solution to climate change, while continuing to pump out carbon emissions and exacerbate climate change.

The six nominees are:

ArcelorMittal - nominated for profiting from the EU emission trading scheme (ETS) by lobbying governments to get surplus free emissions permits and failing to make real cuts in CO2 emissions. The steel giant also promotes pseudo-solutions to climate change such as “lightweight steel cars”, nuclear plants and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

BP - nominated for their enthusiastic lobbying for carbon trading as a false solution to climate change, for cutting their investment in renewable energy, for massive investment in fossil fuels and for, inspite of all this, claiming to be green.

DONG - nominated for selling coal-based energy production as climate action

Repsol - nominated for blatantly greenwashing their operations, presenting an image of corporate responsibility towards communities and the environment, while in reality exacerbating the climate crisis, endangering indigenous people and damaging the environment.

Shell
- nominated for making misleading claims about its action to tackle climate change while withdrawing investments from renewable energy supplies.

Vattenfall
- nominated for its green spin on climate change, portraying itself as a climate champion while lobbying to continue business as usual, using coal, nuclear power, and pseudo-solutions such as agrofuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The World Business Summit on Climate Change has been convened by business lobby groups with the support of the Danish Government, to put forward business solutions ahead of the crucial UN Climate talks in December this year.

The Award organisers say that green spin from large corporations could threaten the climate talks by diverting attention from the real measures needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.

Controversial and environmentally damaging technologies including carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and agrofuels are being promoted by industry as solutions to climate change.

Speaking for the organisers, Climate Greenwash Awards coordinator Kenneth Haar said:

“The six nominees are all using greenwash to pretend they are part of the solution to climate change - but in reality, these companies are promoting business as usual, burning fossil fuels and continuing to emit huge quantities of carbon dioxide. These kinds of false solutions should have no place in the UN climate talks here in December. We need urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions - not promises of future technology that allow big business to carry on polluting today.”

Voting in the awards runs from 13 - 22 May (12h CEST) online at www.climategreenwash.org and the results will  be announced in Copenhagen on Saturday 23 May 2009.

The Greenwash Award is organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, Attac Denmark, The Climate Movement, ClimaX and NOAH (Friends of the Earth Denmark).

Contact:
Kenneth Haar - tel  + 45 23 60 06 31 or email kenneth@corporateeurope.org
Erik Wesselius - tel: +31 - 30 - 236 44 22 or email erik@corporateeurope.org

Notes:
[1] Full details of the nominations are available at www.climategreenwash.org
[2] The World Business Summit on Climate Change takes place in Copenhagen from 24 - 26 May 2009 and is organised by the Copenhagen Climate Council, Combat Climate Change (3C), World Economic Forum, UN Global Compact, the Climate Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
[3] UN Climate talks on a future international agreement to tackle climate change (COP 15) take place in Copenhagen from 7 -18 December 2009.
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