As COP 17, the United Nations conference on climate change currently taking place in Durban, South Africa, enters its second week, seven Greenpeace activists were arrested on Monday for trespassing.
The seven, who were attempting to hang a banner reading “Listen to the People, not the Polluters” from the beachfront Marine Parade Hotel, were part of a larger, peaceful occupation of a side-event hosted by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.
Protesters from Greenpeace Africa, groundWork and other organisations highlighted the destructive role played by 12 of the world’s most polluting corporations, industries and institutions, who are trying to stifle progress towards a comprehensive and legally-binding international climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which comes to an end in December 2012.
Greenpeace named and shamed the “Dirty Dozen” and their leaders as:
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
The arrests come at a time when former Irish President and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, declared that international civil society should be engaging in civil disobedience on climate change and encouraged the “Occupy” movement to tackle the issues involved directly. Clearly the Durban police disagree.
While the planet’s climate bureaucrats continue to prevaricate over plans that are likely to provide too little too late even if they actually manage to come to an agreement, the latest scientific data show that global CO2 emissions have increased by half in the last two decades.
We’re running out of time. And fast.
Andreas is a book shop manager and freelance writer in Cape Town, South Africa. Follow him on Twitter: @Andreas_Spath
Photo from: Stock.Xchng