'Angry Mermaid' joins fight against climate change

Award inspired by Copenhagen's famous statue will go to organisation doing most to sabotage action over global warming

A A A

A new environmental award will be launched tomorrow with some of the biggest corporations and lobbying outfits in the world in contention for the top prize. But the winner will have nothing to celebrate.

The inaugural Angry Mermaid award, inspired by Denmark's famous Little Mermaid statue, will go to the organisation "doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change" in the run-up to climate change talks in Copenhagen next month.

Contenders include the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity for promoting "clean coal" and funding a letter-writing campaign in an attempt to weaken the US climate bill; the American petroleum industry for spending millions lobbying against climate legislation; and the European chemical lobby for attempting to undermine EU attempts to cut carbon emissions. The International Air Transport Association (Iata) is cited for promoting weak voluntary efforts to cut emissions, while the International Emissions Trading Association (Ieta) is listed because it promotes emissions trading and carbon offsetting as the solution to climate change. The biotech giant Monsanto is included for presenting GM crops as another climate-change solution, while the South African company Sasol is shortlisted due to its lobbying for carbon capture and storage to compensate for the conversion of coal into petrol. Shell is also in the running over its promotion of carbon capture while investing in environmentally destructive oil extraction from the Canadian tar sands.

Campaigners accuse big businesses of trying to limit any restrictions that could interfere with their pursuit of the bottom line. Paul de Clerk from Friends of the Earth International, one of the organisers of the award, said: "All the candidates have lobbied to protect their own profits and prevent effective action to tackle climate change. The influence of major polluters and lobbyists needs to be exposed. We cannot tackle climate change and continue with business as usual – and that is what these companies and lobby groups want to do.

"People need to be aware that there are very powerful vested interests at work here, and those are the interests that have made a big contribution to climate change and have the most to lose by strong climate-change policy, which is why they will do everything they can to protect their interests."

Nina Holland from Corporate Europe Observatory, another of the groups behind the awards, said: "Anyone monitoring the progress of negotiations on a global climate agreement will be aware of the incredible levels of destructive corporate lobbying going on."

The winner of the Angry Mermaid will be announced at a ceremony in Copenhagen on 15 December. Organisers have had just one response from the nominees so far. Henry Derwent, president of Ieta, said: "We will be honoured to accept this recognition of the work we have been doing over more than 10 years. During that time we have been delighted to see that the principle of emissions trading has been more and more widely accepted."

Of those nominated, only two responded to an IoS request for comment. A Shell spokeswoman said: "By 2050 global energy demand will double, with three billion energy consumers being added to the world's population. All energy sources will be needed to meet this growth in demand, including oil sands, while rapid advances in carbon capture and storage could further reduce emissions."

And in a statement, the American Petroleum Institute said: "API is not against climate-change legislation. We are against harmful climate-change legislation that would kill American jobs but do very little to lower global greenhouse gas emissions."

Suggested Topics
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before