A strange scene unfolded at the International Conference Center on Thursday. In Edinburgh, Shell CEO Ben Van Bjنrden took the stage at the TED Countdown Conference with Christiana Figueroa, a leading environmental scientist and negotiator on the Paris Agreement. Van Buren was there to talk about the climate of one of the world’s largest oil companies, which has promised to reach net zero at once. Fight against Dutch court ruling This requires concrete plans to reduce emissions. Instead, it was used by young activists to exacerbate the climate crisis and contribute to Shell’s serious human rights abuses.
TED countdown. Self bill As “a global initiative to address and accelerate the climate crisis, to put ideas into practice.” The Edinburgh event was announced as a forum for speakers to have “inspiring conversations” and “share a blueprint for a beautiful net zero future.” Why, of course, the CEO of a large oil company who worked harder than any other corporation to bring the planet to a dangerous level was invited to be part of this beautiful future.
Sources in the room said Van Buren was allowed to speak without interruption. About 20 minutes. He said participants were not allowed to bring bags to the session, which was not enforced in any other meeting session.
Shell’s CEO shared the stage with Scottish environmentalist Lorraine MacDonald, Figures, and Swedish climate scientist Johan Roxtrom. During Van Buren’s conversation, he accused consumers of using so much oil, a note he had put up earlier, and said his daughter asked him if he was destroying the planet. The response, according to a social media personality Twitter DM and supporter of the B-Corp movement in France, Elizabeth Soblet, who was in the room, was, “Do you trust me to do the right thing for you?”
In his speech, Sobilet described the situation as “very respectful of the audience, who believed that dialogue was necessary if we were to solve our problems.”
McDonald was finally invited to ask a question to Van Buren, and things changed quickly. They She said she would like to provide some context for the CEO’s remarks.. According to a source familiar with the matter, TED organizers helped McDonald write a question and “reduced his speech, but” what he gave was not what TED did. The organizers were expecting to give it. Looking straight ahead at Van Buren, he explained that Shell was pushing for a new oil field in Combo, off the coast of his home country.
“You have to be ashamed of yourself,” he said.
McDonald added that Van Bjorden was “responsible for so much death and suffering” and called him “one of the worst people in the world” when she cried. It deliberately started the shell’s long history of polluting the planet and creating a climate crisis. He also called the company for its report. Participated in horrific murder Nigerian workers in the 1990s
“If you’re sitting here working as you care about climate action, why are you appealing against a recent court ruling that Shell should reduce its emissions by 45% by 2030?” ” He asked, referring to a sign. Dutch court decision. “Will you cancel it?”
As Van Bourdon began to respond, McDonald’s cut him off as the youth activists took to the stage. Waving banners Who reads, “Fossil fuels have no future.” The workers left the room when McDonald removed his mic and stepped off the stage to join them. When they came out of the auditorium doors, they shouted, “Don’t look at us, join us!”
TED did not respond to a request for comment. Shell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The CEO called the protest a form of “blackwash”, a term that goes along with the general claims of “green washing”. Aja Barber, a writer and fashion consultant in attendance, said in a Twitter DM: “It felt right.[ly] As he was choosing language from the climate justice movement and doing it badly. It is no less troubling that the climate justice movement revolves around people of color. The shell is no stranger to either green wash. Netherlands consumer monitoring Until recently, the company’s “Carbon Neutral” fuel campaign was dominated by PR spin only.
The action at the TED conference was organized by Stop Combo, a campaign focused on stopping the oil field off the coast of Scotland, which was proposed by Shell with Scar Point Energy and on which the UK The prime minister is Boris Johnson. Preparation If approved for signing off, the oil field could produce up to 170 million barrels of oil, as much as it emits carbon pollution. 18 coal-fired power plants. It will be in operation until 2050, that is. Five years After Scotland’s goal of reaching zero zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Lucy Valkzuk, a stop combo worker who took part in the operation, said the group had to organize the action immediately.
He said in a text message, “We just noticed that he was invited a few days ago, when a couple of organizers at the stop combo who were invited noticed that a Scottish worker Not invited. ” “And we formed a group of young people who found it provocative.”
When the organizers of Stop Combo began to express their displeasure that Van Bjorden had been invited, TED officials provided him with event passes for workers and organizers but refused to call the CEO. So the campaign launched an operation, with Valkzuk and others putting up banners and slogans in the auditorium, and dozens of others doing the same outside the doors of the conference center.
“We decided to make sure he didn’t get a chance to greenwash his company,” Valkzuk said. “Shell claims to support a just change but is still pushing for new oil projects. This is clear hypocrisy and we will not allow it.”
At the conference, Shell’s CEO claimed that the company was “doing a lot” to go green and that it had a strategy to reach zero by 2050. But as the Earth reported last year, so is the plan. Filled with holes. This should come as no surprise.
As one of the world’s largest energy producers, Shell has been eliminating greenhouse gas emissions for over 100 years. In oil corporations owned by all investors, this The second largest The company has had a share of the carbon since the 1800s. Known for decades That its dirty products push the climate in an unsafe direction, but it has continued to produce and sell them.
TED planned to release the video at the beginning of the program. COP26, the world’s largest climate conference.. It is the meeting that is considered to be the last best shot in the world to deal with climate change. The best way to do that? Eliminating the use of fossil fuels, which is a major trigger for the climate crisis.
But governments are reluctant to set targets for fossil fuel production and consumption, instead of cutting emissions. Agreements to tackle climate change have so far been largely toothless, and fossil fuel companies have had a major impact on negotiations, which take place at different locations each year. The talks were held in Madrid in 2019. Sponsored by Spain’s largest carbon pollutant. While talking In Poland there was a word room full of coal..
Shell himself has boasted of playing a key role in shaping the Paris Agreement, which Faguers discussed. Intercept. In 2018, it was reported that the company’s chief climate adviser said, “We can take some credit for the fact that Article 6 is here as well.” Allows and is widely seen as a lifeline for polluted industries such as Big Oil. Other oil companies It has worked maliciously for decades to curb international, national, and even local climate regulations.
The UK, which is hosting this year’s climate conference, has limited the role of oil companies and major polluters who could sponsor and be part of the event. But he has also been given the Climate Champion Award. Tar Sand Executive And allegedly Meeting with oil and gas officials. The country, through COP26, is listed as a strategic partner for TED countdown. It is not clear why TED will invite Shell’s CEO to its stage for a conference aimed at setting the tone for the climate talks. Earth has arrived and we will update this post if we hear from the moderators.
“There is no living future with fossil fuel companies,” Valkzuk said. “It is unacceptable to include the CEO of fossil fuels in a conference on the future of our climate.”