Move over Disney and Hans Christian Andersen, here comes the Angry Mermaid. Thankfully, this new spin is not at all a postmodern rehashing of a fairytale classic, but rather a new environmental award launching tomorrow, ahead of December's climate talks at Copenhagen. Based on Denmark's famed Little Mermaid statue, the dubious honour will be decided by public vote and given to the feckless organization that is "doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change". Top nominees 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;
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;
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.
According to Paul de Clerk of Friends of the Earth International, one of the groups behind the award: "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."
Public voting on the shortlist of candidates starts Monday, November 16th at the Angry Mermaid website. The lucky winner will be announced on December 15 at a special ceremony in Copenhagen.