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Climate Greenwash Winner Revealed

Copenhagen, Saturday 23 May - Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has been revealed as the winner of the Climate Greenwash Award 2009 at a ceremony in Copenhagen on the eve of the World Business Summit on Climate Change [1].

The Danish Government was also given a special award for its role in helping establish the World Business Summit on Climate Change - which is expected to attract some of the world’s most polluting companies; for providing business lobbyists with direct, privileged access to negotiators ahead of crucial UN Climate Change talks in December [2]; and for slowing down the development of Danish wind energy and failing to meet its Kyoto targets

Vattenfall, which won with 39% of the vote, was nominated for “its mastery of 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 energy company also played a key role in setting up the World Business Summit on Climate Change through the Combat Climate Change - a lobby group established by Vattenfall to promote the “climate-friendly technologies” such as carbon capture and storage and nuclear power, which are the company’s preferred options for tackling climate change.

The Climate Greenwash Awards were organised to highlight the way in which big business is increasingly turning to green spin to hide its polluting agenda. Energy companies, many of which once denied that climate change was happening, are now keen to portray themselves as green heroes in the fight against climate change.

But the awards organisers warn that many of the so-called solutions being put forward by business will not help reduce emissions. Companies are advocating unproven technologies such as carbon capture and storage and failed mechanisms such as carbon trading, to justify their continuing pollution.

Climate Greenwash Awards Coordinator Kenneth Haar said:

“We would like to congratulate Vattenfall for their outrageous use of green spin to support their dirty business model. Vattenfall wants to build more coal plants in Europe, even though coal is the dirtiest source of energy - and it has successfully lobbied the EU for funds to develop carbon capture and storage technology. But even if this unproven technology works, it will not help reduce emissions quickly enough to help prevent the threat of climate change.

“I would also like to give a special mention to the Danish Government which has provided these polluting industries which such easy access to the climate talks. Denmark says it wants companies to back a deal on climate change, but the reality is that they are giving big business the opportunity to completely undermine the effectiveness of any deal that is done.”

The Climate Greenwash Awards were organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, Attac Denmark, The Climate Movement, ClimaX  and Friends of the Earth Denmark.

Kenneth Haar - tel  +45 23 60 06 31 or email kenneth@corporateeurope.org

Erik Wesselius - email erik@corporateeurope.org

[1] Full results will be available online at www.climategreenwash.org
[2] See http://www.corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/content/2009/05/climate-summit-inc


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