Monday, 11 June 2007



GREEN MEP and ‘politician of the year’ Caroline Lucas has hit out at the main sponsor of a leading climate change conference – Shell –for undermining efforts to tackle the problem, during a speech at the event today.

Dr Lucas said she applauded Shell’s decision to be lead sponsor of the Guardian Climate Change Summit for key policymakers and businesses, but condemned the company’s record of investing around just 1% of its research budget in renewable energy compared to some 70% looking for yet more oil and gas.

And the South-East England Euro-MP, who was named ‘Politician of the Year’in a central London ethical awards ceremony last week, criticised BAA’s association with the event while the firm is seeking to expand massively its airports at Stansted, Heathrow and elsewhere.

“Tackling climate change means changing the way we do business and measure economic success, and until businesses like Shell and BAA recognise this they will remain part of the problem rather than the solution,” said Dr Lucas.

“I smell the whiff of greenwash about their involvement with this event. We know that these firms are masters of marketing and spin after all: just last month, for example, BAA joined the ‘Flying Matters’ coalition, which seeks to resist further action to curb aviation’s growing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Dr Lucas made her comments as she addressed The Guardian Climate Change Summit, alongside Government advisors Jonathan Porritt and Sir David King and business leaders from a range of firms including BSkyB, Boots and Marks and Spencer as well as Shell and BAA.

The MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Environment and Climate change committees, said we knew what to do to tackle climate change – and the reason we weren’t doing it was that Government had failed to exercise sufficient political leadership to set binding emissions targets and make both the financial and regulatory commitments to meeting them.

She said: “We have to stop treating climate change as an environmental issue alone, and start treating it as an international emergency.

“Only then will Governments take the necessary action required to keep atmospheric CO2 levels at or below 400 ppm – necessary if we are to keepglobal average temperature rises below 2 degrees C.”

A full copy of Caroline's speech to the summit can be downloaded from

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