Eco-activists glue themselves to hotel door at oil industry awards
Climate change demonstrators successfully blockaded an oil and gas event in London in protest against ExxonMobil, a company they say funds climate change denial.
Activists were targeting Exxon chairman and CEO Rex Tillersen, who attended the Oil and Money dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in central London to receive the Petroleum Executive of the Year Award.
Dressed as “oily executives,” suited protesters glued themselves to the revolving doors at the entrance to the hotel with signs on their backs reading “Climate change is nothing to celebrate,” and “You can ignore the science but you can’t ignore us.”
Divest London, the group which organized the protest Tuesday, cited recent revelations that ExxonMobil has known about climate change since the 1970s as a reason for the protest.
“Handing accolades to companies funding climate denial shows the oil industry has no plans for meaningful change,” said Divest London spokesperson Chelsea Edwards.
“Organizations and institutions around the world should break their ties with this dysfunctional industry and divest from these companies.”
Divest London campaigner Lorna Burky-Webster told The Guardian that the oil industry should be tackling climate change head on.
“We’re here to show the oil industry that there they have nothing to celebrate,” she said.
“When they should be putting their heads together to tackle the biggest threat to human civilization that has ever existed, instead they are giving awards to people who have been sitting on knowledge about climate change and aggressively funding denialism.”
ExxonMobil was exposed last month as having known about climate change as early as 1977, but stands accused of spending millions of dollars on disinformation campaigns denying global warming.
According to an ongoing investigation by Inside Climate News, ExxonMobil funded its own research into climate change from the late 1970s to late 1980s, before ending the project and investing instead in climate denial.
Financial records and correspondence published in July revealed that Exxon donated $2.3 million to members of Congress and a corporate lobbying group that denies climate change.
In response to the revelations, Exxon spokesman Richard Keil told the Guardian: “ExxonMobil does not fund climate denial.”
Research firm Energy Intelligence partnered with the New York Times to host the Oil and Money event.
Tilerson was awarded the Petroleum Executive of the Year Award for his successful leadership of ExxonMobil, according to Energy Intelligence Vice President Thomas Wallin.
“He has further enhanced the company’s widely respected reputation for strong operational performance, financial discipline, project execution and technological innovation,” Wallin said.