Greenpeace deploys Rainbow Warrior to oil refinery
BATANGAS CITY—A team of 12 climate activists belonging to the group Greenpeace on Wednesday scaled a jetty of Shell Philippines at its refinery here and unfurled banners, pressing the fuel company to take part in an ongoing investigation into greenhouse gas emissions.
Shell, in a statement, said it fully respects the protest but described the occupation of Jetty 2 at its Tabangao Refinery in Batangas province, as illegal and highly risky.
“Shell fully acknowledges the right of Greenpeace and others to express their point of view,” the company statement said.
“We only ask that they do so with their safety and the safety of others, including our staff, our partners’ personnel and customers in mind,” the company added.
Aside from the occupation of the Shell jetty in Batangas, another team from Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines delivered a letter to Shell’s headquarters in Makati City, demanding the company’s attendance in hearings at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on March.
Shell is only one of 47 multinational companies named in the petition filed in September 2015 by Greenpeace and 50 other individuals and climate-affected communities for the CHR to investigate the world’s top carbon emitters.
In December, the CHR issued a statement reiterating its jurisdiction over economic and sociocultural rights violations as it was expected to release its recommendation by 2019.
Shell, among the 47 named in the petition, was the only one with a corporate identity in the Philippines.
“For the longest time, they’ve (Shell and majority of the firms) been ignoring the procedure. They’ve been questioning the basis [of the CHR’s jurisdiction],” said Khevin Yu, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner.
He said Greenpeace’s “direct action” against the company early on Wednesday was “basically to get their attention and send out a message that there are climate-affected communities.”
Cesar Abaricia, Shell media manager, said Greenpeace members, who had “illegally occupied” the Shell jetty in Batangas left “without incident.”
When asked whether Shell intended to send representatives to attend the CHR’s hearings that would start next month, Shell said this was “another topic that we will discuss,” suggesting that there was no decision yet on that matter.
Greenpeace activists had become famous for chaining themselves to ships, factories and other facilities that they accuse of helping pollute the environment.
Among its most famous activists was actor Woody Harrelson, who once chained himself to a ship delivering pollutants at sea. —REPORTS FROM MARICAR CINCO AND RONNEL DOMINGO
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