A woman escapes from the heat of a gas flare in Warri, southern Nigeria, after drying her tapioca near the Utorogu flow station belonging to the Shell oil company. The picture was taken in 2006.
On Thursday, as the World Economic Forum's annual meeting took place in Davos, Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration presented the Public Eye Awards, denouncing particularly glaring cases of companies’ greed and environmental sins.
The public award – decided by 41,800 online voters – went by a large margin to the Dutch-British oil corporation Shell. The award’s organisers said Shell was the first oil “super-major” to move into the fragile Arctic – and the risks were enormous. “It’s a vicious circle: oil drilling in the Arctic offshore means new carbon emissions, which lead to melting ice, which open up the region to reckless companies like Shell. Added to this are the massive risk of oil spills and a lost opportunity to redirect investment into green energy. It’s now absolutely clear that Shell has no intention of making renewable energy a major part of its long-term strategy.”
The jury award went to US bank Goldman Sachs, which stood accused of “pocketing horrendous fees to hide half of Greece’s public debt, which eventually ruined Greece”.