Batangas: Activists from Greenpeace Southeast Asia–Philippines climbed the jetty at Shell’s refinery in Tabangao, Batangas on Wednesday and unfurled a banner reading “People and Planet not Profit,” as sharp reminder to the oil company to attend hearings on the responsibility of big fossil fuel firms for climate-related human rights harms.
In a letter they delivered to the firm’s management the activists demanded that Shell to own up to its responsibility for contributions to the climate crisis.
In the Notice of Inquiry Hearing by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and signed by inquiry panel chairman Roberto Eugenio Cadiz, all parties were given notice on the public hearing scheduled March 27 and 28.
The petitioners want the inquiry panel to determine whether respondent oil firms must account for the human rights implications of climate change and ocean acidification.
Desiree Llanos Dee, Climate Justice Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines, said they have been trying to engage big polluters to participate in the investigation and explain how they will change their business operations that continue to fuel climate change.
But Greenpeace said these pollutants continue to ignore the plight of people and their families, choosing profit over people and the planet.
Meanwhile, Shell’s Media Manager Cesar Abaricia confirmed that Greenpeace representatives visited the Shell Makati office and its other members had illegally occupied Jetty 2 of their Tabangao Refinery in Batangas. He, however, said the demonstrators left both premises without incident.
“Shell fully acknowledges the right of Greenpeace and others to express their point of view. 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,” Abaricia added.
Shell, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI, ExxonMobil, Glencore, OMV, Repsol, Sasol, Suncor, Total and RWE are among the 47 companies being investigated by the CHR in the world’s first national inquiry into the responsibility of the Carbon Majors for Human Rights Violations or Threats of Violations Resulting from the Impacts of Climate Change.
The investigation was triggered by a petition filed before the commission in 2015 by representatives of communities across the Philippines, one of the countries most at risk from the impacts of climate change.
The group includes fisherfolk from Alabat, communities living in the shadow of the Bataan coal power plant, survivors of super-typhoons such as Yolanda, and civil society groups, including Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines.