Vattenfall & Shell win Climate Greenwash '09

A businessman celebrates a win

And the winner is... A dubious honour for Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, voted best greenwasher 2009

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall won a gold medal at this year's celebration of climate spin and misinformation, with a special award going to the government of Denmark for services to the world's most polluting industries

Vattenfall and Shell topped this year’s Climate Greenwash Awards, taking nearly 60 per cent of all online public votes.

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall was the overall winner, with 39 per cent of votes, at the ceremony in Copenhagen in advance of the World Business Summit on Climate Change. It was nominated for ‘its mastery of spin on climate change, portraying itself as a climate champion while lobbying to continue business as usual, using coal, nuclear power and pseudo-solutions such as agrofuels and carbon capture and storage.’

Shell, nominated for ‘making misleading claims about its action to tackle climate change while withdrawing investments from renewable energy supplies’, netted 19.5 per cent of votes.

The Danish government scooped a special award for setting up the World Business Summit on Climate Change – ably assisted by Vattenfall-established lobby group Combat Climate Change. The summit is widely seen as a chance for the world’s worst polluters and their lobbyists to influence climate change negotiators in advance of UN talks on the issue in December.

Climate Greenwash Awards coordinator Kenneth Haar congratulated Vattenfall on its success, highlighting in particular its ‘outrageous use of green spin to support its dirty business model’.

Organised by the Corporate Europe Observatory, Attac Denmark, the Climate Movement, ClimaX and Friends of the Earth Denmark, the awards are intended to highlight an increasing reliance on green spin by the main polluters, keen to prove they are part of the solution to climate change while continuing with business as usual.

Runners-up in the poll were Dong, with 14.4 per cent of votes, ArcelorMittal with 9.7 per cent, BP with 9.34 per cent and Repsol with 8.26 per cent.

More from this author