MANILA – Dozens of Greenpeace activists entered a Shell refinery in the Philippines on Wednesday to demand the company cooperate with an investigation probing the role of big fossil fuel companies in climate-change related disasters.
The activists entered Shell’s Batangas refinery, situated 80 kilometers south of Manila, from their ship Rainbow Warrior – which has been docking in the archipelago since the last one week – and unfurled a banner which said “PEOPLE AND PLANET, NOT PROFIT.”
“Shell and other big fossil fuel companies continue to line their own pockets at the expense of people and the environment,” Desiree Llanos Dee, a Southeast Asia campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, said in a press release.
“People are suffering as a result – from more destructive typhoons, less fish due to warming oceans, and declining food production due to drought or heavier rainfall,” she added.
Greenpeace also delivered a letter to Shell, urging it to attend the upcoming hearings by the Philippine Commission on Human Rights to decide the responsibility of fossil fuel companies in climate change impacts.
The investigation, triggered by a petition by the local Greenpeace division and more than a dozen individual petitioners, will grill 47 companies, including Repsol, Shell, BP and Chevron.
“We have been trying to engage the big polluters to participate in the investigation (...) but they continue to ignore the plight of the people and their families,” Greenpeace had said.
The Philippines is the fourth country in the world to have experienced the most number of natural disasters in the last 20 years, according to a study by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The archipelago was hit by 274 natural disasters between 1995 and 2015, which affected 130 million people, and 90 percent of the catastrophes were climate-related according to the report.
In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall in the Philippines, killed 6,300 people and affected 14 million.