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BP Target of Prank: Company Dropped from Olympics, Hoax Website Reports

The Campaign for a More Sustainable Olympics takes credit for fake website

- Common Dreams staff

BP was the target of a hoax this morning, when the Campaign for a More Sustainable Olympics made a fake website announcing that The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was "looking for a new ‘Sustainability Partner’ after an internal review concluded that BP was no longer going to fill this role."

The website continued, "The review concluded that BP does not meet the standards required to be a champion for Sustainability at London 2012, due to the extent of its global carbon emissions, its involvement in unsustainable extraction projects such as the Alberta oil sands, and its safety record, particularly in regard to the ongoing ecological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."

Organizers of the Olympic games have been criticized for choosing BP as a sustainability partner, given BP's poor environmental record.

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Business Green: Green campaigners target BP's support for Olympics in elaborate hoax

BP has been targeted by green campaigners over its role as sustainability partner for the London Olympics, after a hoax website this morning claimed the oil giant had been dropped as the Games' sustainability partner.

A statement on the fake website, which had been designed to mimic the authentic Olympic Games website, said BP would be replaced as sustainability partner for the games, because a London Organising Committee (LOCOG) review had found BP did "not meet the standards required to be a champion for sustainability at London 2012, due to the extent of its global carbon emissions".

The "story" was reported by City AM and LBC Radio, before being swiftly corrected. LBC also interviewed a man masquerading as LOCOG's Sustainability Partnerships manager, using the pseudonym Steve Wren.

Both BP and LOCOG confirmed that the statement was a hoax, but refused to answer further questions on the incident.

"It was a hoax and that was all. Nothing to do with BP," a spokeswoman for BP told BusinessGreen.

The Campaign for a More Sustainable Olympics (CAMSOL) later admitted it had set up the fake website to protest against LOCOG's decision to use BP as its green partner, on the grounds that it investment in Canadian oil sands and its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had significant environmental impacts.

CAMSOL's Harry Broadbent admitted he had posed as Steve Wren on LBC and taken calls from around 25 journalists, including BusinessGreen, wishing to interview him about the fake story.

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Excerpt from hoax website

BP to be replaced as London 2012 ‘Sustainability Partner’
11 Apr 2012

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today announced that it is looking for a new ‘Sustainability Partner’ after an internal review concluded that BP was no longer going to fill this role.

LOCOG has placed sustainability at the heart of the Games, which aim to set new standards of excellence and innovation, and create positive, lasting change for the environment and local communities. It has been conducting a review of the choice of Sustainability Partners, against criteria that include the sustainability of the partner’s business activities and its contribution to climate change, as well as other issues such as waste and biodiversity. The review concluded that BP does not meet the standards required to be a champion for Sustainability at London 2012, due to the extent of its global carbon emissions, its involvement in unsustainable extraction projects such as the Alberta oil sands, and its safety record, particularly in regard to the ongoing ecological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

LOCOG is now looking for a new Sustainability Partner which can embody the Olympic values of social responsibility, environmental protection and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. As a Tier One Partner, BP will continue to play an important role in the delivery of London 2012, as oil and gas partner, and backer of a number of National Olympic and Paralympic Committees, teams and individual athletes from the local communities in which it operates, including the UK, US, Azerbaijan, Georgia and United Arab Emirates.

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Indymedia London: CAMSOL: LOCOG drop BP as sustainability partner

LOCOG have demonstrated a clear disregard for any ethical concerns in their election of Sustainability Partners, and BP is just one example of this. It is demonstrative of the power of corporate money to buy whatever image it chooses and deliberately mislead the public. Recent research has pointed to the positive shift in public opinion towards BP since its recent large scale sponsorship deals in the cultural and sporting sectors: 38% of those polled believe 'that BP had been getting better at working towards a cleaner planet'. This, despite it being less than two years since one of the greatest environmental disasters in modern history taking place off the Gulf of Mexico.

This action was not the first to be taken against the unethical sponsorship of the Olympics and nor will be it be the last. CAMSOL is joining groups across the globe in standing up to the power of big money and its role in driving man-made climate change.

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