Chevron wins the Public Eye “Lifetime Award”, and The Yes Men bury the “Spirit of Davos”

For Immediate Release

Chevron wins the Public Eye “Lifetime Award”, and The Yes Men bury the “Spirit of Davos”

DAVOS - At the gates of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland have bestowed upon Chevron the “Lifetime Award” for being the most irresponsible corporation in the ten-year era of the Public Eye Awards. The US oil giant received the largest number of the neigh-on 64,000 online votes, followed by Glencore and Walmart. At the closing ceremony of the long-standing counter event to the WEF, protest satirists, The Yes Men, said that “Corporate Social Responsibility is like putting a bandage on a severed head – it doesn’t help”.

At the 16th and last Public Eye in Davos, the international web community awarded Chevron the “Lifetime Award” for what, in Northern Ecuador, is effectively one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet. When accepting the award, Paul Paz from the US-based nominating organization, Amazon Watch, was particularly outraged about “Chevron’s refusal to comply with the 2013 verdict which ordered the company to pay US$ 9.5 billion in damages and clean up costs”. “Instead, Chevron’s lawyers and advisors have been delaying justice and thus have also subjected the 30,000 affected people to decades of suffering,” said Paz. Amazon Watch confirmed its intention of handing over the “Lifetime Award” to the responsible executives at Chevron’s headquarters in California.

In their world exclusive “Requiem for the WEF”, The Yes Men said that “public-private cooperation as it has been promoted and perpetuated in Davos isn’t part of the solution but part of the problem, such as the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor and the imminent climate collapse.” Dressed up as undertakers, the US superstars of the anti-globalization movement said, “we must force businesses to do the right thing - not rely on their goodwill”. And German member of the European Parliament and Attac co-founder, Sven Giegold, said in his keynote speech: "If the Public Eye must die, it should at least be reincarnated at the G20 summit."

For fifteen years, the Public Eye has cast a critical and innovative eye on the World Economic Forum. Ten times it has presented the annual award of shame to a corporation with a particularly abysmal record in terms of human rights or the environment. The main reason now for "leaving Davos" is the arrival of the broadly supported "Coalition for Corporate Justice" (SCCJ) in Berne. With the planned launch of a popular initiative aimed at requiring Swiss companies to respect human rights and environmental standards abroad as well as at home, the political core demands of the Public Eye are surely on the right track.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

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Berne Declaration (BD) is a not-for-profit, independent organization with about 23,500 members, which has been campaigning for more equitable relations between Switzerland and underprivileged countries for more than forty years. Among our most important concerns are the global safeguarding of human rights, the socially and ecologically responsible conduct of business enterprises and the promotion of fair economic relations.

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