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Royal Dutch Shell branded world’s second worst corporate lobbyist for heavily polluting oil sands industry

Daily Telegraph

Oil firms attacked for tar sands pollution

Oil companies have come under pressure at Copenhagen to scale back investment in production from tar sands, as Royal Dutch Shell was branded the world’s second worst corporate lobbyist for its support of the industry.

Published: 9:44PM GMT 15 Dec 2009

Both Al Gore, former vice-president of the United States, and Naomi Klein, the author and campaigner, urged the Canadian government to abandon its support for the heavily polluting oil sands at the deadlocked talks on climate change in the Danish capital. The tar sands are seen as one reason why Canada has been reluctant to commit to tougher targets for reducing its emissions.

Ms Klein claimed that Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer and prolific investor in carbon offsetting, was the most obstructive company at Friends of the Earth’s Angry Mermaid awards – voted on by 10,000 people.

Shell, which has spent $2.4m lobbying US senators so far this year, came second in the survey with 18pc of the vote for promoting its “investments in the energy-intensive tar sands”.

“There are very few sessions about the role of corporations on influencing the process at Copenhagen,” Ms Klein said. “It’s been a very polite affair here in Copenhagen where people we don’t like to name names. But we are talking about those behind governments. Lobbyists love anonymity. What we are trying to do is drag them out of the shadows into the light.”

The American Petroleum Institute, which has campaigned against a US emissions trading system, came third with 14pc of the vote.

Meanwhile, in London, campaigners scaled the Canadian embassy and defaced the national flag in protest against the drilling in Alberta.

Among hundreds of protesters in Denmark, Maude Barlow, chairman of the Council of Canadians, called the tar sands “Canada’s Mordor”.

Shell declined to comment. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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