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Shell’s Greenpeace Lawsuit Mocked by Celebrities: “Seriously, Shell? What the Hell?”

Moreover, the letter condemns Shell’s recent strategic shift back toward increasing oil and gas production, deriding it as a profit-driven move that spells disaster for the planet.

Posted by John Donovan 1st April 2024

In a scathing open letter, a coalition of Hollywood A-listers led by Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, and Benedict Cumberbatch have slammed Shell for its “callous and vindictive” legal crusade against Greenpeace. The letter, signed by a slew of prominent figures including Greta Thunberg and supported by environmental groups like Extinction Rebellion, lambasts Shell’s CEO Wael Sawan for orchestrating “one of the biggest attacks on Greenpeace’s right to protest in the organisation’s 53-year history.”

“You may believe that this lawsuit will dissuade all those justifiably alarmed by the impact your industry is having on the planet and the people who live on it from expressing their dissent through protest,” the letter reads. “On the contrary, it makes your company look callous and vindictive and will serve only to increase support for organisations like Greenpeace who seek to hold you to account.”

Dubbed the “Cousin Greg” lawsuit, reminiscent of a scene from HBO’s Succession where a character threatens legal action, Shell’s $2.1 million lawsuit against Greenpeace stems from a protest in which activists boarded a moving oil rig belonging to the company. Shell has defended its legal action as necessary for safety reasons, citing concerns over endangering lives at sea.

However, critics aren’t buying it. The open letter calls out Shell’s attempt to stifle dissent as “outrageous and frankly dangerous,” highlighting the broader implications of the company’s actions in the face of climate change. One defendant, Yeb Saño, a former climate negotiator for the Philippines, turned Greenpeace activist after his hometown was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The letter underscores the scientific consensus linking fossil fuel emissions to the intensification of such storms.

Moreover, the letter condemns Shell’s recent strategic shift back toward increasing oil and gas production, deriding it as a profit-driven move that spells disaster for the planet. This pivot, the letter argues, not only prolongs society’s dependence on expensive and environmentally harmful energy but also exacerbates the global climate crisis.

Shell’s lawsuit against Greenpeace is portrayed as emblematic of a broader trend in the oil industry, which appears increasingly defiant in the face of mounting pressure to decarbonize. As other oil giants cling to the status quo, the chorus of criticism against Shell suggests that the era of unbridled corporate greed may be nearing its end, one scathing letter at a time.

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