I challenge anyone to find a more cynical example of corporate sponsorship than this one.
In the same week that Shell was condemned by the UN for its devastating oil spills in Ogoni, and admitted liability for 2 massive spills in Bodo village in the Niger Delta, the company announced that its sponsorship of an oil spill clean up competition in the US:
Shell has announced that it is a supporting partner of the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge, a global competition to develop the most effective oil spill cleanup equipment.
10 teams from Northern Europe and the United States will compete for prize money, with Shell’s Peter Velez, global emergency response manager, judging the scores.
The team with the highest oil recovery rate and highest oil recovery efficiency will get $1m first prize; second place will get $300k and third place $100k.
So while the Ogoni people continue drink water contaminated with hydrocarbons 1,000 times higher than the legal limit, and have their land and fisheries turned into toxic dump, they can at least rest in the knowledge that Shell cares far more about its image than it does about their suffering.
If you feel it, tweet it:
“Shame on @Shell for decades of doing nothing to clean Ogoni oil spills.”