Life-Sized Sea Animals Deliver Open Letter Urging World Sailing to Dump INEOS

Wednesday, 10th October 2018 saw a six-foot tall penguin, dolphin, fish and seagull with plastic INEOS bags over their heads, accompanied by Joe Corré, deliver an open letter which written on behalf of green groups by Australian Human Rights Barrister, Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers. They urged the World Sailing President, Mr Kim Andersen, to ban plastic-producing INEOS from America’s Cup 2021. The letter was delivered to the World Sailing Headquarters in Paddington, London.

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The letter is launched on the start of the first day of the GC32 Racing Tour fifth event and Grande Finale in Toulon, France, where Sir Ben Ainslie’s INEOS Team UK are competing.

The green groups and academics who have co-signed the letter include:

Jennifer Robinson (Human Rights Lawyer and Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers)

John Sauven (Executive Director, Greenpeace UK)

Meaghan Carmody (Head of Mobilisation, Friends of the Earth Ireland)

Dame Vivienne Westwood (Vivienne Westwood)

Joe Corré (Founder & Executive Director, Talk Fracking)

Wenonah Hauter (Founder & Executive Director, Food & Water Watch)

Steve Mason (Founder & Executive Director, Frack Free United)

Dr Philip Webber (Chair, Scientists for Global Responsibility)

Dr Damien Short (Co-Director:Human Rights Consortium, Editor in Chief:International Journal of Human Rights)

Delphine Lévi Alvarès (European coordinator, #Break Free From Plastic movement)

Lorne Stockman (Senior Research Analyst, Oil Change International)

Andy Gheorghiu (Policy Advisor & Campaigner, Food & Water Europe)

Ethan Buckner (Energy Campaigner, Earthworks)

Jojo Mehta (Co-founder, Mission LifeForce)

Stuart Lane (Founder, Cross Party Frack Free)

Erik Dalhuijsen (Founder/Director, Aberdeen Climate Action CIC)

Naimah Omar (Spokesperson, UK Youth Climate Coalition)

Jane Patton (Director, No Waste Louisana)

Melissa Haines (Spokesperson, Middletown Coalition for Community Safety)

Jean Hesketh (Coordinator, Frack Free Dudleston)

David Kesteven (Chairman, Eckington Against Fracking)

Bob Street (Co-Ordinator, Coal Aston & Dronfield Against Fracking)

David Larder (Chair, Bassetlaw against Fracking)

Colin D Watson (Spokesperson, Frack Free Upton)

Jackie Mayers (Spokesperson, Ellesmere Port Frack Free)

Dave Adam (Spokesperson, Frack Free Ryedale)

Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, Campaign Against Climate Change)

Kim Hunter (Spokesperson, Frack Free Scarborough)

Johnny McElligott (Spokesperson, Safety Before LNG)

Pascoe Sabido (Researcher and Campaigner, Corporate Europe Observatory)

Bas Oudenaarden (Campaigner, Rotterdams Klimaat Initiatief)

Jenny Dixon (Spokesperson, Frack Free East Yorkshire)

Academics:

Prof. Nick Cowern (Director, NC Tech Insight Ltd. and Emeritus professor, Newcastle University)

Prof. Peter Strachan (Professor of Energy Policy, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen Business School)

Prof. Robert W. Howarth (Ph.D., Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York)

Dr Keith Baker (Built Environment Asset Management (BEAM) Centre, School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment Glasgow Caledonian University)

The letter delivery will also mark the Global Gasdown Frackdown Day of Action on October 13th.

A website with the open letter also launched today, for further signatories. You can find it via this link: www.BanINEOSFromAmericasCup2021.com.

In the letter, Jennifer Robinson says:

“It is with grave concern and disappointment that we have witnessed World Sailing’s ongoing silence and complicity in relation to INEOS Team UK, an America’s Cup 2021 entrant sponsored by a company known for its environmentally destructive practices and ongoing assault on the democratic right to protest”.

“Mr Andersen, we know that you are already all too aware of the pressing issues posed by the plastic contamination of our oceans. In June this year, World Sailing joined the Clean Seas Campaign, partnering with the International Olympic Committee and UN Environment to “beat plastic pollution”.

“In the case of INEOS, its fracking production in the UK and USA to provide cheap feedstocks (ethane, propane) for plastic production. INEOS is one of Europe’s biggest producers of disposable plastic.”

Ms Robinson continued:

“Your decision to permit the participation of any team sponsored by INEOS undermines World Sailing’s commitments to respecting and safeguarding our environment….World Sailing has made consistently clear across each of its governing documents, including most recently in the Sustainability Agenda 2030.The ongoing presence of INEOS Team UK in World Sailing’s headline event single-handedly shatters these endeavours, bringing both World Sailing, and yourself, into disrepute.”

Delphine Lévi Alvarès, European coordinator of the #Break Free From Plastic movement said:

“The #breakfreefromplastic movement brings nearly 1,300 organisations around the world together to fight plastic pollution. INEOS are fuelling the plastics expansion with cheap plastics that will pollute our environment but together we can put a stop to their polluting practices. Zero waste cities on the front line of the fight against plastic pollution and strong policy action against single-use plastics can reverse the tide for a clean future.”

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director and Founder of Food & Water Watch said:

“Plastic production wreaks havoc on people and the planet – from the fracking wells and pipelines in Pennsylvania to the beaches and oceans across the globe that are polluted by plastic manufactured in Scotland and elsewhere. We are literally drowning In plastic, and companies like INEOS are making billions with the destruction of our climate and oceans. It is time to unite and stop them once and for all.”

Talk Fracking’s Joe Corré, said:

“If INEOS get their way and fulfil their ambition to frack the length and breadth of the UK, they will be making a vast contribution to the already growing pile of cheap plastics in the world today. INEOS have a horrendous environmental track record in Europe and have been responsible for toxic chemicals, leaks, fires and explosions that have endangered workers, communities and the environment.

“Now they plan to bring those dangers to hundreds of communities across the UK, just to make more plastics that we don’t want. World Sailing entertaining the greenwasher INEOS as a sponsor of the America’s Cup entrant Team UK smacks of total hypocrisy. They must make a stand on behalf of our oceans, drowning in plastic. Sir Ben Ainslie should be ashamed of himself taking $153 million of Jim Ratcliffe’s dirty money to enter the America’s Cup. Ben Ainslie turning a blind eye to what INEOS really are doesn’t cut it.”

Steve Mason from Frack Free United said:

“We take inspiration from sport, so to witness such hypocrisy is disgusting. On the one hand we have a superpower plastics manufacturer sponsoring an ocean yacht race. On the other hand we have the very same company wanting to dig up dinosaurs to burn, adding to air pollution and affecting our kid’s health.”

The World Sailing action comes at the same time that the National Teachers Union have passed a motion to oppose INEOS’s sponsorship of The Daily Mile initiative, which which promotes getting children out of the classroom for fifteen minutes everyday to run or jog, but sponsored by a company who create air and environmental pollution. INEOS are currently on their final warning before prosecution from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), for repeatedly violating their limits during gas flaring at Grangemouth.

*You can view and download the open letter here.