Durban, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 December 2011 – Eskom CEO Brian Dames has the dubious honour of being on Greenpeace International’s list of leaders of the 12 global entities actively working against progress in the United Nations climate change talks.
Revealing this, “Business Day” reports that Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo “’ a South African “’ released the activist group’s “Dirty Dozen in Durban” list here at the International Convention Centre, where almost 200 countries are meeting to thrash out a deal to ward off damaging climate change.
Dames responded that if he, as the representative of South Africa’s power utility, was on the list because Eskom’s cheap electricity had helped the country become Africa’s largest economy, and because the state-owned enterprise had brought electricity to millions of South Africans, he was not complaining. “I am number 12 and the list above me is quite an esteemed list,” he joked.
Dames joins Royal Dutch Shell chairman Jorma Ollilo, Shell Canada’s Lorraine Mitchell, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers president David Collyer, US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas Donohue, ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal, BusinessEurope president Jurgen Thumann and Koch Industries’ David and Charles Koch.
Also on the list is another South African “’ BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers, BASF board chairman Kurt Bock, International Chamber of Commerce secretary-general Jean-Huy Carrie and American petroleum institute president Jack Gerard.
Naidoo said 10% of business in the world was aware of the urgency of the situation regarding climate change, and 80% was “taking baby steps in the right direction, albeit too slowly.”
However, Greenpeace was most concerned about the 10% that was actively campaigning against solutions to climate change, with some funding climate denialists. This was the category into which he put Dames.
The companies on the list were responsible for much of the stalling in climate change negotiations over the years, with negotiators “serving the special interests of the fossil fuel industry.”
Eskom provides most of South Africa’s electricity, and more than 90% of the energy is coal-dependent. South Africa is building two large coal-fired power stations, Medupi and Kusile, both of which Greenpeace is campaigning against.