Even in crisis, NGOs pull no punches in Davos
Though a financial crisis and global recession have left many of the world’s biggest companies uncharacteristically humbled, that didn’t stop NGOs from taking shots at a few of them at the World Economic Forum.
Newmont received two awards — the Global Award and People’s Award — for its mining project in eastern Ghana. According to the NGOs, Newmont “is ignoring the environmental and social damage” the planned mine will create.
“If the project goes ahead, 10,000 farmers will lose their land and livelihood and cyanide, used to extract the gold, will poison the soil, water and wildlife,” they said in a statement.
Bernische Kraftwerke, on the other hand, received the Swiss Award “for pushing for the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Germany… Its plans blatantly contradict its self-promotion as a forward-looking company that promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
There was one positive award given out on Wednesday, for “most courageous employee of the year.” Two Colombian union leaders, Jairo Quiroz Delgado and Freddy Lozano, shared that award for their fight for workers’ rights at Colombia’s El Cerrejon coal mine.