For almost seventy years fossil fuel giant Texaco have sponsored an annual children’s art competition in Ireland. They did this at a time when they were actively engaged in the destruction of rainforests and perpetrating appalling human rights violations in the lives of communities in Ecuador.

Human rights attorney Steven Donziger in the early 1990s sued Texaco on behalf of a group of Ecuadorean farmers and indigenous people, alleging major environmental harms by the energy company. An Ecuadorean court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2011 and ordered Chevron, which had since acquired the company, to pay $9.5 billion. To date they have not paid over a penny.

On Friday 1st October, Steven Donziger was sentenced to six months in jail by a Chevron-Texaco sponsored judge in New York after being under house arrest for over 780 days.

“The fight against corporate power and greed is one of the key environmental and economic justice challenges facing our planet,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said at the time.

“Indigenous Amazon communities won one of the most important class action lawsuits ever, holding Chevron accountable for environmental devastation with nearly $10 billion in damages, and ever since Chevron has sought to use its money and power to illegitimately nullify this result.” REF

Just Forests welcomes the calls for EU ban on fossil fuel ads and sponsorships by Greenpeace and a number of other NGO’s. We would urge everyone who wants to see real change taking place to support this initiative by signing the petition. It comes hot on the heels of our vigil outside the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, Co Louth, where the 67th Texaco Childrens Art Exhibition was on display.

So if you would like to read more about the Greenpeace call and even sign the petition (which I hope you do). You can do so here sign the petition here…