Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award and members of the World Future Council from more than 30 countries hail Greenpeace protests against Gazprom’s Arctic oil drilling as a “service to humanity”

Press release – for immediate release

Hamburg/Stockholm  10 November 2013: Today more than 75 laureates of the Right Livelihood Award – often called the “Alternative Nobel Prize“ –  and members of the World Future Council called upon the Russian authorities to immediately release the 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists arrested for their peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic. The signatories from more than 30 countries “applaud the sober minded and non-violent protests against Gazprom’s oil drilling in the Arctic, which poses a dangerous threat to the fragile Arctic environment and the global climate”. The crew from the Greenpeace ship “Arctic sunrise” have been in jail in Russia for more than 50 days and are faced with allegations of piracy and hooliganism for their peaceful protest of the Prirazlomnaya oil platform belonging to the international oil and gas company Gazprom.

rlaAccording to the statement the signatories “feel that the Greenpeace protest in the Arctic against oil drilling has drawn the world’s attention to one of the most controversial plans of Gazprom and other oil companies to consider the melting of the Arctic ice, a consequence of human induced climate change, as encouragement to extract more fossil resources.” All signatories regard the protests in the Arctic “as an exemplary act of civil disobedience” and welcome the “on-going protests in support of the Greenpeace activists and against Arctic drilling in thousands of cities around the world.”

Among the signatories to the statement are Alexander Likothal, President of Green Cross International and Elena Zhemkova, Executive Director of Memorial (Russia), Wanjira Maathai Vice Chair, Green Belt Movement (USA/Kenya), Daniel Ellsberg, Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (USA), Hans R. Herren, Founder of the Biovision Foundation (Switzerland), David Suzuki, Co-founder David Suzukui Foundation (Canada), Vandana Shiva, author and founder of the Navdanya network (India), Bishop Erwin Kräutler (Brazil) and Michael Succow (Germany), Founder of the Michael Succow Foundation for Nature Conservation.

Jakob von Uexkull, founder of both the Right Livelihood Award and the World Future Council: “We witness a continuously shrinking space for activists and civil society in many countries. Activists get attacked, killed, arrested and harassed for their service dedicated to humanity. We give our full-hearted support to those courageous individuals around the globe and condemn any actions of governments and corporations to silence these heroes.”

To read the full text of the statement and to see the list of signatories please click here.

Media contact

World Future Council
Anne Reis
Media & Communications
Mexikoring 29
22297 Hamburg

Phone: +49 40 30 70 914-16
Fax: +49 40 30 70 914-14

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

The Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. It has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and there are now 153 Laureates from 64 countries. The annual Award Ceremony takes place in the Swedish Parliament Building in December, with support by parliamentarians from all established political parties.

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The prize is financed by individual donors.