Chevron Given Public Eye Award for Ecuador Oil Damages

23 January 2015

The petroleum giant Chevron has received the most tongue-in-cheek designation in Davos: the Public Eye Lifetime Award, given to the company with the worst record when it comes to human rights and protecting the planet.

United States-based Chevron was denounced for "the environmental disaster caused by oil speculation in the rainforest of northern Ecuador" by the awarding NGOs Berne Declaration and Greenpeace on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

"Chevron has refused to pay $9.5 billion in damages [ordered by a court in 2013] for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by petroleum exploration," said Paul Paz y Miño of Amazon Watch, the California NGO which nominated Chevron for the Public Eye Award in 2006.

The Public Eye Award has been awarded more than a dozen times to corporations from around the world, including commodities giant Glencore, the Royal Bank of Canada and pharmaceutical company Roche.

However, 2015 is the last year it will be given, as the NGOs behind it announced that "the closed-door events of the WEF are losing their relevance as a venue where political demands are directed at democratically legitimised decision-makers".

Instead, the Berne Declaration has announced its plans to form a "Coalition for Corporate Justice" in Bern that will focus on Swiss companies' adherence to human rights and environmental standards around the world.