The story of the Angry Mermaid


Image by Polyp

Copenhagen’s iconic mermaid statue is angry. Her city is hosting crucial international climate talks, but thousands of business representatives are planning to attend – and most of them do not want to tackle climate change. Instead they’re pushing for supposed solutions which mean they can carry on polluting as usual.

Meanwhile, the Mermaid’s ocean home is warming and sea levels are rising. Coral reefs are dying as the acidity of the ocean increases. And thousands of people in some of the poorest parts of the world risk losing their homes on low-lying coastlines as floods and extreme storms become more frequent.

The Angry Mermaid was so incensed, she decided that the corporate culprits must be stopped. But which ones to blame? Everywhere she turned, there were sharp-suited businessmen lobbying government ministers and negotiators – sometimes sitting at the same table, sharing lunches, drinking fine wines. The business suits seemed to be pretending that they had forgotten about profits and that they were ready to save the world.

So the Angry Mermaid decided to launch an award – in her own name – to highlight how corporate lobbyists were scheming to sabotage action to save the climate.

She asked people she knew if they could suggest which companies were doing the most to undermine climate action – and she decided to publish a shortlist and ask the public to vote.

She received lots of suggestions from all around the world. Some of them were names she had never heard of before – but when she investigated, she discovered that these were some of the people sitting round the table and talking to negotiators.

The Angry Mermaid asked Attac Denmark, Corporate Europe Observatory, Focus on the Global South, Friends of the Earth International and Spinwatch to help her decide which of the suggestions should go on the shortlist. They assessed the evidence – and the list was whittled down to eight.

Then the Angry Mermaid asked her friends to publish the shortlist on a website and to ask the general public to decide which of the candidates should win the award.

This is the Angry Mermaid’s website – please vote for the candidate you consider to have done most to sabotage effective action on climate change.