Environmental campaigners are calling on an Edinburgh based global oil and gas company to live up to its commitment to "work with the communities in which we operate".
Friends of the Earth Scotland is challenging Cairn Energy to withdraw from an agreement with Vedanta Resources,who currently own 62.37% of Cairn India to sell a percentage of its holdings in the company.
The environmental campaigning charity believes the proposal is problematic for two reasons.
Firstly, Vedanta Resources, a UK mining company, were recently condemned by a British government department for breaking international frameworks on business and human rights, but have so far ignored their concerns.
The Church of England has withdrawn its investment in Vedanta in protest at this abuse of human rights and environmental destruction.
Secondly, Sir Bill Gammell, Chief Executive of Cairn, has announced that the transaction will also ensure Cairn has the financial flexibility to focus on an active multi year exploration and drilling programme in Greenland.
Juliet Swann, Head of Projects and Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:
"Attempts to extract oil from beneath the Arctic continental shelf completely fail to acknowledge the inextricable link between the disappearance of ice floes and fossil fuel exploitation.
"By seeing the melting of sea ice as an opportunity, Cairn is not making the connection between their activities drilling for oil and the climate change that is causing the melting sea ice.
"Selling off holdings in Cairn India to a company who have blatantly abused human and environmental rights to fund oil exploration in an area that is witnessing some of the worst effects of climate change is like robbing both Peter and Paul to pay to wreck the local and global environment.
"This behaviour makes a mockery of Cairn Energy's Corporate Responsibility statements."
For media enquiries please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719
Cairn Energy are an Edinburgh based oil and gas exploration and production company. On 16th August they announced their intention to sell up to 51% of their holdings in Cairn India to Vedanta Resources.
Vedanta Resources are a UK mining company controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal. Their proposal to mine bauxite in Orissa has been condemned by an Indian Government Inquiry. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/aug/16/vedanta-indian-mining-pro... Vedanta plans to create a bauxite mine at the top of a mountain sacred to the Dongria Kondh tribe, and to expand their aluminium refinery at the foot of the hills. The bauxite will be used to make drinks cans and cars. If the mine goes ahead, it will threaten the local people's health, livelihoods and identity as a tribe.
In 2009 Royal Bank of Scotland gave Cairn Energy £117m in loans and equity, almost half of which was used to help exploratory drilling off Greenland. RBS have also given financial advice to Sterlite, a subsidiary of Vedanta, along with credit letters worth £60m.
Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone's future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk