Yesterday we performed at Perth Festival in support of two artists we love – Kate Tempest & Omar Musa – on a stage sponsored by fossil fuel giant Chevron. Rather than say no to the opportunity, we thought we would use the platform to speak a few truth’s about why Chevron is the wrong company to sponsor our premier arts festival.
Watch the video and catch our live performance of Rights & Responsibilities, before listening to Shareef drop a few truth bombs on Chevron.
Text of the full speech:
Chevron.. Got naming rights to the festival lighthouse now let me tell you why it’s wrong:
Chevron is WA’s biggest carbon emitter.
Chevron promised to capture 80% of the emissions from their Gorgon project from the day it started producing, but had not captured any emissions as of August 2019, leaving WA as the only state in the nation with still rising greenhouse gas emissions.
To this day Chevron has not disclosed how much carbon they are capturing at Gorgon.
In Australia, Chevron doesn’t pay tax.
In 2018 Chevron paid $860m to settle a legal dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.
You and I, if we earn $37,000 in a year we have to pay about $3,500 tax.
Chevron’s Australian operations have earned about $37,000 every five minutes for the past five years. How much tax have they paid? Zero.
In order to win approval for their projects Chevron estimated they would pay $338 billion in federal taxes between 2009 and 2040 – a little over $100bn per decade. Ten years in and it appears they have not paid a cent.
$100 billion would pay for a lot of hospitals, schools, firefighting equipment, and much more.
And their record is even worse overseas
In Kazakhstan Chevron’s operations resulted in the death of 64 workers over 7 years prior before statistics stopped being reported after the year 2000.
In Ecuador Chevron were fined $8bn after a decades long legal battle over massive environmental destruction – but refused to pay.
Now they are relentlessly harassing the attorney who fought the case on behalf of affected Ecaudorans.
Through complex legal maneuvering, Chevron has managed to see Steven Donziger forced to wear a tracking bracelet around his ankle at all times and be prevented from working, traveling, earning money, or even leaving his home.
Is this the right company to be sponsoring our cities premier arts festival? I think not.
Artists should not have to be made complicit with fossil fuel interests, in order to get a gig.