Greenpeace backed by Anti-SLAPP Coalition as it faces Shell lawsuit

Greenpeace is being backed by The Anti-SLAPP Coalition, as the group of 31 organisations issued a statement supporting the environmental group in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit it is facing from Shell.

SLAPP cases are defined as ‘abusive lawsuits brought by wealthy corporations to silence criticism’.

The Greenpeace x Shell case has been certified as a SLAPP by the wider body, The Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE), which comprises 118 prominent rights groups.

The energy company Shell launched its lawsuit late last year after a peaceful protest by Greenpeace UK and Greenpeace International which saw activists occupy a moving oil platform to protest against climate change loss and damage caused by Shell.

The first hearing of the case takes place on 24 May, when The English Admiralty Court will hear arguments over Shell’s objection to the inclusion of evidence about its climate record in Greenpeace’s legal defence.

A new bill designed to curb the use of SLAPPs, the SLAPP Bill,  was recently debated in Parliament.

The government has promised backing for the bill, but the Anti-SLAPP Coalition – which includes Amnesty International – says it’s not a strong enough deterrent, even with amendments made at the committee stage reading of the bill last Thursday.

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Jessica Ní Mhainín, co-chair of the UK Anti-SLAPP, said: “Shell’s legal action against Greenpeace is taking place in a worrying context of increasing attempts by fossil fuel companies to use the law to intimidate and silence those campaigning for remedial action to the climate crisis.

Effective anti-SLAPP legislation that has the power to stop the law from being abused must be urgently adopted in order to protect those, like Greenpeace, who fulfil an essential watchdog function in our democracies.”

Greenpeace UK campaigner, Philip Evans, said: “Dozens of experts have now recognised that Shell’s multimillion dollar lawsuit against Greenpeace over a peaceful climate protest is an attempt to stifle criticism of its climate-wrecking business.

“Shell hopes making an example of Greenpeace will silence legitimate demands for climate justice, but we will not be intimidated into silence.

“Climate chaos is already wrecking millions of lives, from searing heatwaves in West Africa to devastating floods across Asia. Shell’s reckless plans for massive new oil and gas projects will only accelerate the crisis. With the government missing in action, we won’t stop campaigning until Shell and the rest of the industry stops drilling and starts paying for the damage they are causing around the world.”

Shell is demanding around $1 million in damages, and legal costs that could rise into the millions.

Climate crisisEnergyNews

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