Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed eleven men, ignited the largest oil disaster in U.S. history and caused the destruction on Gulf Coast communities and the surrounding environment.
BP has done very little to clean up its five million barrel of oil mess, oil and dispersants line the bottom of the ocean, Gulf Coast communities are still reeling from the destruction and yet talks of more offshore drilling -- even deeper than before -- continue.
As Earth Day approaches, we ask: What if the Gulf of Mexico (not only the people who live there, but the eco-system itself) could sue BP for last year's devastating oil spill? What if Mother Nature had legal standing? What steps can communities take to hold corporations accountable for damages done?
Global Exchange is not only posing these questions but we are:
- Releasing a new book, Rights of Nature: The Case for the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. Co-developed by Global Exchange, the Council of Canadians and Fundacion Pachamama, it reveals a movement that is driving the cultural and legal shift that is necessary to transform our human relationship with nature away from being property-based and towards a rights-based model of balance.
- Holding oil companies to account. Our Energy Program Director, Antonia Juhasz joined Gulf Coast residents at BP's annual shareholder meeting in London. Antonia read statements from the Gulf Coast and called upon BP to change it's practices. Watch her powerful presentation. Antonia recently released Black Tide, a book of stories from the Gulf. Don't miss your chance to hear the accounts firsthand on her cross-country book tour.
- Honoring two inspiring activists and leaders in the movement for our oil-free future at our 9th Annual Human Rights Awards taking place in San Francisco on June 1st. We are proud to honor Wilma Subra, Gulf Coast activist and Pablo Solon, Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations as our 2011 Human Rights Awardees.
Today, as we remember the tragic BP oil spill, we must also look ahead and take the next necessary steps to speak in defense of nature and speak out for the communities affected by big oil corporations.