On the 16th April 2009, a young man from County Tipperary was shot dead by Bolivian special forces in Santa Cruz, along with a Hungarian, Arpad Maygarosi and a Bolivian-Hungarian Eduardo Rosza Flores. The story flashed around the world with graphic images of the dead mens bodies sprawled on the floor of the Hotel Las Americas and covered in blood. The Bolivian authorities claimed that they were right wing terrorists, attempting to assasinate Bolivias first indigenous President, Evo Morales.
But perhaps big oil’s biggest success was diminishing the political will to implement appropriate regulation. Even after the international community adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, the fossil-fuel industry managed to block meaningful progress — to the point that, if serious action is not taken soon, the entire process could unravel.
In Europe, Royal Dutch Shell’s lobbying so diluted the EU’s efforts that there are now no binding targets for renewables or energy efficiency for individual countries. The company even sent a letter to the European Commission’s president claiming that “gas is good for Europe.” Shell and other oil companies are now promising to work as “advisers” to national governments on how to deal with climate change.