To the victims, survivors and people in resistance 30 years after the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India,
To globalize solidarity and to build peoples power to end the impunity of transnational corporations crimes,
Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental federation, expresses our solidarity with the victims and survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India. The 30th anniversary that we mark today is a symbol for peoples resistance, and environmental defenders all over the world who are demanding an end to transnational corporations’ impunity. We stand together so this corporate crime against humanity and the environment will never be forgotten and instead the example of people in India will strengthen our common struggle for environmental justice.
The Union Carbide industrial disaster in Bhopal 30 years ago released tons of toxic gases from its pesticide factory exposing more than 500 thousand workers and inhabitants, causing more than 25 thousand related deaths and 150 thousand people to be severely disabled by the long term effects of the environmental contamination.
The North-American company Union Carbide responsible for this tragedy, was bought by Dow Chemicals, a transnational corporation that today tries to portray itself as green and responsible, while toxic residues and contamination still affect local people and those suffering from the legacy of this terrible disaster have still not seen justice.
Dow chemicals announces production of “green plastic” from large scale sugar cane monocultures and to be the first “carbon partner” to “neutralize” Olympic games related carbon emissions. Along with other corporations, producing and poisoning our food with pesticides, they promote “climate smart agriculture”, another false solution pushed forward by the Climate COPs captured by corporate interests.
The five organisations of survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster and their supporters in Bhopal, including those founded by children of survivors, are an inspiration to the global struggle for environmental justice, that must continue to dismantle corporate power and to end the impunity of transnational corporations.
This year, a peoples victory was achieved: the UN must finally develop a legally binding system to judge corporations for their human rights violations and ecocide crimes, while the Peoples Permanent Tribunal, after its session on Industrial Hazards and Human Rights in Bhopal, 1992, has already judged a hundred corporations as guilty in response to denouncements brought by affected peoples.
Friends of the Earth International joins civil society networks and social movements in India and in all the world working together for justice and for a life of dignity for the survivors and for those who will never forget the Bhopal disaster and its legacy.
We congratulate the organisations gathered in India and with actions in other countries in the 30th anniversary activities, to re-affirm our solidarity and to challenge with you “those who threaten the planet and the magic and mystery of life”.
Friends of the Earth International