The Hague, Netherlands – The Generation Discover Festival of Shell will no longer take place in The Hague, Shell announced in a press release just one day after the 5-day festival and subsequent protests had ended. The Dutch civil movement Fossil Free Education is happy: “A crowning achievement to our campaign in which we fight the child marketing and greenwashing of 98% fossil fuel multinational Shell.”
Shell states that the festival will leave The Hague ‘to elsewhere inspire even more young discoverers of the future’. Yet sources say Shell was fed up with the ‘nuisance’ of the protests against the festival.
For three successive years, the Fossil Free movement has protested against the greenwashing and childmarketing of the Generation Discover Festival of Shell in The Hague. And the Fossielvrij Onderwijs campaign is successful. A group of 38 elementary schools in The Hague publicly stated that they boycott the festival. The city council of The Hague cancelled a three-year subsidy it granted to Shell to organize the festival. Furthermore, The Hague cut all ties with the festival as did the renowned musea Museon and Van Gogh Museum.
This year Fossielvrij Onderwijs carried a 20-meter long pipeline around the festival. The pipeline, colored in Shell’s bright yellow and red, was leaking oil and Fossil Free people – dressed as Shell employees – attached the pipeline to the festival walls.
Every day of the festival there were Fossil Free-people handing out flyers and stickers to kids, teachers and parents, stimulating them to think about the true intentions of Shell. Femke Sleegers of Fossielvrij Onderwijs: “All of our flyers were gone. That means at least 30% of the festival’s visitors were aware that they visited a greenwash festival of a 98% fossil fuel multinational.”
Since The Hague is too much trouble for Shell, Shell is looking at other cities to host their festival. “Wherever Shell will build the festival, there will be protests”, says Sleegers. “With its 98% fossil fuel business model, Shell is at a collision course with the future of the very children it invites to its festival. The fossil fuel era is over, the greenwashing must stop.”
Generation Discover is an annual five day festival of Shell aimed at 8 -14 year olds according to Shell ‘to inspire kids in science and technology’. Generation Discover is part of the international campaign Make the Future, that also consists of the Eco Marathon. Make the Future, Eco Marathon and Generation Discover are ideas of PR Agency Edelman, the same agency that used to sow doubt about climate science and tobacco.
Fossil Free Education is part of the worldwide 350.org-movement. Fossil Free Education fights the growing tendency of fossil fuel companies to infiltrate the classrooms. Fossil Fuel multinationals like Shell teach about windmills and spread fake facts about gas and carbon capture & storage being the solutions to climate change. They also teach kids fossil fuels will be normal for decades and decades to come.
For more information, contact: Femke Sleegers / 06 22408578 / [email protected]