Barcelona, Catalonia – September 8th
Today Friday the 8th of September at 7a.m. at La Marina Port Vell, activists from Scientist Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion have sprayed red biodegradable paint on the luxury mega-yacht of Nancy Walton, daughter of James Bud Walton and heiress to the family that controls the Walmart supermarket chain, in protest of the climate crisis.
At the end of another exceptional summer in terms of record temperatures and extreme weather events, the richest 1% of people on the planet continue to pollute more than the poorest 50%. Mega-yachts are one of the most obvious examples of a lifestyle that is unsustainable for the planet and for the exploited people from which their wealth comes. Billionaires are primarily responsible for the eco-social crisis, as they maintain an unjust and unequal economic system.
The mega-yacht built in 2017 has a value of 300 million euros and an annual maintenance cost between 20 and 30 million dollars. According to Forbes, Walton is the 229th richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of 8.43 billion euros. A billionaire produces one million times more emissions than the average person, taking into account the emissions produced as a result of their investments, according to an Oxfam study. The same mega-yacht was the target of a non-violent protest by Futuro Vegetal this July in Ibiza.
For all this, and in line with the Make them pay campaign, we call for:
– Ban, confiscate, and reconvert mega-yachts. The 300 largest mega-yachts in operation emit 285,000 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the emissions of an entire country. The annual maintenance cost of the world’s 6000 largest mega-yachts could wipe out the debt of the so-called developing countries. We thus call for confiscating these vessels and putting them at the service of rescuing migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.
– Make polluters pay. It is only fair that the richest pay for their climate damage. We call for billionaires to be obliged to pay a wealth tax to contribute to the Loss and Damage Funds for the people and areas most affected, to mitigate and adapt to the worst impacts of climate change. At COP27, all the attending states agreed to the creation and implementation of this fund.
At 9 am, the National Police detained the activists. Follow our networks for updates.