PCFV End of Leaded Petrol The LEAD Group
Presentation at Nairobi 26-27 October 2011
SLIDE 1: Gethin-Damon Presentation 26-27 October 2011 - Nairobi
My name is Zac Gethin-Damon, I am representing The LEAD Group as campaigner for an end to the sale of leaded-petrol by the end of 2011.
Leaded petrol is still sold in 6 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Iraq, North Korea and Yemen.
On behalf of The LEAD Group, Macquarie University student Danielle Cooper looked into where these 6 countries ranked, in surveys from various international sources, on seven different factors which Cooper considered as being likely barriers to these countries giving up the sale of leaded petrol. I have a summary of her advanced statistical research paper to hand out.
My presentation today is based on a summary article in our most recent ‘LEAD Action News’, with simplified stats.
For countries with leaded petrol for which indices had been compiled, the following seven likely factors were examined by Cooper:
Cooper found that four of seven factors she investigated correlated strongly with the countries’ continuing sale of leaded petrol. She was not able to prove causation – this would require more statistical studies.
I will briefly speak to these four factors, and where the six countries stood in relation to other countries of the world, with regard to the factors.
In relation to each factor, it was not always possible for those carrying out the surveys to obtain data for every one of the six leaded petrol countries, so, if the country’s flag is missing from the diagram, that’s why.
Slide 2: Corruption: Transparency International (TI)
Transparency International (TI) analysed corruption in the public sector. It ‘defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.’
Please note that, as with all these slides, the numbers do not represent the ‘score’ given to them by the surveying organisation, but how the countries rate in relation to each other. Somalia had the top score.
North Korea is missing from this slide as it was not included in the analysis.
Slide 3: Democracy: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
The democracy survey was of 167 countries. North Korea was rated the least democratic country in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has a long discussion on defining democracy, but there are five areas they consider essential, and I quote: ‘Even if a consensus on precise definitions has proved elusive, most observers today would agree that, at a minimum, the fundamental features of a democracy include government based on majority rule and the consent of the governed, the existence of free and fair elections, the protection of minorities and respect for basic human rights.
Democracy presupposes equality before the law, due process and political pluralism.’
Yemen was not included in the analysis but we've included Switzerland and Australia in this slide for comparison purposes and because a Swiss company Xstrata mines lead at Mt Isa in Australia that is later refined and then made into the additive for leaded petrol by Innospec.
Slide 4: Press Freedom: Reporters without Borders
Again, these numbers do not represent the ‘score’ given by Reporters Without Borders, but how the 178 countries rate in relation to each other.
Press freedom is rather interesting: It takes a mighty lot of factors to define it. Reporters Without Borders have a list of 43 questions, of which this is a tiny sample:
Under the heading of ‘Physical Violence’, there were 6 questions, which included
…any cases of journalists:
Being tortured or mistreated during detention?
Being kidnapped or disappearing?
Being illegally detained?
Armed militias or clandestine organisations regularly targeting journalists?
Journalists who had to have bodyguards or use security measures in the course of their work?
To briefly quote from Cooper: “it can be confidently asserted that the likelihood that a country is leaded is related to its level of press freedom.”
SLIDE 5: ECONOMIC FREEDOM taken from a survey by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, 2010
The ranking was out of 179 countries. As you can see, North Korea was the worst, as far as economic freedom is concerned.
As Cooper says, ‘…The… relationship between lower levels of economic freedom and a failure to eliminate lead from vehicular fuels… did not emerge by chance.’”
SLIDE 6: Drawing Tree of Death
How are we going to stop the sale of leaded petrol within those six countries that continue to sell it faced by such barriers?
As is stated in the article in our newsletter: ‘Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Iraq, North Korea and Yemen, it seems fair to say, have more on their minds than a switch to unleaded petrol. Therefore the only way seems to be to cut off the supply of lead additives.’
The Swiss company Xstrata mines lead at Mt Isa in Australia that is later refined and then made into the additive for leaded petrol tetra ethyl lead, TEL, by Innospec, based in Ellesmere Port in the UK. Innospec claims that it will end the sale of leaded petrol by 2012, for the LEAD Group a phase-out by 2012 is an unacceptable outcome.
SLIDE 7: 6 people
The LEAD Group has made the approach of cutting off supply of lead additive TEL the focus of our campaign to phase-out leaded petrol sales in 2011. Our first action was to write to six important individuals who we believe have the power to stop the production of TEL this year detailing how they could do so. These people included 4 heads of state; the President of the United States Barack Obama, Prime Minister of The United Kingdom David Cameron, President of Switzerland Micheline Calmy-Rey and Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, and the CEO’s of the companies involved with the supply of TEL; CEO of Xstrata Ivan Glasenberg and CEO of Innospec Patrick Williams. The only individual to respond to our letters was the President of Switzerland whose Xstrata supplies the lead and whose company Alcor, a subsidiary of Innospec, distribute the TEL, and she responded by forwarding our letter to the OECD National Contact Point (NCP) of Switzerland. Following on her lead, The LEAD Group submitted a formal complaint against Xstrata and Innospec to the NCPs of the four OECD countries involved in the supply of the lead (by Xstrata) and the lead additive (by Innospec) for leaded petrol.
SLIDE 8: Submission
The LEAD Group has made a supplemental submission to the US NCP, who is following up on Innospec, requesting that Innospec, the manufacturer and supplier of Tetra Ethyl Lead, the additive which goes to make leaded petrol, be asked by the OECD to immediately follow the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. I don’t have time to go through this in detail but to summarise our arguments I read you a summary from the introduction of our supplemental submission:
As stated in The LEAD Group’s letter of 27th August 2011, we request:
The OECD to mediate an end to the sale of the lead additive TEL by the end of 2011, as phase-out by 2012 is an unacceptable outcome. Innospec should buy back stocks of TEL from the six countries. Remaining stocks of TEL should only be supplied to those OECD and non-OECD countries which have made exemptions under the Rotterdam Convention, to allow the use of TEL in aviation fuel (AvGas) in their country
SLIDE 9 - AWARD
In addition to the stick approach, The LEAD Group has awarded Patrick Williams of Innospec the opportunity to earn the accolade “Champion of the Lead-Safe World” – it only requires an announcement by Patrick Williams, by mid-November 2011, and action to buy back all TEL stocks from the six countries which should thus be leaded petrol free by the end of 2011.
SLIDE 10 - WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO?
The LEAD Group asks you, PCFV partners, what are you willing to do to stop Innospec’s sale of TEL today?! With international pressure we can stop the deadly era of leaded petrol in 2011. Let’s close the door on lead poisoning and reach for a lead safe world.
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Last Updated 12 February 2015