BNC Statement

Call to Boycott Chevron & Siemens

The BDS movement calls on supporters of Palestinian rights worldwide to join climate justice movements in holding Chevron and Siemens accountable for helping to fuel environmental destruction and Israeli apartheid. 

Occupied Palestine, 06/10/2022 - The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian coalition that leads the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, calls on supporters of Palestinian rights worldwide to join climate justice movements in holding the US fossil fuel multinational Chevron and the German conglomerate Siemens accountable for helping to fuel environmental destruction and Israeli apartheid. 

Chevron has been the main international actor extracting gas claimed by Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean since it acquired Noble Energy in 2020. With its extracting activities, Chevron is implicated in Israel's policy and practice of depriving the Palestinian people of their right to sovereignty over their natural resources. Chevron is potentially complicit in Israel’s pillage of Palestinian gas reserves off the shores of the occupied Gaza Strip, a war crime under international law.

Chevron is also complicit in Israel’s illegal siege of Gaza that prevents Palestinians from accessing the sea. This includes Israel’s illegal transfer of extracted fossil gas to Egypt through a submarine pipeline crossing the Palestinian EEZ in Gaza, owing Palestinians millions in transit fees. Moreover, the sea blockade, which Israel imposes by brutal and deadly violence, has particularly impacted thousands of Palestinian families who depend on fishing for their livelihoods. 

Chevron brings Israel billions of dollars in revenues, helping to strengthen its war chest and its regime of  apartheid, settler colonialism and military occupation.  

The fossil gas reserves claimed by Israel are small in comparison with those of many Middle Eastern and North African countries. They are also located in the Eastern Mediterranean where disputes over maritime borders between Israel, the State of Palestine under Israel’s  occupation, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey entail a high risk of armed conflict. Nevertheless, thanks to Chevron’s complicity, apartheid Israel has been eager to establish itself as an energy exporter – a tiny one at that – to Europe, hoping that integration into Europe’s energy market would not only result in economic benefit but also help it evade accountability for its apartheid system and its illegal annexation, colonization and exploitation of Palestinian land and natural resources.

Palestinian civil society, represented in the BNC, calls upon supporters of Palestinian rights worldwide to build and strengthen intersectional partnerships with the climate justice movement and the many communities and Indigenous peoples around the world who are exposing and resisting the colonial violence of Chevron’s extractivism, environmental destruction and grave human rights violations. 

Fossil gas is an enemy of the environment. According to scientists, methane - the main component of fossil gas - has an impact on the atmosphere which is 86 times worse than carbon dioxide if calculated over a time period of 20 years. i.e., the  time span available for drastically reducing greenhouse emissions and preventing more climate disasters. At least 25% of today’s global warming is driven by methane from human-related actions. Gas transportation, via pipelines or liquified, is itself a huge contributor to climate change because it involves gas leakage also called venting. Contrary to propaganda claims by the fossil lobby, gas is not a “transitional” fuel; it is the fuel used by greedy multinationals to hold on to profits and influence while devastating ecosystems and the climate.

Siemens has won the tender for the construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector, a submarine electricity cable from Israel via Cyprus to Greece, that will connect apartheid Israel’s electricity grid with that of the EU and enable it to export electricity produced from fossil gas to Europe. 

As explained by the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), the EuroAsia Interconnector, if implemented as planned, will contribute to the maintenance and expansion of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The Israeli partner in the project, the state-owned Israel Electricity Corporation (IEC), will produce and transmit electricity through the Interconnector from its national electricity grid that incorporates - and de facto annexes - the illegal settlements. Since these settlements constitute a war crime and have been condemned as a flagrant violation of international law in resolutions by the UN and the EU, the EU and Siemens are violating their respective IHL and human rights obligations by promoting and financing this project and by building the Interconnector. 

In addition, Siemens has been complicit in Israel’s apartheid and settler colonialism primarily through business with Israeli authorities in transport, traffic and population control in occupied East Jerusalem and illegal Israeli settlements.

We denounce the complicity of the European Union in supporting and protecting from accountability Israel’s regime of oppression against Palestinians. Taking advantage of the EU’s greenwashing of fossil gas as allegedly less polluting than oil or coal, a claim that has been exposed as false by independent experts, Israel joined Cyprus and Greece as a party to the EastMed Pipeline, in which Chevron is involved, and the EuroAsia Interconnector, that Siemens is planning to build. These two fossil gas-based projects have been promoted and sponsored by the EU. Serious doubts about the feasibility of the EastMed Pipeline make the project less likely to present a viable alternative to Russian gas. Still, some of the gas extracted for Israel by Chevron is currently pumped to Egypt and exported to Europe as part of Egyptian liquified natural gas (LNG) shipments. The EuroAsia Interconnector may soon enter the construction stage after receiving a massive chunk of its funding from the EU. 

In light of the above, we call for:

  • Global consumer boycotts and divestment campaigns against Siemens until the company terminates its business involvement in the EuroAsia Interconnector which enables Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise and its system of apartheid–a crime against humanity. 

  • The exclusion of Siemens from public and private contracts and investments until the company withdraws from the project, ending its complicity in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

  • Divestment from Chevron and other fossil fuel corporations fueling the climate emergency and Israeli apartheid.  

  • Support of campaigns for environmental justice that target fossil energy giants such as Chevron, which are among the most responsible for the climate emergency we all live in.

  • Support the international campaign against the Eastmed Pipeline, a dangerous project for the climate, environment and just peace in the region.

Together, let’s make Chevron and Siemens pay a heavy price for fueling climate change and Israeli apartheid!


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