Greenpeace climbs chimneys to target chemical firms in Switzerland

26th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Activists with the environmental group Greenpeace climbed chimneys in Basel to stage a protest against two chemical companies Wednesday.

26 March 2008

Basel, Switzerland (dpa) - Activists with the environmental group Greenpeace climbed chimneys in Basel to stage a protest against two chemical companies Wednesday.

Around 30 members of Greenpeace entered the grounds of plastic packaging specialists Ciba grounds, where they unfurled banners aimed at both Ciba and agribusiness Syngenta.

They urged both firms to jointly pay CHF600 million (595 million dollars) into an independent foundation aimed at funding the clean-up of waste dumps around the city dating back to the 1950s.

Toxic residues were threatening to contaminate the city's drinking water, Greenpeace said in a statement. Ciba needed to contribute CHF400 million and Syngenta 200 million to tackle the problem.

The foundation was set up by the pharmaceutical company Novartis which has pledged CHF200 million.

Both Ciba and Syngenta said they had set aside money independently. Ciba, which broke away from Novartis in 1997, said it had already paid out CHF426 million as of at the end of 2007 towards the costs.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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