Press Release (feat retraction): Official UN net zero by 2050 initiatives pranked by The Yes Men

9th Nov 2021

3.30pm GMT

For immediate release

We wish to retract our earlier email announcing that the Yes Men had gotten a preposterously absurd ‘bespoke flight couture’ company, supposedly called YASAVA, admitted to the COP26 ‘Race to Zero‘ and the ‘Science-Based Targets‘ initiatives. 

YASAVA, as it turns out, is real. The scoundrelly Yes Men fooled us!!!!

We do not, however, wish to retract our statements about how weak and pointless these initiatives are. The fact that this company designing bespoke interiors for private jets could in reality (rather than imagination) be accepted onto these UN climate programmes highlights how much of a joke the whole concept of net zero by 2050 is – and how unserious the people behind these initiatives are in tackling the climate crisis. 

Indeed, our group, Glasgow Calls Out Polluters, already brought up these concerns in our report, titled Race to Zero (credibility): How flagship Net Zero initiatives at COP26 are sciencewash. That report profiles a number of companies who have been accepted by the two COP-26 affiliated Net Zero programs — Race to Zero and the Science-Based Targets Initiative — who very clearly do not care about climate change. The report also highlights fundamental flaws within both these programs, including a consultation process heavily influenced by big polluters, flawed target-setting methodologies, and the acceptance of ‘carbon offsetting’ by participants despite its claims not to. 

YASAVA may seem like too ridiculous a company to be associated with ‘credible’ COP26-backed initiatives for ‘climate action’ but they are not any more out of touch than the companies profiled in our report or others included in these initiatives such as Barclays, Citi, Halliburton, Nestle, National Grid, Adani, Volkswagen or McDonald’s. The Science-Based Targets Initiative is even developing an ‘oil and gas methodology’ to include oil and gas companies. This is being developed in collaboration with BP, Shell & Repsol, amongst others. Of course it is. 

The report ‘Race to Zero (credibility): How flagship Net Zero initiatives at COP26 are sciencewash’ can be downloaded here. 

8th Nov 2021

8.30am GMT

For immediate release

In another elaborate stunt, the Yes Men have got a fake company accepted as members of two official UN initiatives where companies set ‘science-based’ targets to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The initiatives, which have played a central role in discourse at COP26, also include real companies like Maersk, Chevron, Halliburton, Delta, United, American, Heathrow, Edelman, JP Morgan, BAE Systems, Drax, Hitachi, Iberdrola, Unilever, and thousands more from the transport, mining, and fossil energy sectors that should definitely not be included.

To expose the real deceit of these initiatives and the companies that are part of it, the Yes Men invented the most ridiculous company they could imagine: one specialising in bespoke interior design for private jets. This company — which they cleverly called YASAVA, after a follower of a pre-modern Buddha ‘about whom nothing is known but his very good deeds’, in order to highlight the vapidity of the net-zero hype — was then accepted onto the Race to Zero Programme campaign and the Science-Based Targets Initiative.

‘It was hard to get ‘YASAVA’ accepted by these COP26 initiatives, but we played it cool and pulled all of our usual social-engineering feats in sequence — and boom, they were in,” said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. “I must say, in all the history of all our efforts, this was the first time we’d managed to get a fake company accepted at this extremely high level.’ 

The fake company’s ‘website’ features such phrases as: “An aircraft does not simply accommodate you: you wear it” and “You deserve to fly just the way you are”, amongst many other hilarious non-sequiturs. The fake press release meanwhile brags about how the company is able to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 — an obviously ludicrous assertion from a company that supposedly provides tailoring for elite corporate jets, but really no more ludicrous than the assertions of other, actually real companies like airports, fossil energy companies and fossil fuel financiers that are part of these COP26 associated initiatives.

The Race to Zero Programme and Science-Based Targets Initiative have drawn criticism for featuring companies such as Heathrow Airport (amongst other airport owners), COP26 sponsors SSE, Microsoft and Natwest, as well as Drax, the UK’s largest carbon emitter. This prank, campaigners say, provides a serious condemnation of the drive to reach net-zero by 2050.

“Finding out that YASAVA was actually created by The Yes Men made sense because this bespoke private jet interiors company was clearly too preposterous to be real. But yet this fantastical company passed the ‘science-based’ verification processes of these two net-zero initiatives being celebrated at COP26.” Alan Bell from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters said. “This should be a moment of profound embarrassment for COP26 and the corporate hype around net-zero. If the most ridiculous company imaginable can meet the flagship net-zero standard, then we should not take the concept of net-zero seriously at all.” 

Congratulations to the Yes Men on a hoax well done!



    • Alan Bell: +44 (0)141 4746646
  • You can find the full prank YASAVA release below:

YASAVA joins COP26 net zero initiative, showing the way for all other aircraft interior companies

Bespoke flight couture company represents the very best of sustainable design

YASAVA, the world’s leading designer of bespoke interiors for private jets, have proudly announced their membership in two official COP26 ‘net zero’ initiatives: The “Race to Zero” campaign and the “Science-Based Targets Initiative.” The elite Swiss company has thus joined the ranks of Maersk, Chevron, Halliburton, Delta, United, American, Heathrow, Edelman, JP Morgan, BAE Systems, Drax, Hitachi, Iberdrola, Unilever, and thousands more from the transport, mining, and fossil energy sectors in pledging to represent the bleeding edge of sustainable thinking around climate issues.

“A private aircraft or fleet is an absolute necessity for many executives and companies,” said YASAVA CEO Christopher Mbanefo. “With our bespoke interiors, planes can transform from mere means of elite long-distance transport into expressions of one’s deepest, most timeless concerns, whether regarding the climate or any other issue that means life or death for humanity.”

“We pride ourselves on our ability to help executives become the ultimate realization of themselves, thus facilitating their ability to take action against danger in, and to, an increasingly uncertain world,” said YASAVA tailor-in-chief Yann Hermann. “Do they fly often? Constantly? As a second home, or even a second skin, a well-designed aircraft interior can give an executive the wellbeing to enable quantum leaps in human concern that our planetary survival requires.”

“Our number one passion is about saving the planet, and we are delighted that our number two goal of improving executive wellbeing has been accepted as part of the official UN programmes to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, thanks to the Oxï-Zen platform, which solves carbon emissions in transparent and miraculous ways,” said YASAVA’s Chief of Environmental Air Care Considerations, Bjørn Eirik Equinor. “This helps give elites peace of mind knowing that we, and they, are contributing to net zero emissions no later than 2050, thus making possible a planetary future where humans by and large survive.”

YASAVA is named after the primary follower of the fourteenth prehistorical Buddha, about whom nothing is known but his very good deeds.

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