Greenpeace Activists Target Fossil Fuel Meeting
In a daring move, Greenpeace Italy’s activists disrupted a golf game that was part of the OMC Med Energy Conference & Exhibition in Ravenna, Italy, where fossil fuel executives and ministers from Mediterranean countries convened. Their disruptive protest aimed to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the climate crisis and conflicts they perpetuate in their relentless pursuit of profit.
Dressed as Dinosaurs, Activists Convey a Strong Message
Early in the morning, activists from Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain, clad in dinosaur costumes adorned with fossil fuel companies’ logos, infiltrated the golf course where OMC delegates were playing.
Their actions aimed to satirize the reckless and unsustainable practices of the fossil fuel industry. Simultaneously, other activists unfurled a banner with the words “Stop playing with our lives” and carried handheld banners in English, Italian, and French, bearing messages like “End the age of fossil criminals,” “Oil & gas = War and conflicts,” and “End fossil crimes.”
Fossil Fuel Industry Linked to Climate Crisis and Conflicts
Anna von Gall, Greenpeace Germany’s project leader for Climate for Peace, emphasized the global connection between fossil fuels, militarization, and conflicts. She pointed out that fossil fuel companies play a pivotal role in driving the climate crisis and fueling wars and conflicts in their pursuit of oil and gas. Holding them accountable for the devastation they cause is imperative for achieving a peaceful transition to sustainable energy.
Fossil Fuel Companies Belong to the Past
Chiara Campione, Head of the Climate Unit for Greenpeace Italy, drew an analogy between fossil fuel companies and dinosaurs, declaring that they belong to the past. She lamented the consequences of climate chaos borne by millions while oil and gas executives prioritize profits over people and the planet.
Campione called for an end to the age of fossil fuels and urged governments, legislators, and the courts to hold the industry accountable and compel them to cease drilling, take responsibility, and make amends for the havoc they’ve wrought.
Fossil Fuels and Geopolitical Conflicts
The extraction of fossil fuels, such as gas and oil, along with the development of fossil fuel infrastructure, serves to promote militarization and stoke geopolitical conflicts on a global scale. Greenpeace Italy’s recent report on the Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline project highlighted how states in the region heavily invest in armament to safeguard their maritime interests and protect existing and future fossil fuel projects.
Disputes over maritime borders and fossil fuel exploitation in the EastMed basin have even led to the deployment of military vessels.
The Role of Russian Gas and Oil in Conflict
Over the past year, the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas and oil played a significant role in Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, financially supporting the invasion. Despite discussions about energy savings, efficiency, and renewables, Europe’s political priorities have focused on maintaining fossil fuel flows through new partners, overlooking the geopolitical and environmental risks involved.
Lessons from Europe’s reliance on unreliable regimes and the historic association of fossil fuels with conflict have largely gone unheeded.
Greenpeace’s Call for Accountability
Greenpeace is resolutely calling on fossil fuel companies to halt their activities that exacerbate the climate crisis and their involvement in new fossil fuel projects. They must cease investing in and developing all fossil fuel infrastructure, taking full responsibility. The rush for oil and gas has been inciting conflicts and increasing the need for military defense of fossil fuel assets. It’s a call for accountability and a shift toward sustainable energy that can’t be ignored.