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pixabay.com | vieleineinerhuelle

© pixabay.com | vieleineinerhuelle

Greenpeace ships tracking the fossil fuel industry in the North Sea

Greenpeace activists are calling for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels in Europe as part of a green recovery from Covid-19 and to protect the climate and oceans.

The Greenpeace ships Esperanza and Rainbow Warrior depart Hamburg, to start a month-long documentation and peaceful protest tour in the North Sea. Teams on board will gather evidence of the extreme industrialisation of the region by the oil and gas industry, which has been polluting the ocean and fueling the climate crisis with a “business as usual” attitude for several decades.

Greenpeace activists are calling for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels in Europe as part of a green recovery from Covid-19 and to protect the climate and oceans.

Dr Sandra Schöttner, marine biologist with Greenpeace Germany said:

“While European Governments talk about solving the climate crisis, the massive oil and gas industry continues to pollute in the North Sea, discharging tons of chemicals and oil; the equivalent of one oil tanker accident every year. Worse still, they’re doing this with the help of public funds; money that should be used to protect us, not worsen the climate emergency. 

“Covid-19 is not only sending the oil and gas industry into crisis, but hastening it’s inevitable demise, while giving us an opportunity to do the best thing for our future and build back better. We need a rapid end to this polluting industry and we need to start the transition to a sustainable economy. Governments should be supporting a worker transition into new clean industries.”

A recent Greenpeace Germany report shows that the North Sea’s huge industrial landscape is negatively impacting the climate and marine environment with the industry’s 727 installations in the North-East Atlantic; more than 95% of which are found in the North Sea. Emissions from oil and gas deposits in the North Sea exceed the CO2 budget — as outlined in the Paris agreement — of Great Britain and Norway combined, and are set to increase. 

In 2017 the oil and gas platforms in the North Sea emitted 30 million tonnes of CO2, which is almost as much as Estonia’s (2017: approx. 20.9 million tonnes) and Latvia’s (2017: approx. 11.3 million tonnes) CO2 emissions combined. The platforms also polluted the sea with 9,200 tons of oil and 182,000 tons of chemicals during regular operation. 

Peak oil has long since passed in the North Sea. Oil production has halved to 140 million tonnes per year over the past two decades. The British oil and gas industry has lost 11,000 jobs in the last five years alone. Covid-19 combined with the price war on oil has already sent the oil industry into crisis.

Greenpeace is calling for a rapid and just phase-out of the oil and gas industry in the North Sea, to ensure a sustainable and “Green Recovery” future based on 100% renewable energy. 


Greenpeace.org 2020

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