More than 80 Greenpeace activists are using fossil fuel ads from all over Europe to block the entrance to Shell’s oil refinery in Rotterdam port. The protest comes as over 20 organisations launched a campaign, calling for a new law that bans fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship in the European Union.
The 33 m long Greenpeace sailing vessel Beluga anchored at 09.00 hrs local time at the entrance of Shell’s port, which houses the large Pernis refinery. The activists, volunteers from 12 EU countries, are using fossil fuel adverts to block the oil port. Several climbers have scaled a 15 m oil tank and attached the ads collected by volunteers across Europe next to Shell’s logo, while other activists hoisted signs and banners inviting people to join the “Fossil Free Revolution” and demand to “Ban fossil fuel ads”.
An investigation by DeSmog and commissioned by Greenpeace Netherlands found that Shell runs one of the most misleading campaigns, with 81% greenwashing adverts and promotions in comparison to their 80% investment in oil and gas in the coming years.
Greenpeace Netherlands’ head of climate and energy campaign, Faiza Oulahsen, said: “Shell seems to have lost touch with reality by promoting delusional advertising to convince us that they are leading the energy revolution. With less than a month before the UN climate summit we expect to see more of this slick PR strategy from the fossil fuel industry and we need to be ready to call it out. This dangerous propaganda has enabled the most polluting companies to stay afloat, now it’s time to take this life jacket away from them.”
Environmental groups that are backing the ban fossil fuel ads campaign, include Global Witness, Friends of the Earth and Avaaz. The organisations plan to collect 1m of verified signatures from EU citizens in a year, to put a law banning ads for fossil fuels before the EU Commission. The draft law would ban advertisements for fossil fuels, for vehicles that use them, and block oil companies from sponsorships.