Greenpeace shuts down Esso

Every pumping station in Luxembourg blocked

Press release - 25 October, 2002

Greenpeace activists erect a statue of liberty replica to block an Esso petrol station for business in Esch, Luxembourg today. More than 600 volunteers from around the world are shutting down oil company Esso in the European country of Luxembourg in a Greenpeace protest against Esso's continued sabotage of international efforts to protect the climate.

More than 600 volunteers from around the world are shutting down oil company Esso in the European country of Luxembourg this morning, in a Greenpeace protest against Esso's continued sabotage of international efforts to protect the climate.

Volunteers from 31 countries are present at every one of Esso's 28 petrol stations in Luxembourg - including the biggest Esso station in the world on the Luxembourg/German border. Protestors, some dressed in tiger suits and George Bush masks, are blocking vehicle access to petrol pumps, locking on to equipment and handing out information to motorists. At each station banners reading "Esso No 1 climate criminal" have been hung.

The Luxembourg protest is taking place as 178 countries meet in India for the next round of talks on the Kyoto Protocol - the only international agreement on protecting the climate. The USA is responsible for 25% of global greenhouse gases but, with Esso's backing, will not be participating in the Kyoto talks.

"For the past decade Esso has been responsible for the blatant and sustained manipulation of US and international climate change policy in its crusade to de-rail international efforts to address climate change. It was a major influence in US President, George W. Bush's decision to walk away from the Kyoto Protocol," said Stephanie Tunmore, Greenpeace climate campaigner, speaking in Luxembourg. " If we are going to have any hope of saving the climate, we must stop Esso."

Esso, which is also known as ExxonMobil and Mobil internationally, denies that burning oil, coal and gas contributes to climate change, despite the opinion of the world's best scientific bodies and the evidence of severe climate change impacts, such as more frequent and dangerous extreme weather events, the retreat of glaciers and the destruction of coral reefs.

"Esso's core business fuels climate change and it is doing all in its power to ensure the status quo doesn't change, It has tried to hijack the climate debate through the use of front groups, flawed science and large political contributions and refuses to spend any of its billions on clean renewable energy, " said Tunmore.

"The demonstration here in Luxembourg is about showing the company the level of public anger at its self-serving actions to frustrate climate protection measures, " she said.

Luxembourg is known as the fuel pump of Europe for its cheap petrol. Drivers from many countries travel long distances to buy petrol there. Particpants in the protest have come from the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy , Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the USA, Turkey, Yugoslavia.

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