Greenpeace tells World Energy Congress to go beyond dirty, risky oil

Feature story - September 12, 2010
(Montreal) — About 60 Greenpeace activists, a dozen of which in oil-covered bathing suits, staged a “Black Tide Beach Party” today to tell participants at the World Energy Congress (WEC) in Montreal that there is an urgent need for the world to move beyond dirty, risky oil and develop more green, renewable energy to combat climate change.

© François Pesant / Greenpeace

In addition to the oily bathing suit event, Greenpeace and 27 other organizations organized a rally of hundreds of activists outside the Montreal Convention Centre to greet the 5,000 participants from government, industry, international organizations, universities and energy industry associations at the opening of the congress today. The activists held banners calling for the congress to “Go Beyond Oil.”

Greenpeace calls for a global ban on new exploration in the Arctic and elsewhere for unconventional sources of oil and gas. In addition, Greenpeace wants governments to stop subsidizing dirty fossil fuels and get serious about developing clean, safe energy sources. The events also criticized the plans by Quebec Premier Jean Charest to allow exploration for oil and gas in the province.

“The Charest government must announce an immediate moratorium on exploration for oil and gas in Quebec,” said Virginie Lambert-Ferry, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner.

The Quebec government's plans to encourage exploration for dirty fossil fuels undermine its commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.

“Dirty energy is wreaking havoc all over the world, from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to the reckless expansion of drilling into fragile environments such as the Arctic, ” said Julien Vincent, Greenpeace International climate and energy campaigner “As the dirty energy industry descends on Montreal for the World Energy Congress, the message is clear: we desperately need an energy revolution, moving beyond oil and other dirty fuels to power our future with clean, renewable energy”. Vincent will make a presentation at the congress Wednesday 15 September and the topic will be the importance of civil society in energy issues.

On Thursday, Greenpeace released a new Energy [R]evolution report with a comprehensive analysis of Canada’s energy potential that challenges the need for dirty oil from the tar sands and shows that Canada can create tens of thousands of green jobs, while providing over 90 per cent of the country’s electricity and heating needs from renewable sources by 2050.

“Our report shows that Canada can be part of the solution to climate change but to do that Prime Minister Stephen Harper must stop promoting the dirty oil of the tar sands, the reason his government has such a woeful record on reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Virginie Lambert Ferry, Greenpeace Canada climate campaigner.

The Energy [R]evolution report is at: