Greenpeace splatters luxury cars with oil

Six months after Deepwater Horizon explosion

Press release - October 20, 2010
Brussels, International — Greenpeace hostesses splattered luxury vehicles with oil today to mark six months to the day since the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and launch its report Steering Clear of Oil Disasters.

Greenpeace activists splattering a Mercedes outside the offices of the ACEA car lobby group in Brussels. ACEA has been trying to water down EU fuel efficiency laws, which are urgently needed to steer us away from disasters like Deepwater Horizon.

Greenpeace hostesses splattering a Mercedes outside the offices of the ACEA car lobby group in Brussels. ACEA has been trying to water down EU fuel efficiency laws, which are urgently needed to steer us away from disasters like Deepwater Horizon.

Mocking industry car shows, activists parked three heavy-weight vehicles [1] in front of the Brussels office of European carmaker association ACEA, before smearing them with an oily reminder of one of Europe's major drivers of oil spills - transport [2].

Greenpeace EU transport policy advisor Franziska Achterberg said: "Gas guzzlers are fuelling a race for dirtier and dangerous oil from deep-sea reserves, tar sands, the Arctic and other unconventional sources. Carmakers are deliberately sticking to the slow lane when it comes to greening their fleets and need to take their share of the blame for disasters like Deepwater Horizon. The only guarantee against oil disasters is to eliminate the need for high-risk extraction in the first place."

The EU is currently agreeing legislation on fuel efficiency for vans. The European Commission will publish a progress report on existing fuel efficiency legislation in November. Greenpeace EU's independent report, Steering Clear of Oil Disasters [3], demonstrates that if the EU set a series of progressive CO2 emission standards for cars and vans [4] up to 2030, oil consumption in Europe would fall by eight percent by 2030, compared to business as usual. This step would eliminate completely the need for imports of oil from dangerous and dirty sources, cut Europe's CO2 emissions by 186million tonnes and deliver savings of $42billion per year on crude oil imports.

The transport sector is not pulling its weight in the climate effort [5]. The vehicle lobby argues that such targets are hard to reach, but recent technological advances have shown that fuel consumption in vans can easily be reduced. Some top-selling models have achieved over 10% cuts in emissions since 2007. Proposals tabled by the Commission would require carmakers to cut emissions by 14% between 2007 and 2016.

Achterberg added: "Car lobby ACEA and its members are tirelessly trying to water-down fuel efficiency targets. This is no good for the environment or for consumers. Carmakers can't stop spills happening directly. But they should be striding towards efficient, money-saving products that steer us clear of oil disasters."

Greenpeace calls on Parliament to recognise the link between vehicle efficiency and dirty oil extraction and strengthen the proposed CO2 emission standard for vans in its plenary vote, likely to take place on 23 November.

Notes:

[1] The makes and models are a Mercedes GLK 300 (sports utility vehicle), Renault Laguna (car) and a VW Transport T5 (van). They are examples of heavy vehicles with poor fuel efficiency.
[2] The transport sector is responsible for around 60% of the EU’s total oil consumption, and over half of this is in cars and vans. DG TREN 2008 European Trends in Energy and Transport: Trends to 2030 – Update 2007.
[3] The report ‘Steering clear of oil disasters. How progressive CO2 emission standards can help to reduce unconventional oil imports to the EU’ was conducted by Transport and Environmental Policy Research (TEPR), supported by Steve Pye Associates. For a copy, click www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/policy-papers-briefings/steering-clear-19-10-10
[4] For cars 2 litres per 100 kilometres (50g/km) by 2030 and for vans 3.5L (88g/ km). Germany’s environment minister Norbert Röttgen said earlier this year that in 2040 new cars should run at 10-35g/km.
[5] Transport sector emissions have increased by 29% between 1990 and 2007, undermining reductions achieved in other sectors.

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