The Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace's flagship, sailed up the Seine to Esso's Port Jerome refinery near Le Havre this morning.
Greenpeace activist at French Esso refinery.
Using inflatable boats, Greenpeace activists prevented tankers
from leaving the refinery, and had hoses turned on them by the
tanker crews. On shore more activists, some dressed as tigers -
Esso's corporate symbol - blocked road tanker access gates into the
facility and handed out information to workers and passers-by. More
tigers scaled the perimeter "watchtowers" and amplified the Stop
Esso message with loudhailers.
"Regardless of where in the world it operates, whether under the
name of Exxon, Esso or Mobil, this oil company has done more than
any other to sabotage international action on climate change," said
Greenpeace climate campaigner Benedict Southworth.
"Esso backed the Bush Administration with massive political
contributions and spent more than even Enron on lobbying the White
Last year the US walked away from the only international
agreement to address climate change - the Kyoto Protocol. President
Bush instead came up a domestic, voluntary scheme that would
increase greenhouse emissions by 36 percent. That policy was
effectively written by Esso."
Climate change is recognised as a serious problem by thousands
of the world's leading scientists and most governments. Over the
next century, a warming of just a few degrees will lead to sea
level rise, chaotic weather patterns, agricultural loss and spread
"Esso pursues its profits at the expense of human lives and
livelihoods, ignoring warnings from the world's leading scientists
that climate change is already happening and will get worse," said
"People are worried about climate change and angry with the Esso
Bush alliance that is blocking action. Esso must be stopped and
that's why we are here today."