Our tar sands campaign just spread from Canada to France when 30 Greenpeace activists entered Total’s refinery site, in Normandy, to highlight the involvement of the French oil company with the climate-changing tar sands in Alberta. Activists unfurled one banner on a huge tank, and two others on the 75 meter-high chimney stacks of the site's power station. The banners read "climate crime" and "Total invests in sustainable destruction."
Total: "Our energy is your mess"
Climate change is a global problem -- and this action is part of a global response to one of the worst climate offenders. The world doesn't want Canada's dirty oil.
A Canadian "tourist" was also there participating in this action. Greenpeace activist Eryn Wheatley from Toronto was inside the Total refinery and occupying a large tank. She wanted to take a strong message across the Atlantic to Sarkozy and Europe -- that not all Canadian's support dirty oil, and real climate leaders shouldn't buy or fund tar sands.
"This is not Canada's dirty secret anymore," said Eryn, from inside the Total site. "We're here today to expose an international climate crime. Sarkozy and other European leaders can't keep exporting the climate crisis to Canada. We need real leadership at Copenhagen and that means no more tar sands."
Total S.A. has already invested more than 8 billion Euros in Alberta, and is planning to invest 10 billion more in the next decade, in Alberta and Madagascar, in order to step up its oil production from tar sands to 10 per cent of its global production.
This morning's action follows three weeks of intense actions in Alberta. Activists from France, Brazil, Germany and Australia descended on Canada's tar sands to draw attention to what they are calling a "global climate crime."
STOP tars sands, GO to Copenhagen
If production increases as planned, annual tar sands emissions are expected to quadruple to 126 million tonnes by 2015. In order to avoid runaway climate change we need to be drastically reducing these kinds of emissions - not increasing them. The best chance we have is coming up at the end of this year when the UN Climate Summit will be held in Copenhagen. World leaders must attend this meeting and agree to a fair, ambitious and binding deal that will drastically reduce our emissions and prohibit projects like the tar sands.