Oslo, 11th May 2014. The ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo were accompanied by a protest from Greenpeace against the main sponsor ExxonMobil, which is about to do the most extreme and dangerous Arctic oil drilling yet. At the same time the Greenpeace ship Esperanza protested against ExxonMobil´s Arctic oil rig in Ølen in Western Norway.
Tonight ExxonMobil is sponsoring the Bislett Games in Oslo, an annual international track and field meeting part of the IAAF Diamond League, where track and field star Carl Lewis will be in attendance. To protest against ExxonMobil´s dangerous plans to drill for oil in the Russian Arctic, Greenpeace climbers unfurled a large banner from a light pole at the Bislett stadium, with the message “No Arctic Oil”.
27 activists from 12 nationalities took part in the protest, where they also handed out information to the audience about ExxonMobil's dirty drill plans. Bislett Games attendees, along with Arctic supporters all over the world, were encouraged to take selfies with the hashtag #NoArcticOil and #SavetheArctic, to give a clear message to the Games' dirty sponsor. Hundreds of people took to social media to make sure Exxon's dirty plans do not remain secret.
-ExxonMobil is trying to dazzle people with fancy events and the shine from some of the world´s brightest athletes. But we will not be fooled. With this illuminating protest we will put their dirty plans for the Arctic in the limelight, said Truls Gulowsen, Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Norway.
One of the world´s largest oil companies, ExxonMobil has a joint venture with Russian oil company Rosneft to drill for oil in the icy waters of the remote Kara Sea this summer. The drill site is located right next to the Russian Arctic National Park, a place recognised for its magnificent wildlife. The area is home to polar bears and walruses and has one of the largest bird colonies in the northern hemisphere. According to Russian law it is illegal to drill for oil in the area.
- ExxonMobil plans to go drilling in the most extreme, remote and harsh location in the Arctic this year. We need to stop ExxonMobil, and other oil companies such as Statoil, Gazprom and Rosneft. An oil spill in these icy areas will be impossible to clean up, and there is no point to go to these extreme areas to drill for oil that the world cannot afford to burn anyway - if we are to stay within safe climate targets, said Truls Gulowsen, Campaign Manager Greenpeace Norway.
The same day, activists from Greenpeace are protesting in Ølen in western Norway where the West Alpha oil rig is being prepared by ExxonMobil for the drilling in the Kara Sea this summer.
So far 5 million people have joined the movement to Save the Arctic from oil drilling.
You can find photo and video material here.
Background information on ExxonMobil drilling plans in Russia available here.
For more information:
Truls Gulowsen, Campaign Manager Greenpeace Norway, +47-901 07 904
Åshild Lappegård Lahn, communications officer Greenpeace Norway, +47-977 10 530