From Kiwis to Tigers - the Stop Exxon campaign spreads around the globe

Press release - 14 May, 2002

Greenpeace activists dressed as tigers protest at the entrance of France's largest oil refinery owned by Esso.

Amsterdam - Protestors locked onto fuel pumps in Canada, activists in tiger suits led the Giro D'Italia bicycle race in Luxembourg and environmentalists circulated a damning report in New Zealand as the global campaign to Stop Exxon escalated today.

Today is second day of an international week of action against the world's biggest oil company, Exxon, to protest against its continued interference in both international and US climate policy. Exxon, which is also marketed as Esso and Mobil globally, has spent millions of dollars sabotaging the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. In 1999, Exxon was the fifth-biggest lobbyist in Washington, exceeded only by tobacco and drug companies.

In Toronto, Canada, Greenpeace activists in locked themselves to fuel pumps at Esso stations while people in George Bush masks urged motorists to buy gas elsewhere. Similar protests were also held at Esso stations in Montreal and Vancouver with one clear message:

Don't Buy Esso.

"Esso is going to be held accountable for sabotaging Kyoto and ignoring the science of climate change," said Greenpeace's Stop Esso campaigner in Canada, Jennifer Storey. "Esso says don't ratify Kyoto. We say if you need gas, don't buy Esso."

Meanwhile in New Zealand Greenpeace launched "A Decade of Dirty Tricks", the report outlining how Exxon has undermined United States and international climate change policy.

"ExxonMobil's attempts to wreck the Kyoto Protocol using front groups and climate sceptics highlights the enormous influence oil companies have on climate change policy," said Robbie Kelvin, Greenpeace climate campaigner in New Zealand.

"The United States withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol as a result of industry pressure endangers the global treaty designed to deal with climate change."

In Luxembourg, activists dressed as tigers - the Esso corporate symbol - rode ahead of the opening of the famous Giro D'Italia bicycle race in Esch-sur-Alzette. At the finish line they flew a zeppelin with a five-metre banner reading "Stop Esso" over the crowd.

"Exxon denies the link between climate change and fossil fuels, it doesn't spend a cent of its billion dollar profits on renewable energy and actively seeks to discredit climate science," said Stephanie Tunmore, Greenpeace International climate campaigner.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group made up of thousands of the world's leading scientists and scientific bodies, has found that global warming is caused by humans, it will have severe environmental and health impacts if left unchecked, and it is getting worse.

"People around the world are joining this campaign because they are sick of big business manipulating politics and environmental policy. They are not powerless and they are taking action."