Greenpeace announces ship to Summit with oil dinosaur in Bosphorus

Press release - 3 July, 2002

The oil industry is represented as a dinosaur by Greenpeace today in the Bosphorus to announce the departure of its ship the MV Esperanza for the Earth Summit in South Africa.

Greenpeace announced today that it is sending its ship MV Esperanza to South Africa for the Earth Summit. The

announcement was made as a dinosaur symbolising the outdated oil industry appeared under the Bosphorus bridge

in Istanbul, where Europe and Asia meet. Its seven meter long neck standing above the water carried logos of the world's top oil companies: ExxonMobil, BP, Shell,

Chevron,Texaco and Total Fina Elf. The dinosaur carried the Greenpeace message on its neck:STOP OIL INDUSTRY.

The ship will be in South Africa during the Summit helping to focus world attention on the important decisions being made there. The ship's work is just part of Greenpeace's Countdown to Johannesburg, which will involve activities across the globe. Greenpeace is campaigning for governments to take the lead in global sustainability, and

stop abdicating their responsibilities to corporations for protection of the planet.

"Oil is environmentally destructive from its exploration, extraction, transportation and production through to its use as a fuel where it pollutes the atmosphere with carbon dioxide; the number one greenhouse gas responsible for causing global climate change (1); said Melda Keskin,

Greenpeace energy campaigner, at a press conference on board the Greenpeace ship, MV Esperanza, currently in Istanbul.

"Governments are abdicating their responsibilities by allowing the oil industry to continue unchecked in the face of overwhelming evidence of dangerous climate change.

Governments should use the Earth Summit to end the century of dinosaur technology and pave the way for a

clean, sustainable future. The MV Esperanza will be leaving from here to take this message to South Africa," said Keskin.

"The Bosphorus Strait carries a heavy burden of oil tanker traffic from the Caspian Region (2) to the Western

consumer market, even though it is one of the most dangerous waterways in the world. It is therefore appropriate that we raise questions about our ongoing

reliance on oil here," said Keskin.

While renewable energy and efficiency investments are generally neglected by governments, fossil fuels and

nuclear power sources get an estimated US$ 250-300 billion in subsidies each year from governments such as the

US.

"If the investments planned by the major oil companies, supported by international financial institutions such as the World Bank, and by governments through Export Credit

Agencies, are made in the new fields in the central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, this would greatly

increase carbon dioxide emissions, thus exacerbating global warming. It would also intensify the ecological

destruction already happening in the Caspian Sea and increase the threat to the Mediterranean from oil spills," said Keskin.

Greenpeace is calling on governments to kickstart a global renewable energy revolution at the upcoming Earth Summit by making a commitment to greatly expand the use of renewable energy and agree an action plan to supply renewable energy to the two billion people without electricity.

Shifting massive subsidies and other types of support from climate changing fossil fuels to environmentally friendly renewables will help tackle poverty as well as improve the local and global environment. One step is to ensure that the full social and environmental costs of fossil fuels are reflected in their prices which would make renewables more cost-effective. This is one essential step to start the

renewables era protecting the climate.

Notes: 1- The increase of carbon in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil-fuels like oil, coal and gas which causes global warming that is resulting in, among other things, melting of polar ice, disappearance of glaciers, sea-level rise, salination of fresh water reserves, flooding, the loss of coral reefs, widespread profound ecological changes in forests, extinction of plants and animals, crop changes, avalanches, storms, pests, diseases and death. 3,5 billion tonnes of crude oil are used every year, resulting in 3 GigaTonnes of carbon emissions. In addition, the consumption of gas and coal is estimated to be equivalent to an annual production of 6 GigaTonnes of carbon. Current CO2 emissions are already exceeding the absorption capacity of the planet. 2- Crude oil output from Caspian area will increase sharply in the future from 57.4 million tones in 2000 to 291.4 million tones by 2020. The Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan is expected to double the already heavy oil tankers traffic through the Bosphorus and the world heritage city of Istanbul, where tankers carrying 50 million tons of oil and oil products currently pass every year. The 3US$ -billion Baku-Tiflis-Ceyhan - BTC pipeline has been promoted by the US Administration, the Turkish government and BPAmoco as a saviour of the Turkish straits, despite the fact that the Caspian Pipeline Consortium -CPC and BTC are not alternative plans. Oil industry plans to go ahead with both threatening the fragile Mediterranean ecosystems and world's climate.