Nationwide demonstrations in Italy join Greenpeace oil rig occupation in Sicily

Press release - 15 October, 2014
Rome, 15 October 2104 - After more than 36 hours of peaceful protest, activists have today ended their occupation of ENI’s oil platform, Prezioso in Sicily where they have been since early yesterday morning. With the banner 'Stop Fossils, Go Renewable', they were there with the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior to highlight growing popular opinion against fossil fuels.

Andrea Boraschi, Greenpeace Italy's Climate and Energy Campaigner, said:

"As the current EU President, Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi should be ashamed of his government's fossil fuel plans. He has a responsibility to guide Europe towards renewable energy while tackling climate change. We are ending our protest here, but the protest will go on in the rest of the country and Greenpeace will support this. We must stop Renzi's fossil fuel u-turn."

Public demonstrations are underway in Rome, in front of the Parliament building against the Italian government's Sblocca Italia decree. With this decree the Italian government is aiming to both simplify and incentivize offshore oil drilling, potentially leading to a substantial "fossil fuel u-turn" in Italy's national energy strategy.

Greenpeace, together with WWF and other NGOs held a press conference in the National Parliament to present their arguments against Sblocca Italia. At the same time, a public demonstration promoted by more than 160 associations and local communities was held in the square in front of the Parliament building in Rome. During the occupation of the oil rig, the activists received support from many local movements and local governments, as well as from individual citizens. All the Sicilian Mayors (through a regional association) have expressed their absolute support of the Greenpeace protest.

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said:

"The people of Italy are proving that courage doesn't have to be about occupying an oil rig – they are pouring into the streets across the country to demand that Prime Minister Renzi takes this message to EU leaders next week: Italians are saying 'no more' to fossil fuel and 'yes' to a renewable energy future. Prime Minister Renzi has an opportunity now to not just be a driving force for a sustainable future in Italy, but for all of Europe."

Next week, in Brussels, European leaders are making a decision on targets for Europe's energy policy towards 2030. Greenpeace is demanding that the Italian Prime Minister promote an ambitious agreement on the upcoming EU Energy Summit. Greenpeace calls on European leaders to adopt binding targets for the EU 2030 climate and energy package – the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (55%), for renewables (45%) and energy efficiency (40%).

ENDS

Note to editors:

Video available at:
http://photo.greenpeace.org/IMAGE/GP0STONQ4

Photos available at:
http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIF3KOZVU&CT=Story

Contacts:

Gabriele Salari, press officer, +39 342.5532207

Felice Moramarco, press officer, +39 06.68136061 ext. 123, +39 348.7630682

Massimo Guidi, photos/video, +39 06.68136061 ext. 222, +39 348 6811043

Andrea Boraschi, climate and energy campaigner, +39 345.7491523

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