Photo and video of the action is available in the Greenpeace Media Library. 

Vienna – Greenpeace activists today hung a huge banner on the European Gas Conference venue in protest against the fossil fuel industry’s plans to “future-proof gas” in the face of climate disaster. 

Climbers from Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe hoisted the six-by-eight-metre banner reading “End Fossil Crimes” on the facade of the Vienna Marriott Hotel on Tuesday morning, calling for fossil fuel companies to stop their climate-wrecking activities and be held accountable for their crimes.  

Attending the protest in Vienna, Lisa Göldner, Lead Campaigner for Greenpeace’s Fossil Free Revolution campaign, said: “The fossil fuel industry holds meetings behind closed doors to strike dirty deals and plot their continued trail of global climate destruction. What they won’t brag about in these meetings is how often they have been convicted or accused of breaking the law, from corruption and bribery, to human rights violations and even complicity in war crimes.”

The direct action took place just after Greenpeace Netherlands released The Fossil Fuel Crime File: Proven Crimes and Credible Allegations, a sample of criminal, civil,  and administrative offences committed by the fossil fuel industry, as well as credible allegations against them, from 1989 to the present day. Of the offences listed, the most common in the fossil fuel industry was corruption.

Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)’s action is part of a wider counter-protest against the conference by environmental activists and groups, including a demonstration on Tuesday 28 March at 17:30 CET.[1] It comes a week after the IPCC’s latest report stated that the world’s current fossil fuel infrastructure is enough on its own to exceed the 1.5°C warming limit, and that all new fossil fuel projects should be stopped and existing production rapidly phased out.[2] Greenpeace says the conference is attempting to greenwash gas, despite its high methane emissions. Methane is 84 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas in its first 20 years in the atmosphere.[3] 

Now in its sixteenth year, the European Gas Conference is a forum for representatives of major fossil fuel companies, investors and selected politicians to discuss industry expansion in secret. This year, the focus is on Europe’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and “future-proof[ing] gas’ role in the energy mix”.[4]

Representatives of large companies such as EDF, BP, Eni, Equinor, RWE and TotalEnergies are confirmed attendees, and Austrian multinational fossil fuel company OMV is this year’s host. Tickets for the three-day event, from 27 to 29 March, started at 2,599 Euros + VAT.[5] 

Greenpeace Germany’s Göldner added: “Criminality is baked into the DNA of the fossil fuel industry. We want this industry to stop new fossil fuel projects, to stop breaking the law and to pay for its crimes against people and the planet. But the fossil fuel industry isn’t going to accelerate its own demise, so we are also calling on European governments to set dates for a rapid phase-out of all fossil fuels in line with 1.5°C, including fossil gas by 2035. Ending the fossil fuel era and making a just transition to renewable energy is the only way to stop the climate crisis and to serve justice.”


Photo and video of the action is available in the Greenpeace Media Library

For information on the Fossil Fuel Crime File and interviews in English with Lisa Göldner, contact: Jasmine Watkiss, International Media Coordinator, Greenpeace UK: +44 7796 947448, [email protected] 

For information on Greenpeace CEE’s protest and interviews in German, contact: Annette Stolz, Press Officer, Greenpeace in Austria: + 43 664 612 6725, [email protected] or Jasmin Duregger, Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace in Austria: +43 664 840 3803, [email protected]

Notes for Editors:

About The Fossil Fuel Crime File: Proven Crimes and Credible Allegations: Greenpeace Netherlands has compiled an inventory of real-life criminal convictions, civil offences and credible allegations against some of the world’s most powerful fossil fuel majors over the past three decades, to show the extent to which unlawful activity is a part of the fossil fuel industry’s DNA. The Crime File: 

  • compiles 17 different categories of unlawful activity, backed up by 26 examples of criminal conduct, which are either formally established or credibly alleged. It establishes a strong foundation to the claim that the fossil fuel industry considers itself above the law.
  • lists a sample of 10 European fossil fuel companies that have been convicted, or credibly accused, of breaking the law – many of them several times over.
  • According to the compilation, the most recurrent crime in the industry is Corruption, of which 6 cases have been included in the Fossil Fuel Crime File.
  • A new generation of legal offences around greenwashing and misleading advertising have emerged in recent years. 


[1] Stop the gas lobby – Power to the People! 

[2] IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report Headline Statements 

[3] Unearthed: Scientists uncover decades old methane leak in Algerian desert 

[4] Energy Council Event: European Gas Conference 

[5] European Gas Conference 2023