Oslo, Norway – The Norwegian Prime Minister and his Labour party colleagues were confronted by a giant purple octopus, measuring almost 14 metres from the tip of its head to the end of its tentacles, in the centre of Oslo.
The octopus, which was accompanied by Greenpeace Nordic activists with banners reading “Don’t destroy my home” and “Stop Deep Sea Mining”, is part of a protest against the Norwegian government’s recent proposal to open up a huge area in the Arctic to deep sea mining.
Haldis Helle, deep sea mining campaigner, Greenpeace Nordic said:
“By opening for deep sea mining in the Arctic, the Norwegian government is disregarding grave warnings from its own Environmental Agency and the broad scientific community. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and the Labour Party still have the opportunity to reconsider these plans. It is time to listen to the science and stop deep sea mining.”
The protest coincided with the Labour party’s National Board meeting and also included a spoof of the party logo, where the rose symbol was turned into an octopus in need. Dumbo octopuses are one of the many deep sea species threatened by deep sea mining in the Arctic.
Just last week, Prime Minister Støre signed a global oceans treaty to protect our oceans at the UN, but at the same time, he is willing to let a new destructive industry loose in Arctic ecosystems at thousands of metres depth.
Haldis Helle said: “Promising to protect the oceans one day and proposing deep sea mining the next, is next level hypocrisy. Not only does it risk vulnerable ecosystems in the Arctic, but also Norway’s international reputation.”
The protest draws attention to the dangers of the newly emerging destructive deep sea mining industry, an industry that even large multinational companies such as Google, Samsung, Volvo and BMW have vowed not to support.
Hundreds of scientists both in Norway and globally have warned against deep sea mining, and several countries, such as France, Spain, Germany, Chile, and New Zealand, are speaking out against deep sea mining and calling for a ban or a moratorium.
Haldis Helle said: “It is crucial that countries worldwide, including Norway, in line with science, impose a moratorium on deep sea mining.”
Photos and videos can be found in the Greenpeace Media Library.
Daniel Bengtsson, Head of Communications, Greenpeace Nordic:
[email protected], +46 70 300 95 10