Hundreds of climate protesters are expected to descend on New Plymouth this coming Monday, 2 December. They’ll be surrounding the headquarters of Austrian Oil Company – OMV – for a three day ‘climate uprising occupation’ led by Greenpeace.
It’s the latest in a series of rolling actions against OMV – the last major overseas oil company with permits to search for offshore oil and gas in Aotearoa.
OMV’s 34,000 tonne oil rig is right now approximately 50 nautical miles off the Taranaki Coast preparing to begin exploratory drilling.
Greenpeace NZ Programme Director Niamh O’Flynn says the organisation is now bringing the resistance to OMV’s front door step.
“If we stand any hope of averting a climate catastrophe we need to rid ourselves of this final villain looking for new oil and gas that we just can’t afford to burn,” said O’Flynn.
Monday’s peaceful protest at the OMV headquarters in New Plymouth will comprise of a huge variety of New Zealanders, students, grandparents, professionals and first time activists.
It brings in people from a wide coalition of environmental groups including Greenpeace, Student Climate Strikers, Extinction Rebellion, 350 Aotearoa, Climate Justice Taranaki and Oil Free groups from across the country.
“As we face the climate crisis, it’s great to see all these brave kiwis prepared to come together just when the world needs them,” says O’Flynn.
“We want to send a clear message to OMV: We’re over it. They must acknowledge their role in heating the planet and give up their oil and gas exploration permits.”
Members of the group which earlier this week boarded the OMV “henchboat” Skandi Atlantic in Timaru and occupied it for three days, are also on their way to join the protest.
The Skandi Atlantic was preparing to leave the Port of Timaru and travel north to meet the an OMV oil rig now stationed off the coast of Taranaki and is now being shadowed by the group.
OMV is about to begin drilling three exploratory oil wells there, and another in the Great South Basin off the Otago coast.
“While the science is unequivocal that we must transition our society to clean energy and away from a dependence on oil, gas and coal – it must be a just transition so that the workers and communities currently employed in fossil fossil fuel industries are not left behind,” says O’Flynn.
“There are real employment opportunities in clean energy, including solar, onshore and offshore wind, new infrastructure, and the electrification of transport and industry.”
Details: The mass action will take place at OMV’s headquarters 167 Devon Street West, Brooklands, New Plymouth 4310 Monday December 2nd. It is expected to last three days.