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‘Climate of urgency’: Tensions rising amid Greenpeace's BP protests

‘Climate of urgency’: Tensions rising amid Greenpeace's BP protests
Copyright  Greenpeace/Handout via REUTERS
Copyright  Greenpeace/Handout via REUTERS
By Sam Cox
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BP has serviced an injunction against Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise amid growing tensions between the oil giant and the environmentalist group.


BP has serviced an injunction against Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise amid growing tensions between the oil giant and the environmentalist group.

The action is aimed at preventing the vessel from joining protestors onboard an oil rig in the North Sea near Cromarty, Scotland.

Greenpeace said it wants to stop the rig from going out to the Vorlich field "where BP hopes to access 30 million barrels of oil".

Three separate teams of climbers from the environmentalist group have climbed aboard the rig in recent days.

In an interview with Euronews, the Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said Greenpeace wasn’t looking for a fight.

“What we want to do is stop [BP] exploring for more fossil fuels and start pivoting [the company] towards a renewable energy future because, otherwise, nobody has a future.”

“I don’t think you win a fight by a single action," he added when asked if this was a token gesture. "I think we win this fight gradually but with urgency for sure in terms of getting boards, shareholders, investors, governments, ordinary citizens, beginning to think about the future of this world.

"Everybody now knows climate change is a big issue. You are beginning to see that in terms of politics in Europe beginning to change. You know with things like the green party being the biggest party in Germany.

"People are joining forces and calling for change. I think that this is just part of that movement. It's part of the pressure that is building on these companies and eventually they will be forced to change. This week, next week, next month, who knows?"

Sauven said the protestors would remain on the rig for as long as they could, and that “we exist in a climate of urgency, and business as usual is no longer any good.”

BP, in a statement to Euronews, said: "Given Greenpeace’s repeated interference and reckless actions directed at our lawful business and their continued illegal defiance of court orders and police action, we have issued this injunction as a precautionary measure to protect the safety of people and operations.”

Greenpeace activists first occupied the oil rig on June 9th and 11 people are reported to have been arrested by police.

The Greenpeace UK twitter account commented: “Before we *REOCCUPIED* BP's oil rig, climbers Tom and Pete got arrested. They were on the rig day and night for over 70 hours in total.”

BP had previously released a statement on June 10th discussing the activity of the protestors “in all operations safety is our top priority. While we recognise the right for peaceful protest, the actions of this group are irresponsible and may put themselves and others unnecessarily at risk".

At a conference in the Vatican on Friday, Pope Francis urged top energy executives, including the CEO of BP, to act on climate change. The Pope also called for a “radical energy transition” away from fossil fuels in order to protect the planet.

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