Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP)
Dozens of Greenpeace activists on Monday blocked a Shell oil refinery in the Dutch port of Rotterdam with boats in protest at the fossil fuel advertising.
Activists from the environmental group used a sailboat, kayaks and rubber dinghies to block the entrance to the refinery, AFP journalists said.
Dutch police subsequently arrested 17 activists and expelled a group of protesters who had climbed onto an oil tank, Greenpeace said.
Greenpeace and 20 other groups have launched a petition calling on the EU to ban advertising and sponsorship by fossil fuel companies.
“The action is to highlight the need to ban advertising and sponsorship of fossil fuels,” Silvia Pastorelli, one of the main organizers of the event, told AFP.
“We are doing it against Shell because they are one of the worst environmentalists.”
The protest began when Greenpeace’s yacht Beluga II dropped anchor in front of the entrance to several refineries, including one owned by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant.
“I grew up reading signs about how cigarettes kill you, but I’ve never seen similar warnings at gas stations or fuel tanks,” activist Chaja Merk said.
“It’s scary that my favorite sports and museums are sponsored by airlines and car manufacturers.”
Greenpeace International chief Jennifer Morgan pointed out that the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, was less than a month away.
But “Europe is buzzing with how to increase the production of fossil gas that would lock us into more emissions, when we need to break that dependency,” she said.
Neither Shell nor Dutch police immediately commented.
© 2021 AFP