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Greenpeace Activists Continue Arctic Confrontation

GREENPEACE ACTIVISTS CONTINUE CONFRONTATION AT BP ARCTIC OIL SITE FOR SECOND DAY

Auckland, April 12, 2000 – Another five Greenpeace activists have been arrested in the Arctic, as Greenpeace continues to confront the construction of BP’s controversial Northstar offshore oil project. (1)

Braving wind chills of minus 46 Degrees C, activists towed a fibreglass dome into the Northstar construction area with two Greenpeace activists locked inside. Two others made for Seal Island to display banners reading, “Stop BP’s Northstar, Save the Climate”. As police and security guards attempted to remove the protestors from inside the hut, Alaska State Police, North Slope Borough Police and BP security personnel came outside the security zone and tried to block all video documentation of the event.

“Greenpeace will continue to oppose Northstar until BP Amoco shifts its resources to sustainable renewable energy,” said Melanie Duchin Climate Campaigner on the ice at the Greenpeace Camp Sirius, on the Arctic Ocean. “It is irresponsible to continue to develop the Northstar project when we know that we can not afford to use even a quarter of known fossil fuel reserves if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.”

BP Amoco’s Northstar project is the spearhead for oil development in the Beaufort Sea, which will lead to a sprawl of oil rigs across the Arctic Ocean. Greenpeace, and other groups including Alaska Natives and responsible investment organisations, are opposed to new oil development in the Arctic because of the dual threats of global climate change and localised pollution.

On Thursday 13th April, BP Amoco will hold its Annual General Meeting for shareholders in London. At this meeting, shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on a resolution which calls on the company to switch away from high-risk, environmentally harmful ventures like Northstar, and reinvest resources in solar and clean, renewable sources of energy. Although BP Amoco has aggressively promoted its solar division as proof it is concerned about global warming, the company actually spends over 100 times more on oil exploration and production.

“New Zealand has made an international commitment to preventing dangerous climate change. To achieve this the New Zealand government must ratify the Kyoto Protocol and set in place the policy framework to promote a phase out of climate destroying fossil fuels, “ said Sue Connor of Greenpeace New Zealand. “At the same time the government must provide the incentives for industry to shift investment into a new renewable energy pathway”.

For information: Sue Connor, Greenpeace New Zealand, phone (09) 630 6317 or (021) 213 5603. Or at Ice Camp Sirius, Arctic Ocean, Melanie Duchin, satellite phone +872 761 316 768 or Greenpeace Alaska Office, Dan Ritzman, +1 907 277 8234, mobile +1 907 227 2700
Stills available from Greenpeace New Zealand, Sue Connor.

Notes to the Editor

(1) Tanya Popp, New Zealander arrested at the Northstar construction site on early Tuesday morning (NZ time) is released on bail and has been charged with second degree criminal trespass. Tanya has been allowed to travel to Anchorage until her first court appearance in Deadhorse on Wednesday Alaskan time.

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