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Boycott Mobil Say Bluegreens

Media release
12 June 2001

Boycott Mobil Say Bluegreens

New Zealanders have been called on to boycott Mobil motor fuels as part of a growing international move to persuade the United States government to agree to support the Kyoto protocol on climate change. The call comes from Terry Dunleavy, national convenor of Bluegreens, an organisation that advises the National Party on environmental and heritage issues.

“While we commend Greenpeace for its gesture in sandbagging the Mobil head office in Wellington today, it’s a gesture only and doesn’t hit Mobil where it hurts – at the gas pump.

“Bluegreens call on New Zealanders to join British environmentalists who are boycotting Mobil’s sister company Esso. This uses market forces to tell Mobil we won’t stand for the emissions which cause the global warming which looms as a climatic threat to the country we enjoy living in, and which is so dependent on primary produce for our prosperity,” said Mr Dunleavy.

A consortium of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and People and Planet have launched a campaign in Britain under the title “Stop Esso”, as a means of getting a message through to US President George W Bush, whom they accuse of ditching the international treaty proposed in the Kyoto protocol.

“On its website (www.stopesso.com), the British consortium claims that Exxon Mobil, parent company of Esso in Britain and of Mobil companies around the world, including New Zealand, donated more dollars to get Mr Bush into the White House than any other oil company. In the New York Times, correspondent Thomas L Friedman cited Exxon as a key supporter of research and advertisements that try to cast doubt on the seriousness of global warming and its link to fossil fuel emissions. Friedman also stated that Exxon was a big backer of President Bush’s decision to pull the US out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which called for industrialised nations to steadily reduce their carbon emissions,” continued Mr Dunleavy.

“Here in New Zealand both the present and previous government have taken clear stands in support of Kyoto, but our voice as a small nation seems to be ineffective, especially against a country which is one of our fastest growing markets for a variety of products and services. The novelty of the British campaign is its use of market forces to influence the policy not of a government but of a corporate giant.

“One of the leaders of the British campaign is Bianca Jagger, who says: ‘Often we as individuals feel powerless in the face of the catastrophe that is unfolding. But with this campaign we can make a difference. We can say enough, we can say stop. We will make our voices heard.’”

Mr Dunleavy said that concerned New Zealanders can join the campaign by avoiding Mobil gas stations. “This is a way we can empower ourselves by the use, or in this case, non-use, of the gasoline pump to get a message through to Exxon head office in Irving Texas, and hopefully, from there to the White House, that New Zealanders do care for our planet, and as a people, we are determined to reduce the emissions which are the prime cause of potentially destructive global warming.”


NB: The British website is: www.stopesso.com


Contact

Terry Dunleavy
National Convenor
Bluegreens
Tel 09 486 3859 or 025 836 688 – fax 09 486 2341 – email: terry@winezeal.co.nz

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