Tuesday, July 23: The two Greenpeace climbers who are scaling the outside of the tallest building in Wellington have unfurled the first of a series of banners.
Abigail Smith and Nick Hanafin have been climbing the Majestic Centre since dawn this morning to reach the headquarters of Austrian oil giant, OMV.
They have deployed a pink banner reading, ‘It’s a climate emergency’.
The climb is expected to take all day and if they can make it to OMV’s offices on the 20th floor, they will deliver a message.
Greenpeace is live streaming the climb on its website.
Following the departure of oil majors Chevron and Equinor (formerly Statoil) this month, OMV is the last remaining international oil giant operating in New Zealand.
A self-propelled drill rig, which will be used by OMV to drill exploratory wells off the Taranaki Coast and in the Great South Basin, has just arrived in the country.
Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says the arrival of the rig comes as governments and councils all over the world are declaring a climate emergency.
"We’re living through a climate emergency. If we don’t halve global carbon emissions in just a decade, we’ll be locked into extreme weather and heating that will threaten all life on Earth, including our own.
"Oil companies like OMV have known for 30 years that burning fossil fuels is driving climate change. Instead of acting, the industry has poured billions of dollars into climate change denial and lobbying while continuing to push ever deeper into remote ends of the Earth in search of new oil and gas."
OMV is on the list of just 100 companies that have caused more than 70% of the world’s climate emissions, and is currently drilling in the Arctic.
Larsson says the oil giant can expect widespread resistance in New Zealand.
"Climate change is the issue of our time and we’re watching a global movement grow in strength and size every day. People everywhere are taking action, including the millions of students around the world going on strike from school," she says.