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BREAKING: Oil floods stadium ahead of Men’s Rugby World Cup tournament kick off

Horrifying footage of oil flooding the Stade De France stadium was captured in a powerful new animated video released today by Greenpeace France.

Greenpeace is calling out the global fossil fuel industry after it was revealed it extracts enough oil to fill a rugby stadium every 3 hours and 37 minutes.

With only a few days to go before the 2023 Men’s Rugby World Cup kicks off in France, the video takes aim at French fossil fuel giant TotalEnergies which is sponsoring the event.

Greenpeace Aotearoa has previously called on New Zealand Rugby to drop its sponsorship deal with UK oil and plastics producer INEOS.

Plastics campaigner Juressa Lee says, "In the thick of the climate crisis, it’s still gutting to see NZ Rugby carry on a sponsorship deal with an oil and gas polluting conglomerate like INEOS that is responsible for driving us deeper into the climate crisis, and fouling the oceans with plastic pollution."

Lee added that we are experiencing deadly floods and fires driven by climate change. "As tangata whenua and tangata moana, I am very concerned for our indigenous and coastal communities here in Aotearoa and all across the Pacific, bearing the worst impacts of plastic pollution and the climate emergency, yet contributing to them the least."

"It’s disturbing that polluters like TotalEnergies and INEOS would use rugby to sportswash their reputation and I consider that many of our rugby players from these same communities are expected to wear their brand."

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Ahead of the video’s official release today, Greenpeace International received a cease and desist letter from Rugby World Cup Limited for usage of the Rugby World Cup logos. The statement requested Greenpeace immediately remove the video from its social media platforms. However, Greenpeace affirmed that it will not be silenced, adding fossil fuel companies like TotalEnergies sponsor events like the Men’s Rugby World Cup to distract everyone from their climate destruction.

"Oil companies like TotalEnergies and INEOS are responsible for driving the climate crisis, which jeopardises a livable future for us all," says Greenpeace Aotearoa climate and energy spokesperson Amanda Larsson.

"The oil industry knows how much people love rugby and how much we love to support our teams. It’s not surprising that they want to be associated with these teams and events in order to distract people from their role in wrecking the only liveable planet we have."

The animated 60-second film, TotalPollution: A Dirty Game, digitally fills up the Stade De France - the stadium in Paris where the first match between France and the All Blacks will take place on September 8- with the amount of crude oil that the global fossil fuel industry collectively produces in three hours and 37 minutes.

The animated video shows oil spilling out of TotalEnergies logos dotted around the stadium, knocking over the rugby players and fans in their seats, who are represented by mannequins.

The last 10 seconds of the video features footage of real climate destruction caused both directly and indirectly by the fossil fuel industry.

Larsson says that climate change will have hit home for many New Zealanders this year.

"From Cyclone Gabrielle, to the Auckland Anniversary floods, and the severe drought experienced by much of the South Island, climate change is here and it is being driven by the oil industry. For us to have a future, the oil industry must have no future."

A Greenpeace report released last week analysed the 2022 annual reports of six global fossil fuel majors and six European oil and gas companies, revealing that a minuscule 0.3% of their combined energy production came from renewable power.

"The report shows that 99% of TotalEnergies’ energy production last year came from fossil fuels, meaning only 1% came from genuinely renewable sources. These sponsorships are a strategic pillar in the oil and gas major’s plans to carry on fuelling the climate crisis."

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