Last month, Māori leader Mike Smith started legal proceedings in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Rainer Seele, the CEO of Austrian oil giant OMV, for trial for genocide and other climate crimes against indigenous communities. OMV is one of just 100 companies that have contributed to over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.
Greenpeace is inviting everyone to a 3 day action outside OMV office in New Plymouth. Come along and be part of people power! Here’s their invitation:
“Join us in New Plymouth from the 2nd – 4th December to disrupt business as usual for Austrian oil giant OMV.
While the Government has banned all new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, OMV is determined to drill for oil off Aotearoa’s coasts using permits it received before the ban. OMV’s relentless search for new oil is throwing fuel on the fire that is the climate crisis, and it’s putting marine animals like blue whales, Hector’s dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins at risk.
There are roles for everyone, from rule-breakers to cake-bakers. Join us just for a day or for longer.” Register on facebook here or simply show up, anytime 8am-5pm Mon-Wed, 2nd – 4th December, at 167 Devon Street West, New Plymouth.
Some more background info:
In September last year, our group spoke at the EPA hearing to point out the absurdity of OMV’s application for a discharge consent over a supposedly ‘cupful’ of harmful substances, associated with their plan to drill 12 exploratory/appraisal wells across 6 licensed area in the Taranaki Basin. EPA granted OMV the consent soon after the hearing and the last of all other needed discharge consents that did not involve public hearing last month. Likewise, EPA granted a similar discharge consent this September for OMV’s drilling campaign in the Great South Basin, despite widespread public outcry in Dunedin and elsewhere in Aotearoa.
Meanwhile, other oil companies like Tamarind Taranaki are going broke, threatening jobs and potentially evading responsibility and $155 million cost for decommissioning the offshore Tui and other oil/gas field infrastructure. Just this week, Tamarind has been instructed by EPA to stop producing from its Tui oil field until the source of the Monday oil sheen is conclusively identified and integrity of the wells assured. The environmental risks and costs will be left to us as companies of this dying industry retreats. We will not accept any government bail out to such companies for their failed obligations.
Onshore, more than 100 abandoned oil and gas wells have not been shut down properly over the past 150 years, six of which has been rated as ‘priority’ with the potential to leak and another eight with inadequate data for proper risk assessment. Currently landowners are liable if anything goes wrong with these so-called orphaned wells. Clearly fossil fuel companies should not be trusted. The boom-bust cycle they create cause far more social and environmental harm than the few unsustainable jobs and meager sponsorships they hand out.
Humanity is risking tipping points that would unleash abrupt and irreversible climate catastrophes, sea level rise and ecosystem collapse. Surely this demands action and system change at all levels: social, political and economic.