Greenpeace condemns Total’s planned production in South Africa
Greenpeace says its mission is to fight for a greener, healthier world for oceans, forests, food, climate, and democracy, no matter what forces stand in its way.
Greenpeace Africa, an environmental organisation, has strongly condemned the discovery of natural gas by French oil major, Total SA, 175 kilometres off the coast of South Africa. The discovery, which was announced on Thursday, was celebrated by the South African government. Some investors have been described the discovery as a "transformational" and "catalytic" find.
However, in a statement released on Friday, Greenpeace Africa said discovering more oil and gas is not something to be celebrated. Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager of the group said, “Burning fossil fuels is driving potentially catastrophic climate change. This is essentially oil that we cannot afford to burn in the face of extreme weather conditions and recurrent droughts.”
Experts have called it South Africa’s first deep-water discovery. Total had reportedly been drilling about 180 kilometres off the coast in Mossel Bay for years before making the discovery.
Greenpeace said deep sea drilling is risky because of the possibility for oil spillage, apart from the drilling process, which also creates massive sound and light disturbances, which have been shown to be detrimental to marine life.
“The environmental impacts of deep-sea drilling for oil and gas are too significant to be ignored, with very little benefit or job creation for South Africans,” said Steele.
Greenpeace said its mission is to fight for a greener, healthier world for oceans, forests, food, climate, and democracy, no matter what forces stand in its way.
Following last year’s call by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for urgent action within the next 12 years to limit the devastating effects of global warming, scientists at Berkeley Earth have reported that 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record since 1850.
“If we are serious about stopping the worst impacts of climate change, then some fossil fuels must remain in the ground,” the Greenpeace Africa Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager said, further calling on the South African government to utilise the renewable energy resources in the country.
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