Greenpeace protest blackens fountains across France

Activists protested against plans by Total to search for oil off the Brazilian coast

Environmental activist group Greenpeace has blackened the water of several major fountains in cities across France to protest a project by oil company Total.

Activists from Greenpeace and campaigners ANV-Cop21 stood in blackened water fountains on Saturday September 22 in around 30 towns across France - including Paris, Rennes, Angers, Bordeaux, Poitiers, Tours, and Nantes.

They held up banners reading “the Amazon reef is not a petrol fountain”.

Their protest centres on a new oil-finding project from oil company Total, in Brazil. They say that the scheme threatens a unique coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon river, and risks oil leaks off the Brazilian coast.

Greenpeace says that the coral reef, which was only discovered in 2016, is larger than originally thought, and spreads out to areas in which Total would be searching.

The activists say that Total’s actions risk damaging the reef, with the potential for oil leaks. A significant leak could even threaten mangroves on the Brazilian coast, they claim.

Edina Ifticene, leader of the Greenpeace campaign, said: “Total is insisting on finding this oil, despite the ecosystems, natural jewels and diversity there that we need to protect. We are no longer in the age of oil, we are in the age of transitioning [to cleaner fuel sources].

“We must stop this abuse. Oil is not for us to find so close to this ecosystem, and near mangroves, which, if they were to be hit by an oil leak, would be unable to be cleaned.”

Total claims that the risks highlighted by activists “do not exist”.

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