Greenpeace CEO Kumi Naidoo told journalists in the Adriatic town of Opatija yesterday that the global organisation supported local Croatian groups who opposed drilling in the Adriatic.
Naidoo said that this was ‘a fight for preserving the planet’ and urged the companies awarded licences recently to withdraw.
“If you don’t do it, don’t think this is just local resistance, that you can’t be found in your countries, we have you on our target list,” Naidoo said, adding that the planet would survive but mankind would disappear because of fossil fuels and global warming.
Naidoo warned the Croatian people not to be fooled by false promises. and that if drilling for oil happens in Croatia’s Adriatic then they can wave goodbye to tourism.
“In Africa at the start of similar projects citizens were promised great benefits, but eventually only several senior state officials and executives of the companies doing the job benefitted, while the local population was left to deal with the consequences,” said Greenpeace’s CEO.
Naidoo believes that the Adriatic coast could be the centre for producing solar electricity, which he says would create more jobs without endangering the environment.
“Scientists have established that 80 percent of fossil fuels must stay in the earth to prevent disastrous climate change,” he said.
U.S-based Marathonoil, Austria’s OMV, Italian multinational ENI, London-based Medoilgas, and INA, owned by the Croatian government and Hungary’s MOL, have all been awarded licences to explore and exploit 29 block areas, ranging from 1,000 – 1,600 square kilometres, eight in the northern part of the coast and 21 in central and southern Dalmatia.
The contracts are expected to include 5-year concessions to explore, and 25-year concessions to exploit.
Croatia’s Minister of Economy Ivan Vrdoljak says that 100 million kuna will be paid to the government immediately once the contracts are signed and that the total value of the investment is around 4 billion kuna.