Esso Gets Globally Warm Welcome from Campaigners

27th November 2003
news
release

News Release

For immediate release: 27th November 2003

Photos: Photos available

Staff at Esso’s Salford Quays offices have just been given a globally warm welcome to work. As staff arrived on foot and by tram they were met by environmental campaigners from Manchester Friends of the Earth [1] and Greenpeace [2] who personally presented over 200 copies of “Hotline” [3] a specially published newsletter for Esso staff. [4]

“Campaigners suspect many Esso employees are unaware of their employers appalling record of opposing work designed to address climate change” Dave Coleman, climate change campaigner with Manchester Friends of the Earth, commented. Scientists now acknowledge that Climate Change or “Global Warming”- the warming up of the Earth’s atmosphere due to our consumption of fossil fuels like coal and oil – will be one of the greatest challenges facing society over the coming years. “Esso and its American parent Exxon’s active opposition of scientific research into climate change and its active campaigning against legislation designed to combat global warming is damaging everyone’s environment” he added. [5]

With a vested interest in selling fossil fuels and preserving the status quo, Esso continues to deny the existence of global warming or the contribution to climate change of the fossil fuel products it sells. However almost without exception every other major oil company has acknowledged climate change as a real concern, and begun to switch their scientific research into the more sustainable forms of energy that will ultimately replace oil. Esso obstinately refuses to make this admission and “Stop Esso!” a coalition of environmental campaign groups including both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace has formed specifically to challenge the company’s position. [6]

“In the UK many Esso staff work for the organisation in good faith, unaware either of the full issues or their employer’s ‘head in the sand’ stance” said Dave Coleman. “We felt a newsletter speaking directly to Esso staff would make them aware of the opposition to the position their senior management have taken, and also of some practical things they can do to find out more and voice their concerns internally.”

Campaigners had intended only handing newsletters out to Esso staff, however Esso security staff insisting they move away from the building ironically resulted in distributing newsletters to businesses throughout the Exchange Quay office complex. Dave Coleman concluded “Unfortunately climate change as an issue is here to stay, and the longer organisations like Esso resist getting to grips with it, the more expensive it is going to be for us all.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors

[1] Manchester Friends of the Earth is a prominent pressure group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on their website: https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk . Manchester Friends of the Earth is part of a national network of local groups, affiliated to the national organisation (further information can be found at http://www.foe.co.uk).

[2] Greenpeace is an independent non-profit global campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and their causes. It researches solutions and alternatives to help provide a path for a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace organises public campaigns for the phasing-out of fossil fuels and the promotion of renewable energies in order to stop climate change. Up-to-date information is available on their website: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/

[3] For a copy of Hotline see https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/climate/esso26nov03.htm

[4] For pictures see https://www.manchesterfoe.org.uk/climate/esso26nov03.htm

[5] See “Smoking-gun memo shows White House sought help from Exxon-funded Front group” http://www.stopesso.com/ And also The Observer September 21 2003: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/
international/story/0,6903,1046363,00.html

[6] For more information on the Stop Esso! Coalition see http://www.stopesso.com/