Group blocks Europe’s largest oil refinery in Rotterdam port


Protesters from the environmental group Greenpeace blocked the waterways around Europe’s largest oil refinery located in the port of Rotterdam.

According to, the blockade targeted Shell’s refinery in Pernis. Activists have sought to draw attention to the launch of a new effort to ban advertisements and sponsorship both by oil companies as well as ferries, car companies and airlines that use fossil fuels.

Silvia Pastorelli of Greenpeace said: “We are blocking Europe’s largest oil refinery with the same advertisements the fossil fuel industry uses to mislead the public about its responsibility for climate degradation.

“Fossil fuel companies, automakers and airlines have refused to change their polluting business, but are using advertisements and sponsorship to present themselves as the solution to the climate crisis they have caused. We call on the public to make their voice heard and demand a European ban on fossil fuel advertising.

The environmental group, Greenpeace’s 100-foot sailboat the Beluga II, anchored at the entrance to Shell’s refinery. Activists in kayaks, canoes and inflatable boats formed a second blockade on the water. Another group built a barrier over the water with fossil fuel advertisements attached to 22 huge floating cubes. In addition, nine people climbed into an oil storage tank and attached advertisements next to the Shell logo.

The effort has been undertaken to draw attention to an effort to ban advertising or sponsorship in the European Union by companies selling fossil fuels, fossil fuel vehicles and fuel powered flights or ferries. fossils. Activists are soliciting enough signatures from the public to demand action from the European Commission.

Greenpeace Netherlands reported that it found that on average 63% of advertisements by fossil fuel companies used the practice known as greenwashing, whereby they accused companies of misleading consumers by not reflecting not precisely business activities and promoting bogus solutions as clean energy alternatives. Evaluating more than 3,000 ads posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube between December 2019 and April 2021, Greenpeace claims that only 16% of the ads analyzed from Shell, Total Energies, Preem, Eni, Repsol and Fortum were explicitly for fuels. fossils. products, although this is the majority activity of the six companies.

After the protest was dispersed by police, the Port of Rotterdam said it had no impact on operations while Shell worried about security concerns from the blockade and people climbing on the facility.

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