We went to the Champions League to give Gazprom a red card. Here's why.

Posted by Richardg — 24 May 2014 at 8:04pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: GREENPEACE
Gazprom banner: here's one we unfurled earlier (at a Champions League game in October 2013)

Moments ago, ten Greenpeace activists were in the rafters of Estadio da Luz, high above the Champions League Final. They'd hoped to unfurl a banner, but were arrested before getting the chance. Here's why they did it.

The Champions League Final is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Millions of people around the world are watching it. But there's an intruder in the stadium - and we'd gone there to expose it. That intruder's name is Gazprom.

Gazprom is one of the main sponsors of the Champions League. It spends millions of euros to be associated with sporting events like this, because it makes it seem like a friendly, household name – not a reckless corporation that is sacrificing our future to fill its pockets.

Gazprom is the second biggest oil company in the world. It's owned by the Russian state. It's also the first oil company to be drilling for oil in the Arctic.

That's just not on.

Gazprom is one of a handful of companies that sees devastating climate change as an opportunity, not a threat. While the rest of us worry about rising temperatures and melting ice caps, Gazprom sees a chance to get its hands on the oil that's trapped beneath the frozen north.

Just three weeks ago, Gazprom delivered the first shipment of Arctic oil from its Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora sea to Europe.

We love football at Greenpeace. We were excited about the Champions League Final. And we couldn't let Gazprom - and its bosses, watching from the VIP seats below - hide behind the game we love while it's threatening the future of the planet.

We went to the stadium to ask UEFA to give Gazprom the red card. That message still stands.

Join the movement of more than 5 million people around the world who want a global sanctuary around the North Pole to protect it from the oil drillers.

As for the Champions League Final: may the best team win!

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