Volkswagen - Drop the Smokescreen!
Paris, France, September 27, 2012
This morning, Greenpeace activists disrupted the launch of VW's new Golf 7 at the world's biggest car show in Paris. As Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn began his speech at the VW stand, Greenpeace activists dropped a banner from the ceiling above saying "Volkswagen: Drop the smokescreen!". At the end of his speech activists unfurled banners on the stand spelling out the same message, while fake smoke began to hiss out of the brand new Golf displayed by the carmaker.
"The public and politicians shouldn't be fooled! Volkswagen portrays a clean green image, but behind this smokescreen the reality is much darker", says Sébastien Blavier, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner.
Today's protest is the latest in an ongoing campaign by Greenpeace urging Volkswagen to stop blocking and start backing new European car efficiency laws, which aim to cut both motorists fuel bills, and Europe's carbon footprint (1).
Mr Blavier continued, "We are here today representing the more than half a million people who want Volkswagen to green up their act".
Greenpeace has repeatedly tried to get a meeting with VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, but so far he has refused to meet. Greenpeace are now inviting Mr Winterkorn to come and receive the more than half a million signatures after the press conference by visiting Greenpeace's Golf 6 'mobile petition' - which is based in front of the main entrance of the Paris car show.
Transport currently accounts for approximately 23% of European carbon emissions (2) and improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles is recognised as being key to reducing Europe's carbon footprint and helping to tackle climate change.
Greenpeace believes that Volkswagen, as the biggest European car manufacturer and one that aspires to be 'the most eco-friendly automaker in the world' has a special responsibility to both build the ultra-fuel efficient cars which its' prototypes show it is capable of producing and support strong climate protecting regulations.
A recent Greenpeace report, '"Four Steps to a Three Litre Golf," shows how Volkswagen could make their new Golf consume only 3 litres per 100km, using only existing technologies (3).