a seed europe
friends of the earth international
world information service on energy
OIL MINISTERS URGED TO STOP SPOILING THE
Activists block venue, demand rapid shift
Amsterdam (The Netherlands), May 24, 2004
-- At today's closing of the International
Energy Forum, activists locked a row of
bicycles to the gates of the Okura Hotel
conference venue to illustrate the need for a
shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy
and energy saving measures.
Officials attending the forum, including
OPEC and OECD energy Ministers, could not
immediatly leave the venue as the row of
bicycles blocked the hotel gates. Activists
unfurled a banner that read "Stop SpOILing,
More than 60 energy ministers and World
Bank officials discussed future investment in
oil and gas at the energy meeting, which was
opened by Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs
Laurens Jan Brinkhorst.
“Oil should not be at the core of a debate
on future energy investment”, said Peer de
Rijk of World Information Services on Energy.
“Our bicycles symbolize renewable energy
solutions that are clean, safe and
available,” he added.
The conference took place on the eve of a
major June 1-4 intergovernmental Conference
on Renewable Energy in Germany.
The World Bank recently released a review
that recommends that the Bank stop financing
oil corporations and move towards financing
renewable energy. This document, the
Extractive Industries Review, maintains that
oil investment harms the poor because of its
association with climate change, human rights
abuses, conflict and corruption. The Bank is
divided over the report and may soon announce
it will ignore its findings.
"The World Bank's presence at this week's
energy conference is a true sign of bad
faith” said Janneke Bruil of Friends of the
"For decades, the World Bank has supported
rich transnational oil corporations and
corrupt government elites with our tax money.
Even now that the Bank's own review tells it
to get out of the sector as soon as possible,
it is still cutting deals with the world's
oil barons,” she continued.
At a parallel Business Forum, the
ministers get a chance to discuss "certain
key elements" with oil industry
representatives, including an increase in oil
production. “The bias of the conference is
evident”, continued Mr De Rijk. “Under
discussion here are industry needs rather
than people's needs or care for future
The activists demand support for renewable
energy that is accessible, decentralized,
based on local technology and that excludes
nuclear energy and large hydro-electric dams.
Furthermore, they call for energy efficiency
and energy saving. At the June Conference in
Bonn, they will confront governments with
these demands again.
For more information contact in
Janneke Bruil, Friends of the Earth
International: +31 6 52 118 998
Peer de Rijk, World Information Services
on Energy: +31 6 20 000 626
For more information on the International
For more information on the World Bank's
Extractive Industries Review:
For more information on energy:
For more information on the June 1-4