#DrillingIsKilling: a citizen mobilization platform

Following the publication of the Manifesto “Toward an EU offshore drilling ban” on April 20nd 2020, CCB joins the second phase of Surfrider Foundation Europe´s #DrillingIsKilling campaign with the launch of a new online platform. Citizens are now invited to contact their MEPs with direct messages calling for a total ban on offshore oil and gas exploration in the EU! The NGO aims to gain momentum in this effort just ahead of the anticipated evaluation report of the Directive on offshore drilling by the European Commission.

#DrillingIsKilling: a citizen mobilization platform

The Europe-wide relay of Surfrider Europe’s #DrillingIsKilling Manifesto last April demonstrated high enthusiasm among citizens to raise awareness and act against drilling at sea. Now, with the citizen mobilization platform powered by askforchange.surfrider.eu, the NGO is giving citizens the tools to turn passion into action.

The goal of this campaign is to call on European parliamentarians to ban oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities in all European waters by 2035.

Contributing to the campaign would:

  • Reduce the risk of oil spills and discharges at sea to zero.
  • Put an end to water pollution by “drilling muds” containing benzene, zinc, arsenic, radioactive materials, and other contaminants with irreversible consequences.
  • Regulate the impact of exploitation on marine life such as hearing loss, beach strandings, and catch rates reduced by 40 to 80%
  • Protect jobs in sectors highly dependent on water quality, particularly fishing and tourism

At this moment, a real opportunity exists to ban offshore oil and gas drilling in the EU. For Surfrider Europe’s demands to be heard and implemented by public decision-makers, every voice matters.

Citizens take action to end offshore drilling

Backed by 200,000 supporters of diverse backgrounds, motivations, and commitments, Surfrider Europe is united and committed to the protection of the ocean and its users.

In recent years, the Surfrider Coastal Defenders team has won several fights that progress towards a ban on offshore drilling. It is indeed through the implementation of local actions and consultations that the license of DEA, a German oil company, was canceled, avoiding the exploitation of a hydrocarbon reserve off Schwedeneck in 2016.

To put a definitive end to offshore drilling, the NGO insists on the need for citizens to mobilize by addressing political leaders while lobbying and making their voices heard. Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, affirms that the mobilization of society is essential to implement a true legislative change for the environment: “We would not have had a European Green Deal without Fridays for Future. It is the young people who helped us to understand this enormous urgency, we owe a great deal of respect to their work. We must listen to them and do what they ask”.

Act today to influence policy

Acting now would allow for a more ambitious environmental protection objective and accelerate the end of offshore in Europe:

  • The legislative calendar offers the possibility to revise the European Directive on the safety of oil and gas operations at sea.
  • The exit from carbon energies would also support the “Green Pact”, announced by the European Union in 2020, which champions clean energy, the elimination of pollution, and carbon neutrality by 2050.

Antidia Citores, a spokesperson for Surfrider Foundation Europe, affirms that the political agenda calls for immediate pressure from citizens:

“2020 offers a unique chance to shape the future of the continent’s energy policy. Citizen mobilization has been essential to put climate issues on the agenda of European institutions. The exit from fossil fuels and the abandonment of offshore drilling is an immediate and concrete way of aligning with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement”

For more than 10 years, Surfrider Europe has been fighting against offshore drilling by mobilizing at the local, national, and European levels. Today, the #DrillingIsKilling campaign calls on citizens to unite their efforts against offshore drilling, which is responsible for ecological, human, and economic disasters. The association provides them with an online platform to directly share concerns and demand concrete change from MEPs. Restoring a direct link between citizens and the European institutions is the only solution to put an end to oil and gas exploration and exploitation. This mobilization is urgent, especially now, when ecological objectives seem to be detached from political priorities.

Press contact
Yana Prokofyeva, European Outreach Officer
yprokofyeva@surfrider.eu
+33 6 51 67 88 89