Greenpeace Australia Pacific activists install giant pipeline in Citibank’s Australian headquarters

SYDNEY, July 10, 2018 - Greenpeace Australia Pacific activists have installed a life-sized pipeline in the Sydney headquarters of multinational lender Citigroup to protest the organisation’s funding of controversial tar sands pipelines.

Citi is among 12 global banks identified by Greenpeace which continue to have ties to toxic tar sands pipeline projects and pipeline companies like Energy Transfer Partners, the company that built the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Tar Sands pipelines put communities at risk of oil spills which may mean they lose access to clean drinking water. Access to clean water is a basic human right but it’s now at risk for hundreds of communities because of Citi’s reckless lending,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

“These projects will also make a massive contribution to climate change and will almost single-handedly ensure the world cannot contain global warming to the 1.5 degree limit the scientists say we must adhere to to prevent climate chaos.”

Hundreds of passers-by stopped to take in the spectacle of the 30-metre mock leaking pipeline that spilled out of the Citi office and onto the busy footpath as commuters made their way to work.

Earlier this year, oil pipeline company Kinder Morgan abandoned its Trans Mountain Expansion Project announcing it would sell it the tar sands pipeline to the Canadian government — a move that signaled just how risky these projects are.

If this 1,150 km pipeline project goes forward it will transport tar sands from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia, where the oil will then be loaded on to tankers to be transported by sea along the west coast of North America. The new pipeline would increase the amount of crude oil carried from the current 300,000 barrels per day, to 890,000 and lead to a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea. A spill of this heavy, highly toxic tar sands oil in those waters would permanently damage coastal communities and wildlife, placing the remaining 75 endangered Southern Resident orcas in the Puget Sound at risk of extinction.

“Since 2008, Citi has loaned over $4 billion to Australian fossil fuel projects including coal mines and LNG mega-projects,” said Jack Bertolus, Research Coordinator at environmental finance group Market Forces.

“It’s disappointing to see this behaviour continue not just locally but abroad. Tar sands pipelines are provide further examples of projects entirely inconsistent with avoiding runaway climate change. As long as Citi is helping to massively expand the fossil fuel industry like this, it can’t expect to be taken seriously on climate change.”

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Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner

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