Greenpeace activists have displayed a banner at the port of Zierbena, in Bilbao, with the message «Stop greenwashing, Petronor pollutes our sport» during the Bandera Petronor regatta of the Eusko Label Liga. Despite being the company with the highest emissions in the Basque Country, according to 2021 data, in which it emitted more than two million tons of CO₂, and although fossil fuels are its main business, Petronor continues to announce its supposedly renewable and clean projects of hydrogen and synthetic fuels, as well as sponsoring cultural and sports events. Therefore, the NGO has carried out this activity in which they seek to denounce that Petronor, as well as Repsol, the company of which it is a subsidiary, continue to cause climate change and actively contribute to the climate emergency, while using all kinds of events to clean their image.
Ana Parallé, a volunteer and activist from Greenpeace in the Basque Country, stated: «The request is clear, that Petronor leaves behind fossil fuels as well as its advertising practices that only seek to deceive about its polluting reality and hinder real climate action. In the Basque Country, the level of dependence on fossil fuels is alarmingly high. However, the image that tries to be given by the main energy companies in the territory is that they are completely sustainable and they use the sponsorship of all kinds of events to include these messages. It is necessary to draw attention to the danger of continuing with this energy model and to their frivolity in announcing themselves, trying to hide their responsibility in the climate emergency.»
Repsol, like its subsidiary Petronor, is the leader in emissions throughout the State. In addition, it also uses deceptive advertising techniques to hide the fact that gas and oil are still at the center of its investments and promotes false solutions to the climate emergency. Specifically, the oil company aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 while continuing to burn fossil fuels and investing in the development of controversial technologies such as fossil hydrogen, carbon capture, synthetic fuels, biofuels, or unsustainable green hydrogen projects, whose economic, energy, and environmental viability is highly questionable. But even more so, in the midst of the climate and energy crisis, this company has made historical profits. Repsol billed 70% more in 2022 than in 2021, while citizens were suffering from unsustainable energy prices.
Despite the clear impact of its activity and the recent ban in the United Kingdom on advertising in the press, television, and billboards by oil companies, including Repsol, for engaging in greenwashing, our country still does not have a similar regulation that prevents these companies from continuing with their image laundering.
Greenpeace demands the prohibition, similar to what was done with the tobacco industry, of all types of advertising by companies that contribute the most to the climate emergency. They also demand an abandonment of fossil fuels in favor of truly renewable energies and the direct electrification of the vast majority of energy consumption to enable the complete decarbonization of the economy by 2040.