Greenpeace Africa, an environmental organization with operations across the continent, has spoken out against French oil marketer, Total’s oil exploration off the coast of South Africa.
In response to a recent announcement that the fuel industry giant made a significant oil and gas discovery 175 kilometers off the country’s southern coast, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager, Melita Steele said that drilling around the area would be detrimental to South Africa.
“Greenpeace Africa strongly condemns Total’s reckless oil exploration off the coast of South Africa,” she said in a statement issued this week.
“Discovering yet more oil and gas is not something to celebrate when burning fossil fuels is driving potentially catastrophic climate change. This is essentially oil that we cannot afford to burn in the face of extreme weather conditions and recurrent droughts,” added Steele.
Greenpeace Africa has since warned that deep sea drilling is far too risky. The organisation explained that the possibility for an oil spill always exists, and the environmental impacts of deep-sea drilling for oil and gas are too significant to be ignored, with very little benefit or job creation for South Africans.
“It is reckless of the South African government to allow oil and gas exploration to go ahead, and unfortunate that this was lauded as a victory at the State of the Nation Address,” the organisation added.
The organization also stated that the drilling process also creates massive sound and light disturbances, which have been shown to be detrimental to marine life.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record.
“It is clear that if we are serious about stopping the worst impacts of climate change, then some fossil fuels must remain in the ground. This country is blessed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world. It’s time to back renewable energy, and stop the reckless and dangerous dash for fossil fuels,” Greenpeace Africa concluded.