Independence Day from Esso

StopEsso Campaign Gathers Momentum on July 4

July 4, 2002
Media Release

Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver — Five major Canadian environmental groups have chosen American Independence Day to join the growing global StopEsso campaign, in honour of the company's role in helping set George Bush's climate change policy (

The David Suzuki Foundation, Friends of the Earth, the Pembina Institute, the Sierra Club of Canada and the Toronto Environmental Alliance today joined Greenpeace as part of a global campaign to stop Esso from fighting world efforts on climate change.

Unlike other major oil companies, Esso has consistently refused to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is made worse by burning fossil fuels and needs to be addressed. Instead of acting against climate change, Esso lobbies against the Kyoto Protocol's cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, doesn't invest in renewable energy and spreads misinformation about climate change's science. Its American parent has donated heavily to the Bush Republicans.

"The science is sound and practical solutions to protect the climate are available today," said Gerry Scott, climate change director for the David Suzuki Foundation. "Esso needs to stop obstructing progress."

"Other oil companies are starting to make serious efforts to cut their pollution," said Dr. Matthew Bramley, director of climate change at the Pembina Institute. "And motorists need to know that money spent at Esso helps employ lobbyists to oppose solutions such as Kyoto, while money spent elsewhere can put solutions into action."

"Despite $15 billion in world profit, Esso's the only major oil company that invests nothing in renewable energy. If any company can afford to clean up its act, it's Esso," said Sierra Club climate change director John Bennett.

"Esso makes the wrong choices," said Keith Stewart, smog campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance. "As an energy giant, Esso could choose to invest in renewable energy, but Esso chooses to invest in smog by making Canada's dirtiest gasoline. It's time consumers chose companies that don't choose smog over wind power."

Canada's campaign is part of a global campaign to StopEsso, a brand of Imperial Oil, of which 70 per cent is owned by ExxonMobil. The oil giant is also facing campaigns in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

"Global warming is a global menace and so is Esso," said Friends of the Earth executive director Bea Olivastri. "We're thrilled to be part of this global coalition to stop a global problem — so we can get moving on global solutions such as the Kyoto Protocol."

"Canadians want to do something to fight climate change, which is why Esso should be worried," said Greenpeace's StopEsso campaigner Jennifer Story. "Already, we've received real support and that will increase with a broader campaign, we have a bigger voice with a simple message: Don't Buy Esso."

For more information:

Sarah Marchildon, David Suzuki Foundation; 604-732-4228 x237
Beatrice Olivastri, Friends of the Earth; 613-724-8690
Dr. Matthew Bramley, Pembina Institute; 613-262 1818
John Bennett, Sierra Club of Canada; 613-291 6888
Keith Stewart, Toronto Environmental Alliance; 416-596-0660
Jennifer Story, Greenpeace; 613-797-5537

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