Greenpeace Scale Mexico Oil Rig

Four Greenpeace activists on Monday scaled a Mexican off-shore oil rig to protest against global reliance on fossil fuels ahead of a UN conference on climate change, the group said.

Pictures posted on the environmentalist group’s website showed a banner reading “Go Beyond Oil” hanging from the “Centenario” oil rig, and the group said its activists had climbed 39 meters (yards) above the water to hang it.

“Less than one week before the start of the UN climate summit in Cancun, politicians need to realize that we need more ambitious targets and investments in renewable energies in order to combat climate change,” it said.

“Our governments have the choice to lead the world to a clean energy future, safe from the ravages of climate chaos, or continue towards energy dependency and fossil fuel addiction,” it said in a statement.

The activists remained on the rig for four hours before they were forced to descend by security guards, who took down the banner, the group said.

Greenpeace said the oil rig was chartered by state-owned PEMEX and was to be joined by another rig, the “Bicentenario” in the next few months to begin exploring an underwater oil field near the US border.

“It’s one of the four platforms that was sent to Mexico in July for deep water exploration while the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was still out of control. So it’s very symbolic,” spokeswoman Cecilia Navarro told AFP.

PEMEX said it could not immediately confirm the incident.

Greenpeace said it hoped to prevent another disaster like the one on April 20, when an explosion aboard a BP offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico led to a massive spill.

Representatives of 194 countries are to meet in the Mexican resort city of Cancun from November 29 to December 10 for a second go at striking a deal to curb greenhouse gases after 2012, after last year’s failed Copenhagen summit.

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