Activists take aim at Santos’ greenwashing

Protestors at Adelaide Hills. Photo: Gemma Weedall

Fossil Free SA and Extinction Rebellion SA organised a week of climate action from January 24 to draw attention to the disastrous impact of gas on the climate and to call for the Tour Down Under (TDU) to #BreakAwayFromGas. The cycling event is sponsored by fossil fuel corporation Santos.

One hundred people joined a “Bicycle Die In” on January 18 in Rundle Mall to highlight the impact of extreme heat on cycling and cyclist's health.

Kimberley Humphreys from Doctors for the Environment said: “When a high intensity sport like cycling is combined with hot conditions, the heat stress on cyclists is significant.

“As the number of extreme heat days in Adelaide increases, all cyclists will have to lay down their bikes more often. Future TDU events will experience more days when competition must be altered or even halted due to excessive heat.”

On January 22, more than 20 activists held up banners reminding race organisers, riders and spectators that gas is not a clean or green solution to the climate crisis. Messages were chalked on the route which called on Events SA to “Dump Santos” and find a new green sponsor for the race.

Adelaide Hills resident and Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Cate Mettam said: “When the Tour Down Under visited this area last year it was devastated by fires, thanks to the profit-driven arrogance of companies like Santos. Rather than transitioning its core business and workers to clean technologies, Santos continues to expand its operations”.

She said Santos is using the TDU as “greenwash” while it continues to destroy First Nations lands, farming and state forest for its industrial-scale Narrabri Gas Project in New South Wales.

On January 23, in 38° C heat, activists erected banners proclaiming “Love TDU / Hate Gas” to greet the peloton along the Aldinga foreshore and in Willunga.

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