Among the demonstrators on Sunday, several young figures in the fight against global warming such as Greta Thunberg and Camille Etienne.
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Has the presence of Greta Thunberg attracted more people, especially more young people, to the streets of Bordeaux? The Swedish environmental activist joined, on Sunday February 11, the hundreds of people (3,000 according to the organizers, 1,200 according to the prefecture) who marched between Place de la Victoire and the Miroir d’eau, after having participated Saturday at a demonstration against the A69 construction site in Tarn. A demonstration against the drilling of new oil wells in La Teste-de-Buch, near Arcachon. The head of the Europe ecology-Les Verts list, Marie Toussaint, was also present. Last December, a first mobilization brought together four times fewer people.
“What we want is the end of oil”, chanted young people present in the procession. Among them, the young environmental activist Camille Etienne who believes that we “cannot authorize new oil wells”. For her, “It’s just suicidal.”it’s even “criminal to do that”.
“As some scientists pointed out, we have already exceeded the carbon budget with existing wells, so the urgency is to close some, not at all to open others.”Camille Etienne, environmental activist
And Camille Etienne lists the latest visible effects of global warming: “120 people lost their lives in forest fires in Chile” or “in Barcelona, in the middle of winter, they are forced to send trucks of water from Marseille to give the populations something to drink”. The activist recalls “very direct link” between global warming and oil exploitation which “directly induces water shortages, climate disruption and very severe droughts”. “This is what we must refuse”she concludes.
A black tear, “symbol of the last drops”
This message has been carried for months by activists like Bruno Hubert from the “Stop oil Arcachon Basin” collective. He painted a black tear under his eyes. “It’s the symbol of the last drops until the end”he explains. “It’s quite sad to come to this when we see the site and we are there with the forest which was burned, we feel all the cynicism of this decision and these eight new wells”he believes.
“We are not preparing for the future by doing this, the basin is under so much pressure that it is the last straw.”Bruno Hubert from the “Stop oil Arcachon basin” collective
On November 20, 2023, the commissioner-investigator of the public inquiry issued a favorable opinion for the Canadian group Vermilion Energy which requested to drill eight additional oil wells on its deposit in La Teste-de-Buch, near Arcachon. Hermès, 21 years old, does not understand why the government could accept this project. “What seems crazy to me is a speech that is being sold to us that is hyper-oriented towards the transition, politically, but also in companies, of always wanting to tell us ‘look we are investing in renewables, look we are building solar panels, wind turbines etc.’but when it comes to speaking out against oil wells, no one speaks out”the young man is indignant. “It’s hypocrisy not to take your position when you’re defending renewable energies”he continues.
In 2017, a law was passed to prevent the creation of new oil concessions, but in this specific case the Minister of Ecological Transition Chrisotphe Béchu argues that it is not a new exploitation since this oil field exists since 1959. The prefect of Gironde, Etienne Guyot, must soon make a decision. He must announce in the coming weeks whether or not he gives the green light to these oil drillings.
Valentin Dunate’s report in Bordeaux