Greenpeace Protests Tennis Sponsor

In Europe, News Headlines, Protests & Campaigns

Environmental group Greenpeace hung banners on the venue of the Paris Masters tennis tournament Saturday protesting the involvement of sponsors BNP Paribas in funding a nuclear project in Brazil.

Half-a-dozen militants hung the 11-square-metre (118-square-foot) banners from the Palais Omnisport de Bercy, calling on the bank not to fund the building of the nuclear reactor Angra 3, 150 kilometres (95 miles) from Rio de Janeiro.

Calling the reactor “obsolete and dangerous,” Greenpeace said BNP customers “should call a fault” and demand that the bank “stops misusing their money.”

Greenpeace said construction of Angra 3 had stopped in 1986, following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when banks withdrew their funding.

“Most of the equipment that would be used to finish the reactor predates Chernobyl and has languished on the site for the last quarter of a century,” Greenpeace said.

“It would not be permitted to be used in the countries that are financing the completion of the reactor as it is now dangerously obsolete.”

The site is only accessible by a single road frequently blocked by landslides, and the legality of the project is in serious doubt, Greenpeace added, calling on BNP to back “clean, renewable energy sources” instead.

The Greenpeace activists acted as the semi-finals were due to be played in the arena, and police were called to dislodge them.

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