Yes to renewables, no to oil drilling in Canaries. We have the power.

No to oil

Yes to renewables, no to oil drilling in Canaries.

We have the power.

The Canary Islands are an important habitat. The seabed is home to cold-water corals that host an abundance of marine wildlife, nearly one third of it endemic. The islands are situated in a transit zone of dolphins and whales.

The EU, ITC (a pioneer in renewable energy and integrated water management) and UNESCO support initiatives to make the Canaries a model for sustainability.  The Sustainable Development Program on the island of El Hierro is aimed at biodiversity and zero waste. Its dynamic approach sees territories as systems that include not only energy, but also water, mobility, food, education, business, etc. El Hierro is set to become the world’s first island to rely on 100% renewable energy (at an investment of 64 million euros financed via ENDESA). Its combined wind and hydropower system has already reduced its annual energy costs by well over three million euros. El Hierro is closely watched by members of the international community, and plans are in place to replicate its concept elsewhere. For details about the project see attachment 1. For further sustainable energy, economy, and biodiversity projects see attachment 2.


People who are serious about nature and water sports are also attracted to the Canary Islands.



In this context, the Spanish government’s decision to allow oil drilling just 9 km away from Fuerteventura and Lanzarote is difficult to understand – and simply wrong.

The company behind the project, Repsol YPF Spain, says the oilrig would have a life of about 20 years and go to a depth between 3000 and 3500 metres. The drilling would affect an area of 616, 060 hectares to the east of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, some of which belongs to the Natural Reserve of Biosphere. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The islands’ drinking water comes from desalination of seawater. Oil drilling not only poses a threat due to accidental leakage, but also due to waste released into the sea as well as noise and disturbances from seismic testing, drilling, aircraft and ships. Dolphins and whales are especially harmed.

Repsol tried the same project in 2001, but was stopped in 2004 by the Zapatero government. The Maritime International Organization declared this part of the ocean especially sensitive.

If forecasts are confirmed, Repsol would produce 140,000 barrels a day. The profit would benefit private companies (Repsol YPF Spain, RWE Germany, and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. Australia). Jobs would go to specialized workers brought in by these corporations. The Canary Islands and their residents would be on the losing end.

We have the power to stop this insanity.

Cell. +49 170 8148353 | [email protected]

photo: Mikol Olivares

yyoouu maakkee aann iimppaacctt

By mobilising public awareness and sensitizing the international business community to the risks of the proposed oil drilling and to the opportunities presented by stopping it, we can make it politically untenable to go ahead with the drilling. Protests have already united national institutions, NGOs, WWF, Greenpeace and art foundations – 35,000 people have taken to the streets. Companies investing in renewable energy objected in a letter to the government in Madrid. The European Commission (EC) launched an investigation (EU Pilot) and stated that an environmental impact assessment is required. Scientists point to the real costs of fossil fuels including the environmental consequences., an NGO that has been cleaning the beaches from oil dumped into the ocean for ten years, supported by Surfrider Foundation and, has initiated a petition against oil drilling in the Canary Islands. So far 18,000 signatures have been collected. The goal is 100,000 signatures.

The petition will be presented to the EC, in front of the international media. Let’s make sure the 100,000 signatures are collected, the public keeps fighting towards renewables, scientists are heard, EU law is applied– and the initiative has maximum impact!


The Campaign

The best watersportsmen and -women in the world live in the Canaries. in co-operation with Patagonia Evironmental Initatives, Surfrider Foundation, and will produce high quality 1-minute HD video clips with 12 of them. These videos show the athletes performing outstanding stunts, describing their life bond to nature and enthusiasm for renewable energies. Each clip ends with the athlete coming out of the water covered in oil stating: ‚STOP THIS INSANITY! SIGN THE PETITION!‘

The videos will be destributed via Patagonia, Surfrider Foundation,, and via ads throughout the internet. If you support an athlete with a donation of €500, your logo will appear during the entire video and you will get the original file to use at will. Choose your athlete:

Yannick Anton, Kepa Acero, Janni Hönscheid, Pecas Casillas, Tony Butt, María Andrés, Lazi Ruedegger, Pablo Valencia, Nicole Boronat, Stephane Etienne, Jose Maria Cabrera Hernandez, Nayra Alonso.

Furt her acti ons

• Pushing at EU level for a counting system of energy costs that is comprehensive in scope: stating

what the planet needs to support life, identifying the damage caused by energy production and

energy use and measuring the costs needed to rebuild the environment.

• Following-up on the Environment Assessment, involving scientists.

• Together with politicians and athletes from Canaries, change the tourist image in Canaries from

mass tourism toward sustainable tourism.

Let‘s raise our power together. Dig deep. Find courage. Raise money.

Donors will receive a receipt for the purpose of tax deduction.

Cell. +49 170 8148353 | [email protected]

photo: Mikol Olivares

yyoouu maakkee aann iimppaacctt


Attachement 1:

On the Island of El Hierro with an area of 275 km², a small strip of 0.1 km² used for wind and storage facilities produces 11 MW, while the island’s averagy consumption is 4.5 MW.

For the wind pumped hydropower station delivering 100% of the island’s electricity 64 million euros were invested. 5 windmills and 2 reservoirs of water take the saltwater and transform it into freshwater. The water is sold to the population. The island will be 100% energy independent in 2012.

Spain is an ideal region for such projects. For example, the solar energy falling on the country’s roads alone is 22 times the consumption of all Spanish vehicles, if expoited with current commercial technology of photovoltaic panels with a yield of 13% obtaining 100W/m² and calculating only 4 effective working hours per day.

Attachment 2:

Further sustainable energy, economy, and biodiversity projects include the Operational Programme (OP) for community assistance of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with an investment of 1.67 billion euros, UNESCO-MAB (Biosphere Programme) and the Conference on Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe.

On December 3, 2007, the EC approved the operational programme (OP) for community assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the regional competitiveness and employment objective for the Autonomous Community of the Canary


Anticipated effects of this program are:

9% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

40% increase in the proportion of renewable energies

Biodiversity protection

Reduce the archipelago’s dependancy on oil.

Creation of arround 8,700 jobs

Mobilisation of private investment to the tune of around 814 million euros

Construction of various renewable-energy facilities (wind power, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal power)

Breakdow of finances

Environment, water resources and risk prevention: EU contribution 66,016,196 euros, national public contribution 22,005,399 euros.

Energy and Transport: EU conribution 103,570,542, national public contribution 41,801,914 euros.

Total public contribution: 1,674,994,214 euros

UNESCO-MAB, Conference of Maritime Region of Europe

In the town of Corralejo, Fuerteventura, a wind farm is connected to a water desalination plant, while the University of La Laguna is developing a biofuel production project. These projects have the support of the local government, the ITC, a pioneer in renewable energy and integrated water management, and the UNESCO-MAB (biosphere programme, 2012).

UNESCO-MAB states that efficient management of waste, energy, water and food are key to managing island communities. They test and implement initiatives in the biosphere reserves of the Canary Islands in an effort to build the green societies we need today.

The Conference on Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe says that island regions are finite, isolated areas with limited natural resources, and are especially sensitive to the implementation of public policies. The usefullness of an interservice approach to deal with the development of particularly sensitive territories was recognised by the Commision in 1986 and acknowledged in 2006 with the establishment of an interservices working group. In a wider context, international agreements on maritime safety, waste control and various kinds of pollution or measures to combat the greenhouse effect are top priorities to these regions. Such a policy is indipensable

in enabling them achieve better economic integration in their respective regional environments. In a worldwide context, it is a field of experimentation (Island Commission 2001).

Cell. +49 170 8148353 | [email protected]

photo: Mikol Olivares


Become A Sponsor!
If you have a product or service that is a good fit for our surf community, we have opportunities for you to sponsor this blog! Download our media kit now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.