September 28, 2018

Brazil auctions off new pieces of its largest deepwater oil fields, jeopardizing climate, environment and livelihoods of coastal communities

In Rio de Janeiro, activists supported by and COESUS, protested against the 5th round of auctions by the Brazilian National Oil and Gas Agency.


RIO DE JANEIRO – Today the Brazilian government auctioned off four oil exploration blocks in the largest and most important fossil fuel basins in Brazil, the Santos Basin and the Campos Basin. The move puts at risk 300,000 families who depend on fishing to survive and goes in the opposite direction of Brazil’s already insufficient climate plans. Brazil and COESUS (No Fracking Brazil Coalition for Climate, Water and Life) joined forces to make the people’s voice heard in the auction. Activists from various parts of Brazil, including indigenous leaders, fisher(wo)men, farmers and representatives of social and religious movements, took part to the protest.

Petrobras, Exxon, Shell, Chevron are among the companies that won exploration rights at today’s auction.

In 2017, the Campos Basin and Santos Basin accounted for, respectively, 55% and 35% of Brazil’s oil production, and according to industry experts they might contain up to 60 billion barrels of oil. If tapped completely, this amount of oil would put up to 26 GtCO2e in the atmosphere, or nearly two thirds of annual global CO2 emissions. The two auctions which took place in 2018 sold off oil reserves exceeding 30 billion barrels, according to ANP.

“We are here to show that the Brazilian people want fossil fuels to stay underground and a future of free and renewable energy sources. We have had enough of poisoning our air or water, aggravating the global climate crisis and depending on dirty energy sources that are fraught with corruption” said Rubens Born, Interim Latin America Team Leader with

Yesterday, Thursday 27, activists held a protest at Praça da Candelária, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, calling attention to those most impacted by the outcome of these auctions and the importance of awareness in creating a world free from fossil fuels.

Activists placed the phrase “Life, survival, future = 1.5°C” on a large inflatable balloon to remind everyone of the temperature increase threshold set by the international scientific community through the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Another protest took place at the 14th round of bids for oil and gas exploration last year, when activists also received the support of international figures, such as Mark Ruffalo, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.