Why Greenpeace failed at Spa

Why Greenpeace failed at Spa

Greenpeace tried to draw attention to Belgian Grand Prix title sponsor Shell's Arctic activities at Spa, but DIETER RENCKEN argues that its protest was an utter failure

The wonder of Greenpeace's protests at the Belgian Grand Prix against title sponsor Shell and the oil company's exploration activities was not the planning or nature of the high-profile stunts, but simply the fact that it has taken six decades for such a body to attack what is hardly an eco-friendly pastime. Even then it was not the event itself that was targeted, but its commercial partner.

Whether or not Greenpeace actually achieved its aim of embarrassing Shell by bringing the plight of Arctic life to the notice of the sport's hundreds of millions of followers is utterly debatable, for the most viewers saw was a slight hiccup during the podium ceremony, when two banners popped up momentarily before being hurriedly taken down by Formula One Management personnel.

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