Top news: Eskom gets big coal delivery; Nuclear should work towards nuclear energy phase-out following Fukushima disaster; new GE edible crop to be sold following three months of animal testing; eco-tourists in the Philippines welcomed to nuclear power plants; Australian senate exposes palm oil products; solar panels in Britain?  For real!


© Shayne Robinson / Greenpeace


#Coal energy: South African Greenpeace activists blocked Eskom headquarter entrance today with five tons of coal. Greenpeace is asking Eskom to stop the construction of the Kusile coal-friend power station. As Greenpeace says, Eskom should quit its investments in coal energy systems to start supporting large-scale renewable energy projects.

#Nuclear energy: Greenpeace Germany urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to completely restructure following its recent meeting in Vienna. According to Greenpeace, the IAEA’s goal should no longer be the promotion of nuclear power, but a gradual farewell of the technology and a reduction of the actual danger. All 151 IAEA member states who attended the meeting agree on the necessity of stricter controls on nuclear facilities worldwide - but the only problem is that the international agency reportedly does not have equate funds to do this.

#GE food: Australia has approved genetically modified wheat for human consumption: After just three months of testing on animals.  Experts in the field recommend long-term (2 years) animal feeding studies  prior to any testing on humans, to provide evidence of potential carcinogenic and other dysfunctions. As Greenpeace Food Campaigner, Laura Kelly, said the lack of risk assessment around the trials raises serious doubts over the independence of Australia’s chief national science body. “Years of budget slashes have forced Australian research bodies into partnerships with companies pushing PR-style research that gets profits into their pockets quicker,” continues the campaigner.

#Green tourism: A new eco-tourism project launched in the Philippines aims to turn the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant into a tourist attraction. Tourists will be able to visit a remote turtle sanctuary with its famous white corals before venturing into the heart of a nearby nuclear power plant. While the government sees the venture as both a potential money-spinner and a way of making the case for the nuke plant’s resurrection, other groups including Greenpeace, see it as a chance to “remind people of the inherent dangers of nuclear power."

#Palm oil: Our 2010 KitKat campaign still continues to have an effect. There is good news about the fight against palm oil plantations and related deforestation in tropical areas such as Indonesia. The Australian senate has already passed an amendment to the Food Act requiring that products containing palm oil be explicitly labeled, rather than merely described as 'vegetable oil'. Thanks to these new regulations, Australian consumers will now be able to choose  palm oil free food, which will help protect forests.

#Solar energy: Britain’s biggest solar energy farm has been connected to the national grid. 3,000 solar panels will generate up to 682MWh a year, saving 350 tons of CO2. Despite what one can think, the United Kingdom is not such a bad place where to install solar panels. As Derry Newman, chief executive of the company who supplied the panels, says: “solar works on daylight, not necessarily [direct] sunlight and it gets light every day in Britain”.