Climate destroyer shut down by activists in Indonesian rainforest

Action ahead of Copenhagen Climate Summit

Feature story - 25 November, 2009
With just 12 days before the critical UN Copenhagen Climate Summit, we are taking direct action again today - blocking one of the world's largest pulp mills, in the heart of Indonesia's rainforests UPDATE: Our last 4 activists occupied one of the cranes for 27 hours in extreme conditions. All activists have now been detained by the police for questioning.

World leaders can stop deforestation at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

Thirteen activists locked down cranes at the giant paper plant's port calling for strong leadership from world leaders to avert climate chaos and to provide funds needed to end tropical deforestation as part of a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate deal at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December.

Deforestation is one of the roots of the climate crisis. We are shutting down this plant at the frontline of forest destruction to tell Heads of State that they can - and must - pull us back from the brink of catastrophic climate change. The paper mill is owned by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). The parent company, Sinar Mas, is a leading driver of global climate change due to its widespread role in forest destruction. This plant is fed by wood from one of the world's largest peatland forests, on the Kampar Peninsula in Sumatra, which stores up to 2 giga tonnes of carbon.

Don't believe the hype

Our action comes as President Barack Obama is attempting to relegate the Copenhagen climate deal to nothing but a political statement and to postpone critical decisions on a legally binding agreement. President Obama and other world leaders cannot be allowed to sabotage a strong outcome in Copenhagen because of their lack of political will. Significant funds are urgently needed to end tropical deforestation in Indonesia and around the world. This must be a central part of any climate agreement.

Paper giant APP sells its products on the global market in China, the United States, Europe and Australia and supplies many international brands and distributors with paper products. Customers include Vogue, Kentucky Fried Chicken and designer Marc Jacobs. APP, alongside their main competitor APRIL, are both responsible for destroying rainforests and their carbon-rich peat soil across Indonesia, including the threatened Kampar Peninsula of Sumatra - the location our Climate Defenders Camp. Containing 2 billion tonnes of carbon, the Peninsula is one of the planet's largest natural carbon stores and a key defence against global climate change.


Suspension for peat's sake!

We have been working with local communities over the past month to highlight the central role that deforestation plays in driving global climate change. Our Climate Defenders took action in the area against APRIL on November 12. Since then, both the camp and the local communities have been under sustained intimidation by the authorities including threats, arrests and deportations. But last week the Indonesian government suspended APRIL from destroying the area further- pending a review of the company's permits.

Indonesia is the world's third largest climate polluter after China and the US, mainly as a result of the ongoing destruction of its forests and their peat soils. Globally, a million hectares of forests are destroyed every month. That's an area the size of a football pitch every two seconds -- emitting so much CO2 that deforestation is one ofthe main causes of climate change, responsible for about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Seal the deal with trees

With the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit just around the corner, Heads of State of developed countries must show real leadership and secure a robust climate deal in December that includes a global funding mechanism that will transfer 30 billion euros (US$42 billion) annually from industrialised countries to poor forested countries like Indonesia, Congo and Brazil, with the aim of ending deforestation by 2020.

Such a deal must deliver substantial emissions reductions from deforestation as well as protect wildlife and respect the rights of forest-dwelling people.

It must also ensure that money does not end up in the hands of those responsible for forest destruction, like those in the logging industry. If world leaders can commit to halting deforestation at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen - they can accomplish one of the quickest but also one of the most cost effective tasks required to prevent runaway climate change.

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Join our climate defenders now as they take direct action. View live updates and find out how you can help.

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Our Climate Defenders Camp was set up thanks to donations from individuals. You can help ensure a more green and peaceful future lies ahead for all of us by giving whatever you can now.