Greenpeace activists removed from blocking coal shipment in the Arctic: as UN climate talks in Bangkok are deadlocked

Press release - 3 October, 2009
After spending the night in sub zero temperatures the Greenpeace activists blocking the loading of a coal transport ship, in Svalbard, have been removed by local authorities.

Greenpeace activists were removed for stopping the loading of the 70,000 tonne coal transport ship MV Pascha, preventing it from bringing its cargo to Europe. Coal is responsible for one third of the global CO2 pollution which causes climate change.

Meanwhile, in Bangkok the UN climate talks are deadlocked. At a time when the world needs action on climate change delegations are behaving as if they have all the time in the world and as if there is no imminent climate change threat.

"It is clear that something has to shift in these climate talks," said Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace climate policy advisor. "Obama, Merkel and other world leaders need to take personal responsibility for getting a fair, ambitious and binding deal for the Climate in Copenhagen. This weekend they need to pick up the phone and tell their delegations to stop stalling and start negotiating," she said.

'Not many people, in Norway or abroad, are aware that Norway exports such large amounts of coal from its Arctic mines to climate changing European coal fired power stations', said Lindsay Keenan, Greenpeace Nordic campaigner from Svalbard. 'The Bangkok talks will continue, but the real decisions will be taken in Oslo, Washington, Bonn and ultimately Copenhagen'.

"The rapid pace of climate change is already being registered in the arctic, where the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise has spent the last three months on a scientific expedition, involving world renowned climatologists and glaciologists. The arctic is the canary in the climate coal mine and it is clear the mine needs to be closed and the world needs to quit coal," warned Keenan.

In just 65 days, world governments will come together to negotiate a new climate treaty. The world needs them to take real action by personally committing to attending the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, and to delivering a fair, ambitious and binding deal to avert catastrophic climate change. (1)

Other contacts: Lindsay Keenan, Greenpeace Nordic Climate and Energy campaigner, on board the Arctic Sunrise: + 46 703012186

Joris Thijssen, Climate and Energy campaigner Greenpeace International, + 31 646 162031

Cindy Baxter, Greenpeace International Communications (climate) in Bangkok for climate talks local Bangkok number: +66 8 2334 3915 or +31 646 197 332

Szabina Mozes, Greenpeace International Communications, + 43 664 61 26725

VVPR info: John Novis, Greenpeace International Head of Photography (currently in Beijing) +86 139 1062 4914 / +44 (0) 7801 615 889

Michael Nagasaka, Greenpeace International Video Producer, +44 7533 625 409

Notes: (1) At Copenhagen Greenpeace demands a fair, binding and ambitious deal that

• Emissions cuts of at least 40% by 2020 from the developed world

• An end to tropical deforestation by 2015

• $140 billion a year to support adaption, mitigation and forest protection in the developing world