Greenpeace orders technologically advanced Rainbow Warrior III

Press release - 2 July, 2009
Greenpeace International Executive Director Gerd Leipold today signed a contract with the Fassmer Shipyard for construction of the Rainbow Warrior III. The sailing ship, which is to be completed in time for Greenpeace's 40th anniversary in 2011, will include the very latest in green technology, making it ideal for use in Greenpeace's campaign to avert catastrophic climate change.

This is the first time in the environmental organisation's history that it has chosen to commission a purpose-built high seas ship instead of refurbishing an older one. The organisation maintains that even in these difficult financial times, environmental protection must remain the international community's single greatest priority. "Greenpeace is demanding that politicians and individuals alike make policy and investment decisions based upon environmental imperatives. Just as this is the right thing for them to do, so too is it the right thing for Greenpeace. Now is not the time to short change future generations," Leipold explained.

The Rainbow Warrior III will be built primarily to sail (thus using wind energy instead of fossil fuels), with the option in unsuitable weather conditions to switch over to engine-powered, diesel-electric propulsion. The A-frame design of the mast and the positioning of the sails have been optimised for efficiency and the shape of the hull has been designed for maximum fuel conservation. Heat created by the generators will be re-used to heat water on board and for engine pre-heating.

"The Rainbow Warrior II has been a great ship, with a proud record of effecting environmental change, but even great warriors need to be retired," Leipold said at the contract signing ceremony. "The Rainbow Warrior is synonymous with Greenpeace, with taking a stand to defend the planet, and is an icon of hope world wide. Not only does it provide Greenpeace with a platform to challenge environmental abuse across the world, it provides people with inspiration to take action of their own. More than ever the world needs the hope and inspiration provided by the Rainbow Warrior."

Other contacts: Dietlind Lerner, Communications Manager, Greenpeace International:
Tel: +31 646162026

Photographs and graphics:
John Novis, Greenpeace International Photo Editor:
Tel: +44 7801615889

Notes: Greenpeace was formed in 1971 when a group of volunteers on-board an old fishing vessel called the Phyllis Cormack set out for Amchitka off the coast of Canada in order to protest nuclear testing on the island. Since then, Greenpeace has used its fleet of ships to bear witness to environmental crimes like overfishing and whaling, to block shipments of hazardous materials like nuclear waste and shipments of illegal drivers of climate change (including timber, oil, palm oil and coal). The first Rainbow Warrior was sunk in the port of Auckland by the French Government on 10 July, 1985, as she was preparing to protest French nuclear testing in Mururoa.