Greenpeace activists in Australia occupy the Swanbank B coal fired power station

Feature story - July 14, 2008
Greenpeace activists in Australia have occupied one of Queensland's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power stations for two days and 33 hours. The activists left behind a message for government leaders, painted on the side of a smoke stack – "Go Solar".

Greenpeace activists scale a smokestack of Swanbank B coal plant, near Ipswich, Queensland.

11 July 2008, early morning: Activists unfurl a banner reading "Energy [R]evolution" on the roof of the 37-year-old Swanbank B coal-fired plant.

11 July 2008, around 11am: An activist arrives at the top.

11 July 2008, 11.30am: An activist looks out to Swanbank's other polluting smokestack.

12 July 2008: Greenpeace activists finish painting a clear message to Australia’s leaders - Go Solar! We occupied this plant, Swanbank B in Queensland because it is old, dirty and inefficient and could easily be replaced by renewable energy.

Swanbank B is responsible for more than 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year - equivalent to the annual pollution of 300,000 cars. But if every home in Queensland switched to solar hot water, the station could be switched off.

Designed to highlight the need to replace coal-fired plants with renewable energy, the occupation began with four Greenpeace activists scaling the 140-metre-high smokestack. The two other activists unfurled a banner reading "Energy [R]evolution" on the roof of the 37-year-old Swanbank B coal-fired plant.

Among the activists was campaigner Julian Vincent. "Queensland has the best solar resources in the world and it is a tragedy that the Sunshine State isn't leading the way in renewable energy," he said.

"Australians should be asking Kevin Rudd and Anna Bligh why they are continuing to back coal power instead of phasing out old, dirty, cold-fired power stations like this one, and replacing them with large-scale renewables such as solar."

You can read the blog entries from the activists here.

Watch video (above): Greenpeace activists are occupying Swanbank B, one of Queensland's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power stations. Read updates from Day 1 and Day 2 on the smokestack.

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