Activists block Fonterra coal use with delivery of cleaner fuel

Feature story - May 18, 2010
Greenpeace activists block the fuel depot of Fonterra's Clandeboye factory in Canterbury, drawing attention to how the company is damaging the climate by choosing to burn coal when cleaner alternatives exist. Another Fonterra Climate Crime.

Greenpeace activists block coal being supplied to the boilers of Fonterra's Clandeboye factory, in Canterbury, with three tonnes of wood pellets and by locking themselves to equipment May 18 2010. .

Police arrested four Greenpeace activists at Fonterra's Clandeboye dairy factory near Timaru on May 18, after they blocked coal deliveries to the plant for nearly 10 hours. The activists were highlighting Fonterra's contribution to climate change, in particular its decision to use coal rather than clean alternatives to run plants like Clandeboye.

"Fonterra's choice of coal over cleaner alternatives to power large factories like Clandeboye is driving coal mining and carbon emissions in New Zealand," said one of the activists, Renee Davenport of Hamilton.Fonterra's decision to run its factories on coal rather than clean alternatives epitomizes not only the global climate crisis, but also the very serious economic challenge facing New Zealand. Both the Government and Fonterra continue to put short-term profit ahead of the long-term wellbeing of the economy and the environment.

We say that ignoring the climate crisis and mining coal (from areas including conservation land and National Parks), to burn in Fonterra factories producing low value milk powder for the commodities market, is nothing short of criminal.Last year Fonterra hinted that it might look at cleaner alternatives to coal. Nearly six months later vast quantities of coal are still pouring into Fonterra's boilers.

The climate cannot wait and we want a clear answer from Fonterra. Meanwhile the Government needs to forget its 19th century thinking and show the country it's capable to leading it towards a modern, smart, clean economy.Wood pellets and other biomass products of the timber industry are viable alternatives to coal which burn cleaner, release less carbon dioxide and are renewable.

We are also highlighting that the Government's schedule 4 mining plans include mining 3,000 ha of the Paparoa National Park for coal, which is earmarked for plants like Clandeboye. Over 40,000 people marched against the plans earlier this month.

The action is part of our ongoing campaign to highlight and stop Fonterra's climate crimes. Over the last 10 months we have exposed links between Fonterra's supplementary palm kernel animal feed from Indonesia and the devastation of rainforests and highlighted its use of coal to power its factories , which is driving coal mining and carbon emissions in New Zealand.

Take action

As part of its mining plans, the Government wants to mine 3,000ha of a National Park for coal, which Fonterra will use to run its processing plants. Click here to make a submission.


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