Activists board coal shipment in Spain

Feature story - 6 October, 2008
At 2am this morning, four Greenpeace activists boarded the Windsor Adventure, a coal cargo ship importing coal from Colombia into Spain. Activist painted “Quit Coal” on the side of the ship as it entered Gijon, one of the biggest coal harbours in Spain.

Greenpeace activists paint the slogan 'Quit Coal' in English and Spanish onto the side of the Windsor Adventure, a coal cargo ship from Colombia to Spain.

The Spanish government relies heavily on coal, the most polluting of all fossil fuels, for the country's energy supply.  The activists took action to call on to the government to quit coal and switch to subsidising clean, renewable energy sources.


Free Pass for Coal

The Spanish government imports 24 million tonnes of coal and pays €2,500 million in state aid to the coal industry every year, more than the renewable energy industry receives. A third of the world's CO2 emissions come from coal, yet the Spanish government, like all EU countries, has granted the coal industry CO2 emissions rights for free.

The action comes one day before the European Parliament votes on the EU's response to climate change. Greenpeace is calling on the EU to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by 2020, and to vote for measures to block construction of over 50 new coal-fired plants in Europe. The Spanish government talks about tackling climate change while feeding subsidies right into the industry that are causing it. The potential of renewable energy in Spain is enormous and with the right investment, they can supply all the electricity and even all the energy needed with renewables.

Quit Coal Tour

This autumn, the Greenpeace ships Rainbow Warrior and Arctic Sunrise, are bringing the "Quit Coal" message to the Mediterranean and Europe. The tour, from Israel to Poland, is taking place in the run-up to UN climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland this December. Quitting coal will be essential to a meaningful deal to save the climate. European governments must show leadership by phasing-out coal in their own countries.   Learn more about the Quit Coal tour.

Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution shows how renewable energy, combined with greater energy efficiency, can cut global CO2 emissions by 5o percent, and deliver half the world's energy needs by 2050. Download the blueprint for an Energy [R]evolution:

Summary (7 pages) | Full report (96 pages) 

View a slideshow from the action (Spanish)


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