Five coal plants occupied by climate activists during G8 Summit

Feature story - 9 July, 2009
As the G8 limps into its second day our activists have scaled a fifth Italian coal-fired power station, again demanding climate leadership and action from the G8 heads of state.

It's not over till President Obama signs!

Yesterday they let us all down, by failing to agree clear targets or provide any real money for climate action. But we have the audacity of hope and will keep calling them out until they do the right thing by the planet and its people.

Our climbers painted "G8: STOP THIS" on the 1980MW power station at Civitavecchia, just outside Rome. This is the first new power station to be built in Italy in 20 years.

It is claimed to be a "clean-coal" power station: clean coal is a dirty lie. It emits just as much C02 as any other power station of the same size.

Leaders act, politicians talk

The G8 needs to take a lead in tackling climate change and needs to call a halt to building of any new coal-fired power stations like this one. G8 leaders need to invest in a green economy - backing an energy revolution based on clean renewable fuels and energy efficiency - without which runaway climate change will become inevitable.

Listen to an interview with Emily, one of our climbers - recorded this morning as she was on top of the Civitavecchia smokestack, near Rome.

Meanwhile climbers are still in place on the four power stations they occupied yesterday:

  • In Brindisi, Italy's largest coal-fired power station, activists are painting "STUPID" on the chimney, as a comment on using coal as an energy source. Campaigner Julien Vincent is on top of the chimney and has been blogging and sending updates including photos via twitter.
  • In Vado Ligure (near Genoa), a paraglider with a message reading "G8 Lead on Climate" has flown between the two chimneys. One chimney has a banner with the same message, and the other has been painted with the message: "G8: ACT ON CLIMATE".
  • In Marghera, near Venice, the occupation continues, with activists on the coal conveyor and the chimney painting 'G8: LEAD OR LOSE. More activists are also occupying the cranes on the wharf, stopping a coal ship - the Bulk Brasil - from unloading its cargo from South Africa.
  • In Porto Tollo, activists arrested last night have been released. And 8 climbers remain on the chimney and have just painted "CO2 KILLS" on it.

Check out the live feed of updates from the continuing action

Time is running out

By failing to commit yesterday to the needed crucial mid-term targets and the US$106 billion which needs to be provided annually to help developing countries tackle climate change and fund forest protection, the G8 have failed to agree on the most important building blocks to gain an historical agreement at the Copenhagen UN Climate Summit - now just 150 days away.

In the US yesterday 11 of our climbers hung a banner on Mt. Rushmore.

Newsweek reported: "Greenpeace, both famous and notorious (depends who's asking) for it's bold environmental protests, figured Obama deserved to be there. Yet not quite for the reason you might think. Right next to Lincoln's sculpting, Greenpeace climbers unveiled a face-sized (65 by 35 foot) banner of Obama's face with the words "America Honors Leaders, Not Politicians: Stop Global Warming." The message was crafted to call out Obama to move quicker and stronger on global climate policy as he chairs the G-8 policy conference this week in Italy."

Can you hear us NOW?

Having beamed our demands on the Kremlin in Moscow, floated an iceberg down the River Seine in Paris, confronted President Lula of Brazil at an award ceremony in Paris, and occupied five coal plants in Italy, in addition to placing a massive banner on Mt. Rushmore in the US -- we're hoping G8 leaders will get the message!


If not, UK activist, Ben Stewart, said from the top of the Marghera plant chimney: "We can't change climate science but we can change the politics and, if necessary, we must change the politicians. People across the world have to take action to let our leaders know we expect them to save the planet from climate catastrophe."

Take Action

"There's nothing that can't be done, if we raise our voice as one" -- Michael Jackson. Add your voice to the call for world leaders to attend the UN Climate Summit this year.

Support Us

We could not afford to do any of this without you! In order to keep our activists up chimneys and continue our work across the world to save the climate - please give what you can.