Activists alongside the Rainbow Warrior block the coal ship 'Hellenic Sea' from leaving Port.
For several hours today, the Rainbow Warrior blocked a shipment
of export coal from leaving the Port of Lyttelton, New Zealand.
Just as the coal ship - Hellenic Sea - was due to depart, the
captain of the Rainbow Warrior moved our ship into position and set
two anchors - effectively blocking the larger ship in.
Police arrived quickly and boarded the Rainbow Warrior, but
three activists managed to slip over the side into a waiting boat
and speed over to the Helenic Sea. Once there they climbed onto the
hull, attached themselves to the ship and deployed a banner
reading: Target Climate Change.
When fully loaded the Hellenic Sea would carry up to 60 thousand
tonnes of export coal mined on the West Coast by state owned
enterprise Solid Energy.
At the same time as the New Zealand Government is so eagerly
trying to show the world that it is serious about addressing
climate change, it is allowing Solid Energy to proceed with an
aggressive expansion of both coal mining and exportation.
While it trades on New Zealand's clean green credentials the
country's Government is making millions of dollars from Solid
Energy peddling coal on the world market - quite literally stoking
the fires of climate change.
The New Zealand Government has put some commendable climate
policies in place, such as a renewable electricity target, but the
good of this is undone if we're still making millions of dollars
exporting the problem to others.
What's the harm?
Also today, Greenpeace India published a report
showing 125 million people in India and Bangladesh alone could be
displaced if global temperatures rise between 4-5°C.
The report was commissioned by Greenpeace and co-authored by Dr.
Sudhir Chella Rajan, professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at
IIT Madras. Effects of climate change in the region are expected to
include rising sea levels, droughts associated with shrinking water
supplies and changes to the monsoon season.
"This is a reality in my lifetime. I don't want to see the day I
lose my home to the sea, and saline deserts where people have live
without clean water," said Mohon Kumar Mondol, executive director
of the Bangladesh organization LEDARS. "It can be prevented and
we are the last generation that can stop it, governments across the
world have no choice but to stop this nightmare from becoming
In a week, world governments will meet in Bangkok, Thailand, for
another round of climate change talks.
More updates from the scene.
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