Greenpeace closes world's largest coal port

Press release - July 27, 2005
Greenpeace's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, closed down the world's largest coal export port in Newcastle today and called on Australia to quit coal and tackle climate change by moving to a clean energy economy.

Greenpeace activists disrupt coal loading at the world's largest coal port with the message to the world about Australia's contribution to global climate change and to demand that Australia 'quit coal' and move to sustainable renewable energy.

The Rainbow Warrior dropped anchor in the channel leading to theKooragang and Carrington terminals in Newcastle harbour. In addition,teams of activists occupied a 2.5 million tonne coal stockpile and oneof four huge coal loaders.

GreenpeaceAustralia climate and energy campaigner Ben Pearson said: "We are heretoday to expose Australia's dangerous addiction to coal export dollarsand its significant contribution towards global climate change.Newcastle sends 80 million tonnes of coal to the world each year, andevery tonne causes worse droughts, bushfires, storms and floods. Everyhour that we are here, we stop coal that could emit thousands of tonnesof greenhouse gases from leaving."

Australia is a major exporterof pollution and a climate destroyer. It exports coal to thirty-fivecountries. In 2002-03, 80 % (165 million tonnes) went to Asia. The maincustomers are Japan and South Korea. Taiwan, India, China, Malaysia,Thailand and the Philippines buy Australian coal.

"By continuingto export coal to Asia, Australia is locking developing countries intoa fossil fuel future that perpetuates climate change, ignoressustainability and denies their independence from imported andexpensive fuel. This behaviour is despicable and must be stopped," saidAthena Ronquillo from Greenpeace International.

Australia hasthe potential to be a world leader in renewable energy exports, sharingits vast solar and wind resources to its neighbouring countries in theregion. It could play a more constructive role in addressing povertyand environmental issues in these already vulnerable economies bysupporting their shift to safe, clean energy sources.

"Coalburns our common future but renewable energy unites us.  Byembracing renewable energy, Australia will embrace a future common toAsia as well - a clean, sustainable future," Ronquillo concluded.

Greenpeace'sflagship sailed into Sydney Harbour on July 22nd. She will visitThailand and Philippines as part of the 'Clean Energy Revolution tour'to raise the urgency of dangerous climate change and promote the hugepotential of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Asia Pacificregion.

Other contacts: Ben Pearson, Greenpeace Australia climate and energy campaigner, + 61 407 008 917Mark Wakeham, Greenpeace Australia climate and energy campaigner on board of the Rainbow Warrior, + 61 409 542 753Athena Ronquillo, Greenpeace International climate campaigner, + 639178131562Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International media officer, + 31 6 212 96 908

Notes: Greenpeace Australia press briefing: "A way forward for coal communities" available at:http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/coalfactsheet

Exp. contact date: 2005-08-01 00:00:00

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