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Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • Four ways our forests must be part of the climate conversation

    Blogpost by Jannes Stoppel - December 1, 2016 at 14:53

    On a warming planet, forests hold the key to stopping climate change.

    Forest landscapes and agricultural areas can absorb emissions like a sponge. They take carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis, and store it in wood and in the soils. Discussions about action against climate change has focused on rebuilding our energy infrastructure towards a 100% renewable energy future. But this is only one way to limit temperature rise to the 1.5° agreed by the climate change body of the the UN, the UNFCCC. The remainder of the solution lies in our forest and plant life.

    Carpathian Forest in Romania, 20 Aug, 2016. © Mitja Kobal / GreenpeaceCarpathian Forest in Romania, 20 Aug, 2016

    We are moving ahead with building a 100% renewable future, but it will take time. If we end deforestation, forest degradation and the associated release of CO2 into the atmosphe... Read more >

  • Samsung, can you hear us?

    Blogpost by Robin Perkins - December 1, 2016 at 14:47

    Over the past week we've watched as thousands of people around the world joined our urgent call for Samsung to come up with a concrete plan to reuse or recycle 4.3 million Galaxy Note7s.

    From Hong Kong to Washington DC, you called Samsung’s customer support number to ask exactly whether or not the devices will be disposed of environmentally; you tweeted #GalaxyNote7, which turned into a trending topic in Mexico and took the message directly to their HQ; and most of all you put pressure on Samsung to do the right thing!

    A disassembled Samsung Galaxy Note 7A disassembled Samsung Galaxy Note 7

    Thank you for calling Samsung

    People around the world picked up their phones and called Samsung directly to ask: “What’s the plan?” Hundreds of people from Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, A...
    Read more >
  • When Mahy met Māui: Fighting for our endangered dolphin

    Blogpost by Juliane Thern - November 25, 2016 at 15:20

    Do you remember what it was like to be a child? Or have you recently watched your children, your friend’s children, or your nieces and nephews? Everything they see is new and exciting, everything seems possible, and everything can be turned into an adventure. It’s a shame that we seem to require reminders to switch our children’s view of the world back on.

    I’ve been working for Greenpeace since 2008, and even though my work tends to be fairly desk bound, I get pretty frequent reminders about how exciting this world is and how we should push the seemingly impossible to be possible. So it seemed only fitting that my latest reminder came in the shape of small Greenpeace boat named after Margaret Mahy, a famous New Zealand author of countless dearly loved children’s books.

    Greenpeace New Zeal... Read more >

  • Stand for Indigenous rights – and for the planet

    Blogpost by Dawn Bickett - November 23, 2016 at 13:16

    People gather in San Francisco for a closing ceremony in support of the Standing Rock Nation. The protest was one of many in a global day of action calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cancel the permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline. 15 Nov, 2016  © Michael Short / Greenpeace

    For centuries, Indigenous Peoples have been fighting to protect their lands and secure their rights in the face of colonisation, environmental destruction and violence. Today – with looming global environmental crises like climate change – Indigenous communities continue to lead the world in protecting the Earth. While Indigenous Peoples represent about 6% of the world’s population, their traditional lands hold about 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity.

    Yet Indigenous communities are often those first and most impacted by environmental destruction. Again and again, governments and companies put profit above Indigenous Peoples’ rights. When Indigenous Peoples stand up for their rights and their traditional lands, those in power often go to great lengths to suppress them – from leg...

    Read more >
  • Citizen science in action: open-source air pollution monitoring in Bulgaria

    Blogpost by Teodora Stoyanova - November 21, 2016 at 16:22

    Every day, we breathe in between 15,000 and 20,000 litres of air – enough to fill three hot air balloons in a year. This precious substance is made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% carbon dioxide. But what else is in the air we breathe, how did it get there, and what does it mean for our health?

    Air pollution is an invisible problem. But the consequences for our everyday health are serious. Polluted air can cause shortness of breath, coughing, burning eyes, and can agitate asthma. Long-term deterioration of air quality can lead to more serious consequences for our health such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, as well as diseases related to the nervous and reproductive systems. According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is responsible for the prematur...

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  • “It's about the people, not about the products” - the faces of PFC pollution

    Blogpost by Elske Krikhaar and Jeffrey Dugas - November 21, 2016 at 16:16

    Elske Krikhaar, Greenpeace International

    The first thing that went through my mind as I entered Jan and Ineke van Genderen’s living room was how close the DuPont/Chemours facility was. I could almost see it from the window. It is one street over.

    Jan and Ineke are a friendly retired couple from Dordrecht, a town of about 118 000 people in the western Netherlands. They have lovely grandchildren and are active in their community. Jan worked at the DuPont’s Teflon division. He met Ineke at the entrance of the plant 35 years ago.

    Today they have become the faces of PFC pollution in the area, a group of chemicals produced by DuPont and other chemical companies and used in many consumer goods, including packaging, cookware and outdoor waterproof gear.

    In April 2015, the Dutch newspaper Al... Read more >

  • We will win – despite Trump

    Blogpost by Jennifer Morgan - November 21, 2016 at 13:03

    I am hopeful and determined today. The first ever truly global agreement to fight climate change, the Paris Agreement, is having its first ever formal meeting. I have been working towards this moment for decades. This is no normal diplomatic affair. Few expected this first meeting to happen in this year. But here we are. The world has ratified the Paris Agreement at record speed. The cynics who claimed that the world would fail to unite against the threat of climate change were proven wrong. The world is coming together to address the biggest threat we face.

    This gives me hope. Indeed, it is remarkable to what degree these global climate negotiations are now about good news. Over the past many years these negotiations were about raising the alarm. I remember clearly the fire alarm that G...

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  • With or without nukes - war is no game

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - November 16, 2016 at 14:29

    There are at least two undeniable existential threats to human civilisation - climate change and nuclear weapons.

    In the context of the first US military ship visit to NZ waters in 33 years happening right now, I want to reflect on the time in history at which we stand and put a challenge to the New Zealand Government about the role that we, as a proud nuclear-free nation, should be taking in the world.

    The USS Texas is met by the Peace Squadron as it arrives in Waitemata harbour, Auckland on August 2, 1983. The growing anti-nuclear movement in New Zealand was hostile to visits from US ships because the Americans refused to confirm or deny whether their ships carried nuclear weapons. Public opinion was increasingly in favour of banning these visits. Between 1978 and 1983 opposition to nuclear-armed ship visits rose from 32% to 72%. In 1985 the Government effectively banned nuclear ship visits. New Zealand was the first country to declare itself nuclear free when it passed legislation in 1987. Greenpeace / Gil Hanly

    Despite progress made in the past with nuclear disarmament, things are now clearly going backwards. Both the US and Russia are investing in their nuclear arsenals and a number of other countries are doing the same. The election of Trump to the US Presidency gives us all a sense of instability and uncertainty.

    The doomsday clock - which measures humanity’s closeness to self-annihilation -... Read more >

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