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

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  • The palm oil industry promises reform, but there’s still no sign of change

    Blogpost by Bagus Kusuma - December 7, 2017 at 16:16

    It was ten years ago that Greenpeace first published an investigation into Indonesia’s palm oil industry. We showed that the world’s biggest brands got their palm oil from companies destroying Indonesia’s rainforests - threatening local people as well as tigers and orangutans.

    Children play without wearing any protection at the playground while the air is engulfed with thick haze from the forest fires at Sei Ahass village, Kapuas district in Central Kalimantan province on Borneo island, Indonesia.Children play without wearing any protection at the playground while the air is engulfed with thick haze from the forest fires  in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    As people learned the truth about their shampoo, cosmetics and chocolate bars, brands and their suppliers started to feel the pressure. In 2013, Wilmar became the first palm oil trader to adopt a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy. Others followed suit, and by the end of 2014, most household brands and big palm oil companies had sw...

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  • Great news for the Arctic AND the Antarctic!

    Blogpost by Louisa Casson - December 7, 2017 at 16:13

    Today is a great day for oceans at both ends of the earth.

    Last night, governments from around the world agreed to protect a huge part of the Arctic Ocean against all commercial fishing. Thanks to the millions of you who supported our Save the Arctic campaign, an area roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea will be safe from industrial fishing for at least the next 16 years.

    Polar Bear on Sea Ice in Baffin BayPolar Bear on Sea Ice in Baffin Bay

    This means we have an even stronger platform to push countries to commit to more long-term protection for this vulnerable ocean and remove the threats of destructive fishing and fossil fuels for good.

    Humpback whale in Southern OceanHumpback whale in Antarctica Read more >

    On the other side of the planet, a massive ocean sanctuary in the Antarctic’s Ross Sea comes into force today. An area of ocean twice the size of ...

  • Samsung: fuelling climate change

    Blogpost by Insung Lee - December 7, 2017 at 16:01

     

    As extreme weather increases, the world is being forced to wake up to the realities of climate change.

    The good news is that every day more and more people are coming together, taking action to ensure a greener future for us all.

    Unfortunately, there are still a handful of outspoken people and backward-looking companies who either outright deny climate change is real or are just sticking their heads in the sand, or should we say coal?

    One of those is Samsung Electronics. Yes, that’s right. One of the biggest companies in the world is still using dirty, polluting energy sources like coal to make the millions and millions of gadgets many of us use every day. 19th century coal to make 21st century gadgets.

    In fact, Samsung even admits the company uses only 1% renewable energ... Read more >

  • Can we create healthy oceans and tackle climate change at the same time?

    Blogpost by Louisa Casson - November 22, 2017 at 9:35

    “We woke up to the fact that there’s ocean change just like climate change. We need ocean action like there’s climate action.”

     

    These words rang out at international climate talks last week, spoken by Peter Thompson, the UN’s special envoy for the ocean. This is just one sign that protecting the ocean is fast becoming recognised as indivisible from tackling climate change.

    Healthy oceans play a crucial role in helping us to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The oceans and the creatures that live under the waves soak up carbon from the air, and store the excess heat in our atmosphere caused by burning fossil fuels.

    The Antarctic Ocean, the focus of a new Greenpeace campaign, plays a key role in regulating our global climate, while new science is showing that Antarctic sea...

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  • Plastic is Everyone’s Problem, So Why Are We Focusing on Coke?

    Blogpost by John Hocevar - November 18, 2017 at 15:51

    Coke is one of the most recognizable brands in the world and says it is committed to environmental sustainability. As the world’s largest soft drink company, Coca-Cola has a special responsibility to drastically reduce its plastic footprint and stop its bottles from choking our oceans.

    coke spoof screen grab

    Maybe you’ve seen our video remake of Coke’s classic holiday commercial and you’re wondering why we decided to single out the company. It’s a good question. Plastic pollution is a massive problem worldwide. The equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic enters our seas every minute, every day, all year long. Plastics are filling up our landfills, choking our rivers, contaminating our oceans, harming marine life, breaking down into microplastics, and entering the food chain—even ending up in the seafood on ... Read more >

  • Fire and Rain

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - November 16, 2017 at 14:03

    The year 2017 may become a historic milestone where the visceral effects of global heating - extreme storms and wildfires - finally reach public consciousness.

     Homeowners Access Hurricane Irma Damage - 12 Sep, 2017Homeowners Access Hurricane Irma Damage - 12 Sep, 2017

    Humans have known about the effects of carbon in the atmosphere for two centuries, since the work of Joseph Fourier at the French Academy of Science. A century ago, Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, calculated that doubling atmospheric CO2 would increase Earth's average temperature by 5-6°C, which now appears accurate. In 1981, Dr. James Hansen wrote the first NASA global temperature analysis, and in 1991, the UN convened the first climate conference in Berlin. As of today, none of this has significantly altered the actions of human society enough to actually reduce carbon em...

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  • Big oil is destructive in more ways than one

    Blogpost by Bunny McDiarmid - November 13, 2017 at 10:06

    This September I took my first trip to Russia to join the celebration of Greenpeace Russia’s 25 Year Anniversary.

    In big cities like Moscow, oil powered transport is a major source of pollution and greenhouse gases emissions. This is why four major cities - Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens - have moved to ban diesel vehicles by 2025.

    Bunny in Moscow for the 25th Anniversary of Greenpeace Russia - 23 Sep, 2017In Moscow for the 25th Anniversary of Greenpeace Russia - 23 Sep, 2017 Read more >

    Energy based on oil can never be clean, whatever carmakers say. In Russia, I saw one of the darkest sides of the oil industry, hidden far away from the capital, deep in the forests of the north...

    We travelled 1500km north, to the Komi region, one of the oldest oil producing regions in Russia. At first sight, I was amazed by the beauty of the country. We travelled on the great P...

  • Antarctic krill – not just whale food

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie - November 10, 2017 at 9:08

    Krill is whale food. In fact, it’s a commonly held misbelief that ‘krill’ in Norwegian literally means ‘whale food’. It doesn’t, but it’s still true. Massive swarms of krill, a tiny micro-shrimp in the Antarctic Ocean, provide the principal food for blue whales – the largest animal that ever lived.

    But krill is so much more than just whale food.

    Antarctic Krill

    Antarctic Krill
    Copyright: Uwe Kils/NOAA

    There are lots of species of krill, and they exist in seas all over the world, but it’s in the Southern Ocean that they are most essential and where the marine life depends so directly on them. Krill are tiny crustaceans that look like a scaled-down shrimp and live in massive swarms of individual animals. They have some amazing talents, like the ability to produce glowing light (known as bioluminescence) ... Read more >

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