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

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  • This is not a drill. Greenpeace calls for a summer of action

    Blogpost by Kate Simcock - October 19, 2016 at 7:54

    This is huge. After years of local community opposition and relentless pressure by us, Statoil has pulled the plug on its Reinga basin drilling plans in Northland.

    This is a momentous victory that thousands of people like you helped make possible. And it’s a huge cause for celebration for the Northland communities, who for years have tirelessly campaigned to protect their tribal waters.

    When Statoil first announced plans to drill in what is one of the most pristine parts of this country and a particularly sacred place to Maori - Te Rerenga Wairua - where the spirits of the dead depart from -  we knew we couldn’t stand for it.  

    And we didn’t. Because it’s a vital fight. Aside from the immediate risk of deep sea oil drilling, the world faces a climate crisis. Drilling for oil we cannot affo... Read more >

  • It's time to push Statoil out for good

    Blogpost by Mike Smith - October 18, 2016 at 9:19

    On Friday last week, New Zealand woke to the news that Norwegian oil giant, Statoil, was pulling the plug on its operations in Northland’s Reinga Basin.

    Although the company’s representatives were quick to claim the move came as a result of the low a probability of finding oil there, the sudden exit follows years of protest by the Northland community.

    The movement in Northland spread like wildfire to the rest of the country, and for the past five years, hikoi and protest against New Zealand’s destructive oil agenda have culminated with a bang at the Government-supported annual petroleum conference in Auckland.

    Each year, thousands upon thousands of have peacefully and defiantly descended en mass to the yearly petroleum conference, chanting and carrying placards with messages like: “Statoil, Go... Read more >

  • Why the Paris Agreement on climate change means the end of coal

    Blogpost by Nikola Casule - October 17, 2016 at 14:03

    The world has finally taken a big step forward in the fight against dangerous global warming.

    The Paris Agreement on climate change – the first universal, legally binding, agreement to cut carbon emissions – was voted into law by enough nations to come into force.

    The nations that have taken action are some of the biggest polluters, including the USA, China, India and the European Union. And it happened in record time: just 11 months after the deal was signed last December in Paris (the Kyoto climate change agreement, by comparison, took just over seven years). Momentum for action is building, and the Paris Agreement is a major step on the road to a future free from carbon pollution.

    Greenpeace activists create a solar symbol around the Arc de Triomphe, by painting the roads yellow with a non-polluting water-based paint to reveal the image of a huge shining sun. This action reminds politicians and governments that whatever they agree in Paris, the only credible way to beat climate change is to support and increase renewables energy systems.Greenpeace activists create a solar symbol around the Arc de Triomphe, by painting the roads yellow with ... Read more >

  • The Hawke’s Bay elections and the Ruataniwha Dam

    Blogpost by Kathy Cumming - October 10, 2016 at 13:08

    It can be argued that voters in the Hawke's Bay Regional Council elections voted emphatically against the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.”

    So read the editorial in Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay Today. A 5-4 pro-dam majority on the old council now looks like a 5-4 or even 6-3 advantage against the dam (if the councillor who’s currently on the fence dismounts on the side of the anti-dammers).

    Don’t you just love democracy? 

    Anyone who cares about water quality in New Zealand should take a moment to celebrate this victory.  

    The Ruataniwha Dam would be a golden ticket to more industrial dairy farming in Hawke’s Bay. The dam company’s own report suggests it would drive an additional 9,000 ha of dairying. That’s a lot more cows, a lot more urine and faecal matter and a lot more runoff.

    The district’s wa...

    Read more >
  • Kiwi cycles the Philippines coasts to raise awareness about ocean plastic

    Blogpost by Abigail Aguilar - October 3, 2016 at 16:53

    Anna Dawson is no stranger to Philippine coastlines, having lived and worked in the country since 2008. However, her next challenge will be one of the biggest yet. From September to December 2016, the New Zealander is cycling 2,000km along the coasts of Visayas and Luzon, advocating for reduction in ocean plastics, cleaning up beaches, and talking to school and university groups. She is undertaking the mission on a Bambike, handmade from Bamboo in the Philippines.

    The project kicked off in Dumaguete, with students from Silliman University, Negros Oriental State University, local high schools, and Marine Conservation Philippines, taking part in a beach clean-up activity. Over 20 sacks of plastic waste were removed from Silliman beach by the enthusiastic team of beachgoers and divers.

    The ins... Read more >

  • With friends like these....what’s an environment to do?

    Blogpost by Kathy Cumming - September 29, 2016 at 10:51

    The Department of Conservation describes itself as “the Government agency charged with conserving New Zealand’s natural heritage”.

    Which is why New Zealanders are scratching their heads over the department’s decision to fight a court ruling that … conserves New Zealand’s natural heritage. 

    A bit of background for those not familiar with the case. At the end of August, the Court of Appeal ruled in Forest and Bird’s favour that a land swap (involving parts of the protected Ruahine Forest Park) to allow the Ruataniwha Dam to proceed, was unlawful.

    The land, which borders the Makaroro River and Dutch Creek, has high conservation values, but DoC downgraded it so that it could be swapped and the area flooded for the dam.

    Er, no, said the Court of Appeal, that’s not how it goes. 

    (the land ...

    Read more >
  • How palm oil companies like IOI have set Indonesia on fire

    Blogpost by Adi Prabowo - September 28, 2016 at 9:04

    This morning, while most of the Netherlands was still asleep, my colleague Nilus and I - along with dozens of Greenpeace activists - slipped into Rotterdam’s port facilities. The temperature is just eight degrees celsius, my first time ever being this cold.

    IOI Palm Oil Company Blockade in Rotterdam Harbour, 27 Sept 2016. © Greenpeace / Marten van DijlIOI Palm Oil Company Blockade in Rotterdam Harbour, 27 Sept 2016

    Our mission must not fail: we are blockading the entry of dirty palm oil to IOI’s refineries. IOI is one of the largest palm oil companies in the world.

    Thousands of kilometres away from Rotterdam, in our hometown, in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, forest fires occur every year. Fire has destroyed the peat forests and brought orangutans closer to extinction. IOI opens up palm oil plantations by drying out the peat, which makes it very flammable, leading to haze-making infer...

    Read more >
  • Last year’s devastating fires in Indonesia were devastating for public health and the environment — and every one of them was a human-caused disaster.

    study released last week by Harvard and Columbia reports that more than 100,000 people in Southeast Asia may have had their lives cut short by the toxic smoke and haze from Indonesia’s massive 2015 forest fires. In Indonesia alone, the study estimates 91,600 premature deaths as a result of the fires.

    It’s hard to imagine a catastrophe of this scale; in many ways, the world is just now coming to terms with the magnitude of the fires, the aftermath, and the lives taken.

    As Indonesia’s fire season approaches this year, we need to resolve that this human-environmental tragedy never happens again.

    To stop this, we must understand why the f... Read more >

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