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

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  • Why are environmental negotiations being led by polluting industries?

    Blogpost by Paula Tejón Carbaja - October 25, 2016 at 17:40

    Last week, in Kigali, Rwanda, governments across the world agreed on a landmark deal to phase down HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). HFCs are greenhouse gases that are up to a thousand times more powerful than CO2. They are used as refrigerants in things like air conditioners, and contribute the rapid warming of our planet.

    Energy Saving Scheme in Seoul, 26 Feb, 2016. © Jean Chung / Greenpeace

    The phase down is a move in the right direction, but progress is simply not happening fast enough. We need to stay below 1.5ºC of global warming to alleviate its worst effects and we only have a few more years to take action before damage to the planet becomes irreversible.  

    We need transformational change, not just incremental change. If nations are ambitious and have the courage to take bold action to get rid of HFCs, we could actually decrease temperatures by 0.5ºC by... Read more >

  • 10 good reasons to protect whales

    Blogpost by Willie Mackenzie - October 25, 2016 at 15:43

    Killing whales for food has been happening for millennia. But it was commercial whaling – turning whales into barrels of oil for profit – that led to the wholesale destruction of most of the world’s populations of big whales.The loss of whales from our oceans is the same story as overfishing of big fish – sharks, tuna, cod and others. It’s a tragedy for the species and has immense knock on effects across the ocean. We know that whales are important for the oceans, and we know that as long-lived, slow-growing animals they are much more susceptible to over-fishing than actual fish.

    But there is some good news for whales. We have seen many populations showing signs of recovery since hunting was stopped. Whales are being found in greater numbers and seem to be reclaiming habitats they’ve bee... Read more >

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

    Blogpost by Kate Simcock - October 19, 2016 at 9:54

    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 11:19

    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 16:03

    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 15:08

    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 18:53

    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 12:51

    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 >

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