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

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  • Today could be the most important day so far this century in climate and energy politics.

    China and United States have come to an historic agreement, negotiated privately over a period of months, that represents China's first concrete foray into international emissions targets.

    China's 20% clean energy share by 2030 may not sound too ambitious at first – but it is. President Xi has announced that China will install up to 1000GW of zero-emissions energy by 2030 (almost the size of the entire US power sector). And, around the year 2030, China's emissions have peaked and be on the way down.

    This represents a step forward from the Chinese statement at the New York climate summit in September when Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said they would begin carbon reduction "as soon as possible."

    Workers at Dafeng Power Station,© Greenpeace / Zhiyong Fu

    Th... Read more >

  • Like so many of us, I am really concerned about climate change. So imagine my excitement upon hearing that writer-director Christopher Nolan (of recent Batman trilogy fame) might be tackling the issue in his newest film, Interstellar.

     

    The movie came out this weekend, and, despite working as an overall captivating thriller, the words “climate change” are never explicitly mentioned. Still, Interstellar has the potential to play a positive role in the climate movement. It can urge those who already see the impact of climate change to take activist action. And for others who have up to now have ignored the science, they may think again.

    Interstellar follows “Cooper” (Matthew McConaughey), an engineer-turned-farmer making do in a land ravaged by environmental crises. Blight has wi... Read more >

  • It is simple: It is People Power

    Blogpost by Paula Tejón Carbajal - November 14, 2014 at 7:48

    A shift to a cleaner and brighter energy future is not just a matter of technology or economics anymore. It is also a matter of political will. And although our leaders don't seem to get it, people do. The recent boom of renewable energy technologies has reshaped our way out of climate crisis. And regular people are right at the center of this empowering change.

    Our current energy model is becoming obsolete. Too centralized, too dependent on dirty energy sources and with too much power concentrated in too few hands. Feeling threatened by the expansion of clean, self-produced electricity, the dirty utilities are fiercely fighting back in countries where renewables are booming – US, Japan, Spain. But it ain't going to be easy; people are ready to take the fight on and win!

    From Europe t... Read more >

  • © Leonid Bove / Greenpeace

    Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean is a distant land of polar bears and whales, northern lights and shining ice. It's also a nature reserve and one of only two UNESCO Natural Heritage sites in the Arctic. It should be the most peaceful place on Earth, but in the last months this peace has been shattered. A Russian oil company has been sending giant ships through its waters, where grey whales migrate all the way from Mexico, threatening this UNESCO Natural Heritage site with noisy and disruptive seismic testing activities that can harm marine life. These ships are only the beginning, eventually the company plans to use heavy machinery to drill for oil nearby.

    This is a really special place. Wrangel Island is home to the world's largest population of Pacific walrus and the highest density ... Read more >

  • Anadarko Petroleum face a clean-up bill of US$5.15 Billion, the largest-ever environmental cleanup bill in the United States.

    The money will fund a variety of clean up projects across 2,000 U.S. sites, including US$1Billion earmarked for the Navajo Nation to address radioactive contamination left by Anaradko subsidiary company Kerr-McGee.

    Toxic

    Reuters reported today; "Manhattan federal Judge Katherine Forrest approved the deal on Monday over objections from a creditor group in Columbus, Mississippi, where Kerr-McGee operated a wood treatment plant. The group felt the settlement was too low." The judge is reported to have said "The court is sympathetic to the objectors, whose community is coping with the toxic legacy Kerr-McGee has left in its wake."

    Anadarko are still being pursued for thei... Read more >

  • To carry on the David and Goliath battle we must stand together

    Blogpost by Anna Abad - November 10, 2014 at 9:42

    © CARE/PETER CATON

    On November 8, 2013 the world stood still and witnessed the largest tropical cyclone ever recorded in history make landfall in Tacloban, Philippines. The scale and magnitude of the damage it left behind was unprecedented and shocking, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. It was  hell on earth.

    Survivors from Typhoon Haiyan could not even begin to understand the fate that befell them. “My family is all gone … Why did this happen to me?” Loss, misery and desolation engulfed everyone as stories of terrifying experiences were told.

    Calls for help came quickly, with an outpouring of aid and relief from all over the world. It was overwhelming how the world came together in providing support for the Philippines.

    As we commemorate the first year’s anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, we ... Read more >

  • Learning the tragic lesson of Fukushima: No nuclear restart at Sendai

    Blogpost by Jan Vande Putte - November 3, 2014 at 9:52

    Waste

    In March 2011, Japan suffered the worst nuclear catastrophe in a generation, with triple reactor core meltdowns and exploded containment buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The catastrophe was a stern warning about the perils of depending on nuclear power.

    Legislation to promote renewable energy has meant the number of solar power installations has rocketed. With reactors going offline and being unable to restart due in large part to public opposition, Japanese citizens have enjoyed over a year in which no nuclear power plant has operated.

    This progress could be reversed if the Abe administration gets its way and begins restarting reactors. The first two to be promoted for restart are at the Sendai nuclear plant in the Kagoshima prefecture, on Japan's southern islan... Read more >

  • This 'boom' might save the world - 10 quick facts about renewable energy

    Blogpost by Kaisa Kosonen - October 31, 2014 at 12:21

    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007?

    On the 'solutions' side, the answer is pretty straightforward:

    Nuclear power hasn't changed much. IPCC notes that nuclear capacity is declining globally and that, from safety to financial viability, nuclear power faces many barriers. "Carbon capture and storage" (CCS) isn't really breaking the mold either. Although the IPCC identifies a need and potential for future CCS-aided emission reductions, in reality, CCS isn't delivering and, since 2007, "studies have underscored a growing number of practical challenges to commercial inve... Read more >

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