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

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  • Groser gets served by High Court over TPPA secrecy

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - October 13, 2015 at 15:08

    Tim Groser

    Today, the High Court in Wellington served a humiliating judicial slapdown for Trade Minister Tim Groser and his anti-democratic moves to hide the TPP text from the people of New Zealand.

    Leading academic and campaigner Jane Kelsey, along with other groups including Greenpeace, had taken Groser to court after he refused to release documents concerning the shady deal under the Official Information Act. 

    The judge ruled that Groser’s actions were unlawful and a breach of his Ministerial responsibility.  

    We are now demanding that the New Zealand government release the full text immediately, so we can all see for ourselves what is in this deal. All the indications are that the TPP has been concocted solely for the benefit of foreign companies and their sharp-suited billionaires, not for t...

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  • 'Dieselgate' continues: UK transport agency paid £80m by auto industry

    Blogpost by Lawrence Carter - October 13, 2015 at 10:04

    Volkswagen Golf Launch Protest in Berlin. 4 Sep, 2012 © Gordon Welters / Greenpeace

    The UK government agency responsible for testing pollution levels in new cars has received more than £80 million (NZ$183 million) from the auto industry in the last decade, prompting concerns over a potential conflict of interest.

    The findings, part of an investigation by Greenpeace, reveal that the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), which is part of the Department for Transport, has become increasingly dependent on revenue from car companies to balance its books; while key staff, including its chief executive, have previously held senior roles at vehicle manufacturers.

    Greenpeace can further reveal that a Conservative transport minister regarded the testing body – a government agency – as a 'business' that should be encouraged to grow so it could 'contribute to the wider UK economy'. Read more >

  • Today, Solid Energy announced that the closure of Huntly’s dirty coal fired boilers will result in more job losses in the coal industry. As the world moves away from polluting power like coal, the pain of this shift is now being felt keenly here, at home.

    The writing has been on the wall for some time, yet John Key has failed to put in place a plan to support those affected and their families, and start creating jobs in cleaner industries.

    He’s ignoring the enormous opportunity to create many tens of thousands of jobs in powering our homes with clean energies like solar.

    Jason Miczek / Greenpeace

    The thing is, solar power - harnessing the energy from the sun - has made enormous progress over the years. It’s disrupting the current energy markets as costs crash and consumers are looking for cheaper, smarter ways of p... Read more >

  • Ecology and Money

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - October 8, 2015 at 9:18

    On Friday, September 17, the US Federal Reserve blinked in the face of unrelenting, global economic malaise. This private bank, which possesses the monopoly to print US money, had promised to raise interest rates a paltry 1/4-percent, after seven years of near-zero interest intended to revive the US economy. Corporations had used the free money to buy their own stocks, fattening their own net worth and boosting the US stock markets, but this "growth" was an illusion. Faced with mounting debt, crashing international markets, and national defaults in Europe, the bankers lost their nerve.

    Allotments in the Avanchets estate, Geneva, Switzerland. © Yan Arthus-BertrandA foodscaped neighbourhood: Ecological economics is possible, but it will be nothing like industrial economics. Avanchets estate, Geneva, Switzerland. © Yan Arthus-Bertrand

    One may fairly wonder: Who cares?... Read more >

  • Photo credit: Sam R. Dyson/ActionSation

    (Photo credit: Sam R. Dyson/ActionSation)

    Overnight Monday, ministers, trade officials and corporate lobbyists concluded the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - a shady ‘trade’ deal that has been cooked up behind closed doors.

    While the Prime Minister and Trade Minister Tim Groser throw up the carefully crafted, detail-free words of their spin-doctors that it’s “overall a very good deal for New Zealand” or that “when you sense the bus is going to take off you jump on board”, this is far from a good deal for New Zealanders.

    The way it is being reported overseas, the New Zealand trade team are said to be ‘disappointed’ at their 'unsuccessful' and 'failed' attempt to get a good deal as they accepted “ugly compromises”, it’s hard to see what’s in it for us.

    In fact, it ... Read more >

  • The generation living under Indonesia's deadly forest fires

    Blogpost by Zamzami - October 7, 2015 at 9:27

    The impacts of Indonesia’s forest fires are being felt most amongst Indonesia’s young, turning them into the “haze generation”.

    Smoke rises through smouldering forest behind burnt palm oil saplings in in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. The area is outside any identified concession. 20 Sep, 2015

    I flew from Jakarta and landed in the city of Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan, in Indonesia, in the middle of a hot and humid September. I was lucky. My flight was only slightly delayed but there were other flights that were held back for hours. Others were just outright cancelled.

    For about two weeks, Pontianak had been blanketed by heavy smog and thick haze emanating from the illegal forest and peatlands fires from parts of Sumatra and areas in West Kalimantan. By mid-September the haze was getting thicker, creeping up like a virus about to envelope the city. During the mornings visibility reached out to only about 50 metres; more than 12 students...

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  • 5 Ways that People Power Helped Defeat Shell

    Blogpost by Trillia Fidei - October 6, 2015 at 9:29
    All rights reserved. Credit: © Greenpeace

    Shell just announced it’s giving up on drilling for oil in the Alaskan Arctic. This is a huge victory for millions of people all around the world who opposed the oil giant’s controversial plans, which put not only the fragile Arctic ecosystem at risk, but the planet as a whole.

    Shell would love us to believe the decision to quit the Arctic was purely financial. Low oil prices, high costs, and a poor quality find in Alaska did play a part. But as The Guardian and FT reported, “Privately, senior executives concede that the protests had a big... Read more >

  • Not Just Tuna: The truth behind the world’s biggest tuna company

    Blogpost by Graham Forbes - October 5, 2015 at 9:23

    The tuna industry is out of control.

    It's time to change the tuna industry.

    The global tuna industry is out of control. It is emptying our oceans of fish, harming other marine life and exploiting workers in shocking ways.

    Workers report being beaten, abused and even forced to work on ships for months or years at a time. Fishing vessels use methods that wreak havoc on marine life like sharks and sea turtles. Tuna is even being stored in the same containers as the dirty diesel the ships use, then sold onto consumers.

    Korean longliner No. 208 Dongwon is seen hauling tuna in the central Pacific Ocean. 26 Aug, 2015 © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

    Though the reality of the industry is clear, the world's largest canned tuna company – Thai Union Group – is looking the other way. But we know from hard-hitting media exposés to our own investigative research that Thai Union Group is seriously implicated in horrendous human rights and environmental abuses.... Read more >

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