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

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  • Vaquita porpoise takes centre stage at Whaling Commission meeting

    Blogpost by Willie - October 28, 2016 at 7:25

    Image of vaquita porpoise

    Big news for a little porpoise.

    Something big just happened for the tiny vaquita porpoise at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. The diminutive porpoise was the subject of a resolution, passed by all the countries present, urging concerted international cooperation to save the species from extinction.

    The IWC was set up by and for countries catching whales. Over the years it has turned into a more conservation-focussed forum, but that has been a long, slow struggle. Indeed some countries are still adamant that only the ‘great’ (which mostly means ‘big’) whales and whether they should be hunted is the IWC’s raison d’etre. The idea of what are and aren’t big or small whales is complicated, some great whales are smaller than those considered small, and sadly these complicat... Read more >

  • This summer, the United Nations International Resource Panel (IRP), published 'Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity', a report that admits what ecologists have been saying for decades: resources are limited, human consumption trends are unsustainable and resource depletion diminishes human health, quality of life and future development.

    The report shows that consumption of Earth's primary resources (metals, fuels, timber, cereals and so forth) has tripled in the last 40 years, driven by population growth (increasing at about 1.1% per year), economic growth (averaging about 3% per year over the same period) and consumption per person, worldwide.

    Coal Mines at the Source of the Yellow River, 20 Jun, 2014. © Wu Haitao / GreenpeaceCoal Mines at the source of the Yellow River, China

    Economic growth has helped lift some regions from poverty and created more middl... Read more >

  • Why we are taking Arctic oil to court

    Blogpost by Ingrid Skjoldvær and Truls Gulowsen - October 25, 2016 at 15:45

    With this historic court case a new generation is now taking action to stop oil companies from kidnapping our future. Nature & Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, alongside a broad coalition, have filed an unprecedented people-powered legal case against the Norwegian government. 

    Historic Lawsuit against Arctic Oil in Oslo, 18 Oct, 2016. © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
    Historic Lawsuit against Arctic Oil in Oslo, 18 Oct, 2016.

    It has the potential to become a rallying point for people resisting fossil fuel exploration around the world. This case is about holding back the oil industry at the final frontier. It is about protecting the fragile Arctic. It is about a new generation stepping up to hold governments accountable to their climate promises.

    COP21: Climate March in Oslo, 28 Nov, 2015. © Monica Løvdahl / GreenpeaceClimate March in Oslo, 28 Nov, 2015

    We will argue in court that we must take action to keep the Paris climate agreement on track, and we w... Read more >

  • To live in peace, meet the Japanese community fighting for their forest

    Blogpost by Takashi Morizumi - October 25, 2016 at 15:43

    For 20 years, the people of Okinawa, Japan have opposed the construction of a US military base that will damage the marine environment and endangered sea creatures like the Japanese dugong. Now the construction threatens to take over their forest. Japanese photojournalist, Takashi Morizumi has been documenting the Okinawa people’s movement for nine years. Read his journey and meet the people who are fighting to keep their home.

    Children swimming in the brook in the Yambaru forestChildren swimming in the brook in the Yambaru forest Read more >

    Driving north along the highway towards Higashi village, Okinawa I’m immediately struck by the lush, green Yamburu Forest. Home to over 4,000 species of plants and animals, including protected endemic and endangered species like the Okinawa woodpecker, Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle, and Ishikawa's frog, it ...

  • Why are environmental negotiations being led by polluting industries?

    Blogpost by Paula Tejón Carbaja - October 25, 2016 at 15:40

    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 13:43

    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 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 >

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