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

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  • When palm oil companies get banned, are they willing to change?

    Blogpost by Kiki Taufik - April 26, 2016 at 10:19

    As Indonesia's president announces a temporary ban on palm oil development, one of the world's biggest palm oil traders faces a customer revolt over its deforestation in Borneo… and it could lead to some big wins for forest protection.

    Remnant forest beside artificial drainage and recent plantation development in IOI's PT Bumi Sawit Sejahtera oil palm concessionRemnant forest beside artificial drainage and recent plantation development in IOI's PT Bumi Sawit Sejahtera oil palm concession.

    Earlier this month [PDF], the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) finally took action on palm oil company IOI, suspending its certification because it was destroying rainforests in Borneo. Now the destructive company can no longer claim its palm oil is "sustainable".

    IOI is huge: it supplies palm oil to over 300 companies, including the household brands whose products line our supermarket shelves. It's also hugely destru... Read more >

  • EU bows to US pressure to open door to new GMOs

    Blogpost by Franziska Achterberg - April 26, 2016 at 10:14

    People in Europe have massively rejected GMOs, and our governments have started to ban their cultivation, but agro­chemical companies have cooked up a new way to get GMOs onto the European market. They are claiming that GMOs which are produced through a range of new techniques ­aren’t in fact GMOs.

    Marking out undeclared GMO maize. 05/09/2007 © Greenpeace / Vincent Rok

    Don't let unlabelled or untested GMOs in through the back door.

    If the companies get their way, GM plants and animals could soon end up on our fields and on our dinner table without any safety testing or labelling - and without any way to ban them. And we wouldn’t even know! European law requires that GMOs undergo a detailed assessment of health and environmental risks, as well as labelling, to allow consumer choice.

    The European Commission said that it would publish a legal opinion to tel... Read more >

  • We will defeat climate change - through cooperation

    Blogpost by Jennifer Morgan and Bunny McDiarmid - April 26, 2016 at 10:10

    Today, on Earth Day, more than 165 countries sign a global agreement - Paris Climate Agreement - to protect our environment. This is a record turnout for an international agreement. It is an encouraging sign. After many years of foot-dragging, the world is finally coming together to confront climate change, the most urgent issue of our time.

    Earth seen from Space. Apollo 8 Mission, 1969. © NASA

    We are seeing agreement to take action to prevent a climate catastrophe only after many years of hard work. Above all, it is thanks to people all over the world standing up for action. Before the Paris climate summit an estimated 800,000 people marched for a safer climate.

    The countries most vulnerable to climate change stood together and demanded that global warming be limited to 1.5 degrees C compared to pre-industrial times. A threshold we must...

    Read more >
  • 7 things you can do for the planet this Earth Day

    Blogpost by Dawn Bickett - April 22, 2016 at 13:17

    More than 45 years ago – on the very first Earth Day – tens of millions of people decided to do something about environmental destruction. They rallied against pollution, oil spills, pesticides and deforestation… issues that continue to resonate with us today.

    Their activism remains inspiring. But as Earth Day comes and goes each year, we can’t just celebrate the past. The day must be a rallying cry for action in this present moment! This Earth Day, challenge yourself, your friends and your community to step up and make a change.

    Want to get moving but don’t know where to start? Here are a just a few ways you can do something for the planet right now.

     Happy Earth Day!

    1. Take action for the climate.

    Last December, world leaders met at the Paris climate summit and created an agreement – which many w... Read more >

  • Fast fashion is “drowning” the world. We need a Fashion Revolution!

    Blogpost by Shuk-Wah Chung - April 22, 2016 at 11:06

    “Nothing to wear?” Well here’s something to think about:

    Every piece of clothing we buy has had an impact on our planet before we even bring it home.

    That’s before you step out of the door, walk down the street, and spot that attractive item you see hanging in the window.

    Xintang, “denim capital of the world", Guangdong, ChinaA shop at “International Jeans Wholesale City” in Xintang, the “denim capital of the world" in Guangdong province, China. In Xintang, where the economy is centred around textile production, Greenpeace East Asia has found high levels of industrial pollution and has documented the effects on the community.

    First, there’s water consumption. 2 billion pairs of jeans are produced every year, and a typical pair takes 7,000 litres of water to produce. For a t-shirt, it takes 2,720 litres of water to make just one – that’s t... Read more >

  • 5 reasons why the world needs a moratorium on new coal mines

    Blogpost by Leanne Minshull - April 21, 2016 at 14:23

    Only four months ago, the world recognised the need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C. The Paris climate agreement signalled the end of the era of fossil fuels, particularly coal, the dirtiest source of power. But since then, Australia has gone ahead and approved what could be the world's largest coal mine.

    Hay Point Coal Terminal, 16 July 2012. © GreenpeaceHay Point Coal Terminal. © Greenpeace

    Last year, the then President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, called on world leaders to join him in a global moratorium on all new coal mines. This week, on the eve of the signing of the Paris agreement, I'm in the US with Tong to help him continue the push for what should be one of the first and easiest steps in securing a safe climate.

    COP21: President Anote Tong of Kiribati in Paris, 7 December 2015.  © Nicolas Chauveau / Greenpeace

    New analysis commissioned by Greenpeace from the University of Melbourne spells out what a morat... Read more >

  • Radioactive Chernobyl forest fires: a ticking time bomb

    Blogpost by Anton Beneslavsky - April 20, 2016 at 7:46

    For five years now I’ve been a member of the professional firefighting group of Greenpeace Russia staff members that is supported by well trained volunteers and I’ve travelled thousands of kilometres across Russia to extinguish fires. Firefighting is always dangerous, but when it happens in a radiation-contaminated area the stakes are much higher. 

    Forest fires in the contaminated Bryanks region. 07/04/2016 © Vladislav Zalevskiy / GreenpeaceForest fires in the contaminated Bryansk region.

    In areas contaminated by Chernobyl, wildfires are a common occurrence. Without good government management, these areas flame up every spring due to bonfires made by locals, and the fires can cover thousands of hectares. With the climate getting warmer and dryer, these fires have become more frequent and devastating in recent years.

    Firefighters tackle the flames in Bryansk region. 07/04/2016 © Vladislav Zalevskiy / GreenpeaceEvery spring, fires start in the forests and fields of the heavi... Read more >

  • Biggest Fish: Is This Corporate Giant the Key to Saving the Ocean?

    Blogpost by Chris Eaton - April 20, 2016 at 7:30

    Thai Union Group -- the owner of Chicken of the Sea canned tuna -- is an industrial monster that has sunk its hooks throughout global seafood markets. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking it on and changing the game for ocean life.

    I love the ocean.

    Nothing has made me feel more connected to life on this big blue planet than feeling its powerful, rolling waves, playing in tide pools full of small creatures, and witnessing whales, fish and seabirds migrating together far from shore.

    Thai Union Group — the largest canned tuna company and one of the largest seafood companies in the world — is plundering that ocean. It’s operations cause the deaths of thousands of threatened creatures, like sharks and turtles. The industrial fleets that supply Thai Union devastate tuna populations an... Read more >

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