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

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  • A surprising meeting with Fonterra

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - December 9, 2015 at 14:12

    In the very first high-level meeting between Greenpeace and Fonterra, Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings told me on Friday that Fonterra does not want to be implicated in deforestation in Indonesia.

    This is real progress and it was really encouraging to hear us both speaking the same language on this issue, at last.

    But to achieve it Fonterra is going to have to stop buying cattle feed linked to rainforest destruction in Indonesia.

    Oil Palm Saplings on Burned Land in Central Kalimantan

    For many years Greenpeace has demanded that Fonterra stop using palm products linked to deforestation and peat drainage. When we initially challenged Fonterra on the role they could be playing in the fires in Indonesia, described as the worst environmental catastrophe this century, Mr Spierings refused even to meet with us.

    But then a few weeks ago when a Greenpea... Read more >

  • Sustainable Fashion

    Blogpost by Alexandria Green - December 8, 2015 at 12:55

     

    Fashion is an extraordinary medium for self-expression. Too often we forget that what we wear can transcend identity and bear a greater and longer-lasting impression on our environment.

    In the age of ‘fast fashion’ and accessibility it’s easy to forget the true cost of what we purchase: hazardous effluent running into waterways, and atrocious ethical abuses, all diluted by elaborate supply chains and masked under the guise of well-established branding.

    Environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility. More designers and labels are being held accountable for what they produce and how they produce it. Brands are being challenged to go green in an effort to re-establish the fashion industry and set better precedents. Initiatives like The Green Carpet Challenge prompts designers to ... Read more >

  • No place for nuclear waste: bearing witness to a dangerous delivery

    Blogpost by Rashini Suriyaarachchi - December 8, 2015 at 9:17

    Ship with Nuclear Waste reaches Australia. 5 Dec, 2015 © Dominic Lorrimer / Greenpeace

    When a Greenpeace investigation found that nuclear waste returning to Australia by ship from France has been classified as high-level waste by French authorities, contradicting Australia's claims over its radioactivity, we knew we had to act.

    So this weekend, Greenpeace activists and volunteers followed the dodgy waste from port in Wollongong all the way to Lucas Heights in south Sydney.

    Find out what went down on Storify.

    Act now: Don't turn Australia into the world's nuclear waste dump

    Write to Minister Christopher Pyne and ask him to rule out turning Australia into the world's toxic waste dump.

    Rashini Suriyaarachchi is the Digital Communications Officer at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. Read more >

  • Responding to refugee boats in distress

    Blogpost by Aaron Gray-Block - December 4, 2015 at 8:22

    It's a crisis that can be told in numbers: around 890,000 refugees and migrants arrived to Europe by sea this year, while more than 3,500 have died and it's not over yet.

    Fleeing war, human rights abuses and persecution, refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq continue to risk their lives in a desperate attempt to reach the safety of Europe.

    Standing alert at the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF)-Greenpeace radio room on the Greek island of Lesbos, I watch with my heart in my mouth as these tiny boats emerge as small specks of orange life jackets in a sea of blue.

    MSF and Greenpeace conduct joint sea operations to provide assistance at sea to boats in distress off the coast of Lesbos island in Greece, in coordination with and in support of the Greek Coast Guard. © Greenpeace

    Across the deceptively narrow 10km of water between Turkey and Lesbos these flimsy boats keep coming. Greece is so tantalising close, but overcrowding, sea currents, winds, bad weather and cold waters m... Read more >

  • Meet the Indonesians taking climate action into their own hands

    Blogpost by Yuyun Indradi - December 3, 2015 at 9:28

    Just over a year ago, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo of Indonesia - one of the biggest emitters along with the US, China and India - visited a local community affected by the forest fires and vowed to tackle the devastating crisis. But with parts of the country being blanketed in toxic smoke over the past few months, local communities, volunteers and activists can't damn stand it anymore! So they're taking action into their own hands.

    Local villagers, NGO activists and volunteers build a community dam to block a canal that is draining peatlands for plantations in Paduran Village, Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia. The province has been the epicentre of Indonesia's 2015 forest fires disaster.Local villagers, NGO activists and volunteers build a community dam to block a canal that is draining peatlands for plantations in Paduran Village, Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia. The province has been the epicentre of Indonesia's 2015 forest fires disaster.

    Earlier this year Muhammad "Benny" Prasetiya, a student of film and television at the Jakar... Read more >

  • Our good old PM has gone and done it again: Put New Zealand in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

    The speech he delivered at the launch of the Paris climate change conference yesterday was so outrageous it secured New Zealand the very first ‘Fossil of the Day Award’, gifted by the international coalition of environmental NGOs, Climate Action Network (CAN).

    News of the award quickly spread to media around the world, no doubt creating many a chuckle at our expense.

    In a nutshell, Key decided it would be a top idea to use his opening speech at the talks to call on countries to take more responsibility and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

    Sounds alright… aside from the minor issue that at the same time as Key and his cronies are demanding this of other countries, they are actually i... Read more >

  • Shell's not so beautiful relationship

    Blogpost by Jess Miller - December 2, 2015 at 11:00

    By now, not much that oil companies say or do to profit off outdated fuel sources surprises me. But even if they aren’t surprising, it is still entertaining to watch just how wrong they can get it.  

    Around the world, renewables are pushing fossil fuels out of the mix faster than most thought possible. And while our projections for an Energy Revolution were pretty close, we had no way of knowing how companies like Shell would react once they got nervous. One thing is for sure, in this case it is tragically funny. Have a look at Shell’s recent attempt at winning us over, called La Belle Relation (The Beautiful Relation).

    Shell’s Youtube description reads: "Renewable energy needs the perfect partner. See why the reliable and predictable natural gas can be one half of that beautiful rela... Read more >

  • Fossil fuels are the new cigarettes

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - November 30, 2015 at 13:13

    As a former pack-a-day smoker, Greenpeace NZ executive director Russel Norman says fossil fuels are like cigarettes: addictive and dangerous.

    HAGEN HOPKINS / GETTY IMAGES

    Deliberately, knowingly, destroying the stable climate on which our civilisation depends, is insane.

    In the early 1990s I needed a job and found myself working for a year and a half on the assembly line at Mitsubishi in Adelaide. I put on the right front door lock for a few months, then moved to the left front headlight. Smoked a packet a day at my workstation. If you own a Mitsi Magna from that period there is a good chance that I had a part in putting it together. If it doesn't work it could be my fault!

    It was a pretty boring job. You'd spend months doing precisely the same set of movements, every three minutes, all day long, over and over aga... Read more >

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