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

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  • A year to save the world? How crucial is 2015?

    Blogpost by Nick Young - February 16, 2015 at 17:15

    Greenpeace activists block the outflow pipe at AKZO in Delfzijl. 03/07/1990 © Greenpeace / Benno Neeleman

    2015 has barely begun, but it has already been called "the most crucial year in decades for the climate battle" and a "watershed" year for sustainable development worldwide. Naomi Klein is convinced that 2015 is a once-in-a-generation moment for the climate battle and Avaaz has just told their supporters that we have ten months left to save the world.

    What's going on?

    World leaders will meet in September to agree upon new goals for all of humanity: the Sustainable Development Goals. And, in December in Paris, another attempt will be made to deliver a global climate agreement. Both summits will be huge, and will get a lot of media attention. Some of our allies have called them "opportunities of a lifetime" and many, including Pharrell Williams, are starting to organize events to mobilize... Read more >

  • Statoil: Go home

    Blogpost by Sophie Schroder - February 7, 2015 at 14:37

    A highlight of Waitangi Day this year for me was the growing swell of people fighting for the rights of Aotearoa and speaking out against the oil giants now trying to make themselves at home in our waters.

    Discussions about community-based solutions to climate change went well into the night.

    It was day four of the hikoi that had started in New Zealand’s northern-most town, Cape Reinga, and came to a powerful climax in Waitangi, the very spot where the treaty with Britain was signed on the the 6th of February 175 years previously.

    The concept of the Treaty of Waitangi or Te Tiriti o Waitangi has always been a highly contentious part of New Zealand’s history.

    But thanks to its significance, the annual commemoration of Waitangi Day has often acted as a stage for individuals and community gr... Read more >

  • Chaos reigned today in the Auckland Council meeting when deep sea oil drilling hit the agenda and we’re all a little stunned by what we witnessed.

    Here’s what happened.

    Hot on the heels of Christchurch Council making a strong submission essentially opposing new oil drilling off their coast, it was Auckland’s turn.

    After people from all over New Zealand flooded the councillors with email, text messages and phone calls calling on them to say NO to deep sea drilling, a big crowd turned up to the first council meeting of 2015. It was standing room only and the councillors were in no doubt that this is an issue of great concern.

    Greenpeace was granted speaking rights so I took the opportunity to present oil spill modelling demonstrating the potentially devastating impacts on West Coast beaches... Read more >

  • The Christchurch City Council has recenlty come out in opposition to the Government’s plans for risky deep sea drilling. Auckland Council is about to vote on their position this Thursday morning (5 Feb). Their draft submission does not oppose deep sea oil drilling off the West Coast of Auckland.

    Click here to tell Len Brown and the Auckland City Councilors to vote against deep sea drilling of our coasts.

    Exploration and drilling could happen over an enormous offshore area off the West coast of the North Island stretching from Taranaki to Northland, as well as vast tracts off the East coast of the North and South Islands all the way down past Bluff.

    Councils and iwi authorities around the country have been invited to tell the Government what they think of the drilling plans. 

    Industry sta...
    Read more >

  • Repsol and the Spanish government, no honour among thieves

    Blogpost by Julio Barea - January 28, 2015 at 10:43

    Nearly two months since the Spanish navy recklessly rammed and injured peaceful protestors who were standing up to Repsol, the Spanish oil giant announced their decision to scrap their oil exploration off the Canary Islands' coast.

    In so doing, however, they've exposed the Spanish government to be fossil fuel sycophants while leaving questions unanswered about the company's conduct during their oil exploration operation in the pristine waters of the Spanish islands.

    Two of the auxiliary ships that were supporting the drilling platform Rowan Renaissance quietly left the area in December. No surprise there, support vessels generally move around without much fanfare. What is surprising is how taken aback the Spanish government was and then how they reacted:

    Today, the Spanish Minister of ... Read more >

  • A Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) swims in the waters off Sri Lanka. 04/18/2010 © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

    It is time for Ocean Lovers worldwide to celebrate! After years of political foot-dragging, and four hectic days of negotiations at the United Nations, a breakthrough came in the wee hours of Saturday morning, 24 January: governments around the world agreed to develop a legally-binding treaty to protect marine life beyond national territorial waters. With this historic decision, they began the process of setting rules to create ocean sanctuaries and protect the high seas – the vast areas of the ocean that belong to you, me and everyone. The agreement could also make it mandatory to conduct environmental impact assessments before human activities are allowed to take place in the vast ocean commons.

    This significant progress would not have come without a passionate call for high seas prote... Read more >

  • Are limits to growth real?

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - January 19, 2015 at 14:18

    In 2002, global warming denialist and anti-environmental gadfly Bjørn Lomborg consigned the 1972 book, The Limits to Growth, to "the dustbin of history." However, 42 years of data now appear to vindicate the book’s premise, that the human enterprise must accept some limits on economic growth.

    Research published in 2014 by Dr. Graham Turner at the University of Melbourne shows that four decades of data track closely to the Limits "Business As Usual" (BAU) scenario, which they warned could lead to resource constrained economies and large-scale economic collapse in this century. The Limits authors did not make predictions; rather, they outlined possible futures and explained how those scenarios could arise, and what the consequences might be.

    In outlining the BAU scenario, the The Limits to ...

    Read more >
  • High Seas Robbery

    Blogpost by Karli Thomas - January 16, 2015 at 14:46

    Finding illegal fishing vessels in the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean – over 20 million square kilometers of deep, rough and icy waters – sounds like a near impossible task. But it turns out that finding them is the easy part, compared to bringing them to justice. 

    It might seem unthinkable, but there is a very real chance that despite their recidivist histories, the three vessels nabbed by the New Zealand navy for illegal fishing this week, could get away with it yet again. 

    With pirate fishing records stretching back as much as 11 years, all three ships, Songhua, Yongding and Kunlun, were blatantly using illegal gillnet fishing gear and flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea, a country that has neither signed the UN Fish Stocks Agreement nor joined the Convention on the Conservation... Read more >

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