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

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  • Lima: A positive end to a breakthrough year for the climate movement?

    Blogpost by Daniel Mittler - December 1, 2014 at 10:34

    There is no question: 2014 has been a key year for the politics of climate change already, even before the latest round of climate talks get under way in Lima, Peru, next week. 

    This is the year that you, and people like you, turned the latest, frightening warnings from climate science into a message of hope and defiance. More than 400,000 people marching in New York to call for fast and just climate action were the powerful symbol of a climate movement reawakening all over the world.

    People's Climate March in New York CityParticipants in the People's Climate March make their way through the streets of New York City. The march, two-days before the United Nations Climate Summit, is billed as the largest climate march in history. The People’s Climate March is a global weekend of action on climate change. More than 2000 events are planned over 6 continents, including huge rallies in New York and London. The summit, called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will be attended by more than 120 world leaders and will be the largest gathering of world leaders to discuss climate change since the Copenhagen Summit in 2009.09/21/2014 © Greenpeace / Michael Nagle

    As historic as the march in New York was, the end of China´s coal boom, the very boom that made the first ten years of the 21st century the worst ever for our global climate was also important. The latest data shows coal use falling faster than thought in China. If this turn into a long term trend, China´s e... Read more >

  • Saving Peatland With the President

    Blogpost by Longgena Ginting - November 28, 2014 at 11:04

    Today we made history in the protection of Indonesian peatlands. I’ve just got back from a monitoring trip to Sumatra’s devastated peatland forests with Indonesia’s new president Jokowi, where the president witnessed firsthand ongoing peatland and rainforest destruction and took decisive action to stop it. With your support, we have just made a major step forward in the battle to protect forests and the climate.

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo Visits Sungai Tohor Community in Riau© Ardiles Rante/Greenpeace

    President Jokowi made his visit to support Abdul Manan, a villager from Sungai Tohor, a small community in fire-ravaged Riau province. Manan had petitioned the president to come witness for himself the devastating impacts on the province of decades of forest and peatland destruction by the pulp and palm oil industries.

    We knew President Jokowi was serious right away. When bad we... Read more >

  • The Soya Moratorium lives on – but what will follow after it?

    Blogpost by Richard George - November 28, 2014 at 9:13

    For eight years, the Soya Moratorium has protected the Amazon rainforest from deforestation. It has just been renewed for the eighth time. But what happens when it ends for good, 18 months from now?

    Amazon Rainforest Cleared for Soya © Greenpeace / Alberto Cesar Araújo

    The Soya Moratorium was the industry’s answer to our campaign to stop soya from destroying the Amazon. In 2006 we exposed companies like McDonald’s that were buying soya produced through deforestation. 

    Those companies threatened to cut off their suppliers if they didn’t stop. That led the commodities traders that control Brazil’s soya industry to stop buying from farmers that persisted in clearing the rainforest.
     
    Over the last year there have been extensive, often difficult, negotiations about extending that moratorium and, although it was renewed for another 18 months yesterday the industry ... Read more >

  • Momentum Builds for No Deforestation Palm Oil

    Blogpost by Suzanne Kroger - November 26, 2014 at 11:35

    By now you know the problem: a rapidly expanding palm oil industry, eating up forests, draining carbon-rich peatlands, and sparking conflict with local people and workers.

    But if you had to guess at what is turning out to be a key solution, what would you say? Government regulation? We’ve been pushing for that, and we’ll keep at it, but in places like Indonesia there’s little political appetite to revoke vast concessions covering the country’s remaining forests and peatlands.

    Action at P & G Palm Oil Supplier in Kalimantan © Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace

    Well then, you might say, perhaps it’s the industry’s own initiative, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

    Sounds promising, but sadly, after spending the past week in Kuala Lumpur at the RSPO’s 12th annual meeting, along with the world’s biggest palm oil companies and their customers, it is clear that ... Read more >

  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle

    Blogpost by Martin, Joris, Leon and Faiza - November 22, 2014 at 17:17

    Protest Against Repsol in Canary IslandsGreenpeace activists aboard inflatables hold a banner reading 'No Oil Exploration, Yes To Renewables (Prospecciones No, Renovables Si) and approach the 'Rowan Renaissance' drill ship. A Spanish Navy inflatable is on the left. The activists are protesting against the Repsol oil company's plans to drill off the coast of the Canary Islands.11/15/2014 © Arturo Rodríguez / Greenpeace

    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously unthinkable. This isn’t just about the Arctic. If you live in the UK, they’ve secured the right to frack for gas under your house. In New Zealand they've been given access to the very deep seas.

    In Spain the inhabitants of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, have been learning this to their cost. Their stunning coastline is now threatened by oil company Repsol, who plan to begin drilling on the coast. The risks to the environment and the livelihood of the inhabitants are great, but despite the opposition of the local population and the regional President the Spanish government in... Read more >

  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues

    Blogpost by Arin de Hoog - November 22, 2014 at 17:12

    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested against a Gazprom oil rig. For this act of courage, they were imprisoned by the Russian Authorities for four months, before being released at the end of December.

     

    18 September 2013

    Russian Coast Guard officer holds a Greenpeace International activist at gun point during a protest against Gazprom's Arctic Drilling.
    © Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace

     

    The Artic Sunrise, however, was held for much, much longer in Murmansk, Russia – finally arriving at her home port in Amsterdam a couple of months ago.

    Over this past weekend she aga... Read more >

  • Marshall Islands takes on the nuclear-armed states, for all our sakes

    Blogpost by Daniel Simons and Jen Maman - November 20, 2014 at 7:35

    “The day the sun rose twice”. That's how 1 March 1954 was recorded in the history of Rongelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Marshall Islands. Early that morning, shortly after the sun rose in the east, a second sun appeared in the west. A bright, blinding glow engulfed the Island.

    Woman and two children on deck of RW, pans and fruit by their side. Operation Exodus Rongelap. Health of many adults and children has suffered as a result of fallout from US nuclear tests. Crew Rainbow Warrior took adults, children and 100 tonnes of belongings onboard and ferries them to island of Mejato. Note: last photos of Fernando Pereira. (The Greenpeace story book page 111 similar)05/14/1985 © Greenpeace / Fernando Pereira

    Unknown to the islanders on Rongelap, some 150 kilometers away, at Bikini Atoll, the United States had just set off a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb. Codenamed “Bravo”, its destructive force was a thousand times greater than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

     For years after the test, many of the women who were exposed to the radiation suffered reproductive problems. Many others since have developed thyroid and other cancers. In 1985, the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior helpe... Read more >

  • Update - 18 November:

    The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation has orderd the detention of the Arctic Sunrise.

    Mario Rodriguez, director of Greenpeace Spain, said in response...

    "It’s telling that the Spanish Government would so quickly support the interests of an oil company, Repsol, against a peaceful environmental organisation which stands alongside millions of people who oppose reckless oil exploration."

    Update - 15 November:

    The Arctic Sunrise and crew recieve a warm welcome at nearby Lanzarote Island...

     

     

    Lanzarote Island
    (via Wikipedia, Luc Viatour)

    In the video below, you can see Spanish Navy boats ramming ours, knocking one activist into the water with a broken leg. It's another reminder of the lengths governments will go to protect the oil indu... Read more >

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