Activists up the Huntly smoke stack and on coal conveyor

Press release - February 26, 2007
Four members of the Greenpeace climate rescue team have scaled the 150 metre high smoke stack of one of New Zealand's biggest climate polluters, the Huntly coal-fired power station, and another four are now on top of the coal conveyor leading into the station.

Activist on top of Huntly Power Station coal conveyor unfurled a 45-metre banner "climate change starts here" with an arrow pointing to the coal station.

Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid, who is at the site, says the team on top of coal conveyor have unfurled a 45-metre banner "climate change starts here" with an arrow pointing to the coal station.

Meanwhile, a team on the smoke stack is preparing to unfurl a massive 45-metre banner that will be seen right across the Huntly town.

"The Huntly coal station is a climate killer, and that's what the banner

says," said McDiarmid.

Earlier this morning, more than 15 members of Greenpeace's climate

rescue team entered the Huntly coal fired power station site with diggers and began loading coal from the stockpile onto trucks.

They took the coal back to Solid Energy's Rotowaro open cast coal mine, one of the coal supplies for Huntly, and return it to the ground.

"Coal is the most carbon polluting of all fossil fuels and burning it is

one of the most destructive things we can do to the planet. New Zealand is blessed with a myriad of clean, renewable energy sources, and we must switch to them now if we want to maintain our environment, lifestyle and economy," said McDiarmid.

Bunny McDiarmid said that members of the team involved in the operation were all extremely experienced and highly trained climbers with all the necessary safety equipment ,and were not endangering themselves or the plant.

Greenpeace will launch a report called "New Zealand Energy Revolution: How to prevent climate chaos" in Wellington at 2.30pm today.

The report is the first extensive examination of how New Zealand can restructure its energy system to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Greenpeace is calling on the public to have their say on how New Zealand deals with climate change by making a submission to the Government's proposed climate and energy policies currently under consideration.

Other contacts: Suzette Jackson, Communications Officer, 021 614 899. Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director, 021 838 183. Note: Media wanting to talk to members of the climate rescue team should contact Suzette Jackson.