Civil disobedience is needed to stop climate change, says Greenpeace calls for volunteers to take part in non-violent direct actions

Press release - October 29, 2007
CHENNAI, India — After a two week long tour of the East Coast of India, Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace flagship sailed out of Indian waters today. These two weeks were marked by a series of actions by Greenpeace that highlighted the impacts of climate change, pointed at the worst offenders and demanded clear action from the government,. Undeterred by the strong reaction of the authorities in both Chennai and Kolaghat (West Bengal), which included jailing of the activists and denial of berth to the Rainbow Warrior at Ennore Port , Greenpeace reiterated its continued commitment to taking non-violent direct action for the climate and called for volunteers to join the fight against climate change in India.

G Ananthapadmanabhan, Executive Director, Greenpeace India said "We Indians have a deep understanding of the power of non-violent direct actions. Greenpeace's history is full of instances where major victories for the environment have been achieved by taking action to confront the forces that threaten the health of the planet. We have less than a decade to act to stop climate change and there is no doubt that we need to utilize the power of non-violent direct actions to wrest our future away from the clutches of global warming. Greenpeace will continue to be at the forefront of the global movement to stop climate offenders from damaging the planet beyond repair."

Clarifying why coal is the climate villain, Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan said "Coal emits the highest amount of carbon dioxide per unit of electricity generated. It is the fuel responsible for the biggest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Despite being fully aware of the dangers, the Indian Government is continuing on the suicidal path of using ever increasing quantities of coal to power India's rapid economic growth. This needs to stop and the investment should shift to improving efficiency and developing renewable sources of energy."

According to Greenpeace, it is undeniable that the problem of climate change has been created by the historical emissions of developed nations; however it is also certain that a "business as usual" approach will cause the worst damage to developing countries like India with a large poor population. Greenpeace believes that India's future can be secured against climate change by de-carbonizing development, by ensuring that our energy needs do not depend on coal*.

"More and more people are waking up to the need for urgent and radical action. It is heartening that even Mr. Al Gore has called for direct action against new coal plants.* We at Greenpeace ask concerned Indians to actively participate in the campaign against climate change. We call on people to volunteer to take part in non-violent direct actions." Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan concluded.

People interested in volunteering may send an email to  

For further information, contact

Vinuta Gopal – Climate and Energy Campaigner 09845535418
Srinivas Krishnaswamy- Climate and Energy Expert 09845112130
Saumya Tripathy, Greenpeace Communications 09343862212

Notes to Editor

* The RW in India and climate action by Greenpeace: Six Greenpeace activists had been arrested for scaling the smoke stack of the Kolaghat Thermal Power Station in Kolaghat, West Bengal to paint the message “Smoking Kills” to demonstrate the threat coal burning poses to the climate. On Sagar Island in the endangered Sunderbans, over twelve thousand locals had joined asking for global action to arrest sea level rise from sinking the islands. The people of Sagar, along with Greenpeace planted over ten thousand mangrove saplings; a definite measure to arrest coastal erosion. Outside the Ennore port, Greenpeace activists in inflatable boats targetted the coal carrier APJ SRIDEVI and painted the message “Cut Coal Save the Climate” demonstrating the need to phase out the use of coal for electricity production to arrest global warming. .

* Al Gore’s famous quote against coal power plants: “"I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers," Mr. Gore said, "and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants."

* The Energy revolution by Greenpeace is a roadmap for a decarbonized development pathway for India. The report can be downloaded at www.greenpeace.org/india/reports

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