Climate boomerang

Rainbow Warrior blocks the world's largest coal port

Feature story - 27 July, 2005
In the glow of a warm, still morning, the Rainbow Warrior slipped into the harbour of the world's biggest coal port and dropped anchor to shut down coal exports for 5 hours in Newcastle, Australia.

Greenpeace activists disrupt coal loading at the world's largest coal port with the message to the world about Australia's contribution to global climate change and to demand that Australia 'quit coal' and move to sustainable renewable energy.

As the Rainbow Warrior blocked the port, locals cheered from the wharfand on small boats in support of clean energy, and against dirty coal.Meanwhile, activists from Greenpeace Australia occupied a huge coalloader and a massive 2.5 million tonne coal stockpile. They were laterarrested, along with the Rainbow Warrior's captain.

Ourcampaigner, Ben Pearson explained why we are blocking the port:"Newcastle exports 80 million tonnes of coal to the world each year andevery tonne returns to us as climate change. Every hour that we stoppedcoal loading we prevented at least 16,000 tonnes of greenhousepollution from leaving."

"We are exposing Australia'sdangerous addiction to coal export dollars. To protect our own future,we have to quit coal and take part in the clean energy revolution."

Rainbow Warrior blocks coal port to stop exports to Asia.

Climate change in Australia is predicted to cause worse droughts,bushfires, storms and floods. Australia fuels these impacts at home andacross the globe by exporting more coal than any other country.

Because of its huge coal industry Australia is not surprisingly bestbuddies with the US Bush administration when it comes todelaying/diluting/destroying international action to tackle climatechange.

Another way

But there is an better alternative: For every unit of energy producedby conventional fossil fuels, we could create three to five more jobsin renewable energy than we have in coal. In Newcastle the localcommunity has suffered as the coal industry has cut jobs.

"Ithink what Greenpeace did today was good for drawing attention to theproblem and there needs to be more funding and more attention onrenewable energy," said local resident Warren Keen.

TheRainbow Warrior is in Australia to spread the message that there is nofuture in dirty fuels like coal and help coal-dependent communitiesmake the transition to sustainable industries and jobs.

Peoplesay that coal is an industry Australia cannot afford to lose. But,living on the front line of climate change, the truth is that coal isan industry Australia, and the world, can't afford.

More info

View the picture gallery and get more on the Rainbow Warrior action from Greenpeace in Australia.

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