Greenpeace joins global wave of actions to break free from fossil fuels

Press release - 4 May, 2016
Manila, 4 May 2016 - Greenpeace today joins a global wave of nonviolent direct action targeting the world's most dangerous fossil fuel projects. Under the banner of Break Free - to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground - around 10,000 people marched in Batangas City, demanding the cancellation of the proposed 600-megawatt coal power plant in the Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba site. Break Free actions will continue across six continents over the next eleven days.

"In our fight against fossil fuels, Southeast Asia is a major battleground and we cannot afford to cede to those who think of nothing but profit instead of people, and plunder instead of protecting the environment,” said Yeb Saño, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Break Free is a breath of hope for all communities who are standing up to the fossil fuel industry's relentless expansion despite climate change. As our communities rise against the ludicrous anachronism of the ongoing use of coal in Southeast Asia, we are buoyed by this global solidarity.”

2015 was the hottest year ever recorded and the impacts of climate change are already hitting communities around the world. From rising sea levels to extreme storms, the need to act has never been more urgent. As the fossil fuel industry faces a downturn from collapsing prices, massive divestments, and a new global climate deal - the time has never been better for a just transition to a clean and renewable energy system.

To harness the moment, Greenpeace is collaborating with many inspiring organisations and affected communities in South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, USA, Canada and Spain, escalating the message both locally and globally, and working together to make these massive actions happen.

“Communities on the front lines of climate change aren’t waiting for governments to act. They are taking bold action, and the world needs to listen,” said Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International. “The Paris agreement was only possible because millions of people spent years fighting for climate justice. Now that governments have committed to action, we must make sure they follow the science and deliver on their word. The only way to survive climate change is through a rapid just transition to 100 percent renewable energy, keeping oil, coal and gas in the ground.”

In order to address the current climate crisis and keep global warming below 1.5C, fossil fuel projects need to be shelved and existing infrastructure needs to be replaced now that renewable energy is more affordable and widespread than ever before.

"We are currently at a crossroads in humanity where we must choose either to continue down a destructive path of extracting fossil fuels or transition to sustainable ways of living,” said Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Cree First Nation, Greenpeace Canada Climate & Energy Campaigner and Board member. “What we need is ambitious renewable energy projects, not more tar sands pipelines. These pipelines don’t have the support of local communities and the Indigenous nations they will impact. If we continue to build fossil fuel infrastructure, we are breaking our promise to do our part in Canada to stem a global climate crisis that is already being felt by communities all over the planet.”


Notes to Editors:

A sample of actions happening around the world:

  • Philippines:  On 4 May anti-coal activists from all over the Philippines will converge in a climate march to mobilize 10,000 people in Batangas City, where JG Summit Holdings aims to put up a 600 megawatt coal fired power plant that is set to occupy a 20-hectare site in Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba, Batangas City. The people will be demanding the cancellation of the coal plant in Batangas as well as all 26 other proposed plants in the country.

  • Indonesia: There will be a mass action of thousands of people at the presidential palace in Jakarta on 11 May from several communities who are leading the resistance to coal projects. The mobilisation will target President Joko Widodo to demand he revise his ambitious 35,000 megawatt energy plan by moving away from coal and embracing renewable energy.

  • South Africa: On 12 May people will gather in Emalahleni, one of the most polluted towns in the world, to speak out on the effects of climate change on communities. It will also feature a photo exhibition that shows the poison behind coal mining to people and the environment.

  • US: Across the US, activists will target six key areas of fossil fuel developments between 12-15 May, and Greenpeace will be participating in DC and Colorado. On May 12th, the Bureau of Land Management intends to auction off public lands in CO for fracking — and the movement intends to be there to tell them to keep it in the ground! In DC they will demand President Obama to stop all new offshore drilling in the Arctic, Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Canada: On 14 May hundreds of people will take action on land and in the water in Vancouver to oppose the proposed Kinder Morgan Transmountain tar sands pipeline, surrounding the Westridge Marine terminal.

  • Spain: A funeral parade will march through Barcelona ending in Plaça St Jaume on 7 May carrying the coffins of the oil, coal and gas industry. Then on 14 May, cyclists from all over town will take over the city and project large scale messaging for a renewable shift on public buildings powered by bicycles at Plaça St Jaume.

Photos and Videos (to be updated throughout the duration of Break Free):

Photos available here:

Video footage here:


Angelica Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Philippines, +63 949 889 1332, ,

Rahma Shofiana, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Indonesia, +62 811 146 1174,

Mbong Akiy, Communications Manager, Greenpeace South Africa, +27 (0) 11 482 4696,

Jason Schwartz, Media Officer, Greenpeace USA, +01 347 452 3752,

Rania Massoud, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada, +01 438 929 7447,

Conrado García, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Spain, +34 66 047 1267,

Hoda Baraka, Break Free Global Communications Manager,, +1 347 453 6600,

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours),