Greenpeace activists in frontline of battle against climate change shut down climate destroyer

World Leaders warned: 12 days left to avert climate chaos

Press release - November 25, 2009
Twelve days before the critical UN Copenhagen Climate Summit, Greenpeace activists today shut down the export facilities of a major pulp mill operated by Sinar Mas-owned pulp and paper company APP, in the heart of Indonesia's rainforests. Sinar Mas is a leading driver of global climate change due to its widespread role in forest destruction. Two Filipinos join ten other international and local activists in blocking cranes at the port to stop pulp exports, and displayed banners reading: "Forest Destruction: You can stop this", urging world leaders including Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono to take strong leadership to avert climate chaos and to provide a global fund for forests (1) to end tropical deforestation as part of a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate deal at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December.

Greenpeace activists hang a banner with the message "Forest Destruction: You can stop this" from the top of a loading crane in the port of a major pulp mill facility in Riau Province 900 kilometers (600 miles) Northwest of Jakarta.

Indonesia is the world's third largest climate polluter after China and the US, mainly as a result of the ongoing destruction of its forests and their peat soils. (2) Globally, a million hectares of forests are destroyed every month (3) -- an area the size of a football pitch every two seconds -- emitting so much CO2 that deforestation is one of the main causes of climate change, responsible for about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. (4)

"Countries like the Philippines are already suffering from climate change impacts.  Recent extreme weather events, such as Ondoy and Pepeng are expected to occur more often."   said Mark Dia, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Deputy Campaign Director, speaking from Manila. "World leaders must agree to nothing short of a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal to avert a climate disaster. Significant funds are urgently needed to end tropical deforestation in Indonesia and around the world. This must be a central part of any climate agreement."    

The Greenpeace action comes as President Barack Obama is attempting to relegate the Copenhagen Climate deal to nothing but a political statement and to postpone critical decisions on a legally binding agreement

"Deforestation is one of the roots of the climate crisis. We are shutting down the exports of one of the world's largest pulp mills at the frontline of forest destruction to tell our elected leaders that they can - and must - pull us back from the brink of catastrophic climate change," said Shailandra Yashwant, Campaign Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. "President Obama and other world leaders cannot be allowed to sabotage a strong outcome in Copenhagen because of their lack of political will," added Yashwant.

Paper giant APP sells its products on the global market in China, the United States, Europe and Australia and supplies many international brands and distributors with paper products including Vogue, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Marc Jacobs. APP, alongside their main competitor APRIL, are together responsible for destroying rainforests and carbon-rich peat soil across Indonesia, including on the endangered Kampar Peninsula, Sumatra. (5) Containing 2 billion tonnes of carbon, the Peninsula is one of the planet's largest natural carbon stores and a key defence against global climate change. (6)

Greenpeace has been working with local communities from a 'Climate Defenders' Camp' on the Peninsula over the past month to highlight the central role that deforestation plays in driving global climate change. Greenpeace took action in the area against APRIL on November 12. Since then, both the environmental organisation and the local communities have been under sustained intimidation by the authorities including threats, arrests and deportations. (7) Last week the Indonesia's Forest Minister, Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, suspended APRIL from destroying the area pending a review of the company's permits.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Bustar Maitar said: "Indonesia is climate change's 'ground zero'. Stopping forest destruction here and around the globe is not only one of the quickest but also one of the most cost effective ways to prevent runaway climate change."

Other contacts: In Indonesia: Martin Baker, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Communications Director: +62 (0) 8131 5829513 In the Philippines: Mark Dia, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Deputy Campaign Director: (+632) 4146512 local 113, +639178430549, JP Agcaoili, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Media Campaigner: +63917 6312750, (+632) 4146512 loc 121,

VVPR info: Photos, B roll and a video feature package are available from: Michael Nagasaka, Greenpeace International video producer: +44 (0)7533625409 John Novis, Greenpeace International photography: +44 (0) 7801 615 889

Notes: Notes to the editor: (1) Greenpeace estimates that ending global deforestation requires industrialised countries to invest $42 billion (€30 billion) annually in forest protection. (2) WRI 2008. Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0 (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute) (3) FAO 2005. Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2005. (4) Calculated from: IPCC (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group III, Final Chapter 1. Page 104. Figure 1.2: Sources of global CO2 emissions, 1970-2004 (only direct emissions by sector). (5) Combined, APRIL and APP control 73% of Indonesia’s total pulp capacity and own two of the world’s largest pulp mills. (6) Greenpeace calculation based on Wahyunto, S. Ritung and H. Subagjo (2003). Maps of Area of Peatland Distribution and Carbon Content in Sumatra, 1990 - 2002. Wetlands International - Indonesia Programme & Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC). (7) On November 16, Indonesian police detained, interrogated and later deported two Greenpeace activists from Italy and Belgium and two independent journalists from India and Italy, all of whom were travelling on valid business and journalist visas. Eleven other people from Greenpeace were also deported that week, including 1 from the Philippines.