Thursday, June 28, 2007

Greenpeace activists highlight Climate Change on Grounded Coal Carrier

Nobby's Beach, Newcastle, Australia — Greenpeace activists used laser lights projected onto the grounded coal carrier Pasha Bulker to protest the continued expansion of NSW's coal industry and its contribution to climate change. Messages beamed onto the side of the stranded ship included 'COAL CAUSES CLIMATE CHAOS', 'THIS IS WHAT CLIMATE CHANGE LOOKS LIKE', and 'LET'S EXPORT SOLAR PANELS INSTEAD'.

The Pasha Bulker ran aground on Nobbys Beach in Newcastle on the 8th June in the severe weather that recently hit NSW's coastline.

Steve Shallhorn, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Chief Executive said “We know burning coal causes climate change and, consequently, extreme weather impacts such as the fierce storms that lashed NSW causing the Pasha Bulker to run aground. Yet very few commentators have made the ironic link between the coal carrier and climate change.”

“Every tonne of coal we burn here in Australia or export will return as climate change impacts. We are already seeing such impacts; severe droughts, bushfires and storms. These are predicted to become more frequent and more intense unless we make deep cuts to our own CO2 emissions, at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020, and this cannot be achieved if Australia continues its reliance on coal.” said Shallhorn.

The NSW state Labor government is planning to upgrade Newcastle's coal exporting facilities and to open new coal mines such as the Anvil Hill mine in the Hunter Valley recently approved. According to Greenpeace Australia this mine alone will contribute 27 million tonnes of CO2 each year - equivalent to doubling the number of cars on NSW roads.

“Every tonne of coal we burn here in Australia or export will return as climate change impacts,” Shallhorn said. “We are already seeing such impacts; severe droughts, bushfires and storms. These are predicted to become more frequent and more intense unless we make deep cuts to our own CO2 emissions, at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020, and this cannot be achieved if Australia continues its reliance on coal.”

According to Greenpeace, insurance companies have estimated that the recent storms in NSW could cost the insurance sector up to $500 million.

Update: 2015: chart of rainfall showing 2007 spike




More Information:

* Greenpeace: More photos
* Stop the Newcastle Coal Export Terminal - Take the Pledge
* Rising Tide Australia
* Newcastle Street March! Tell the ALP: “Save the climate – say no to coal!” 31st June 2007

Sources:

* What climate change looks like Greenpeace Australia Pacific June 27, 2007
* Climate chaos beaches coal ship at Newcastle Rising Tide Newcastle