Thursday, July 28, 2005

Greenpeace Closes World's Largest Coal Port: "Greenpeace's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, closed down the world's largest coal export port in Newcastle today and called on Australia to quit coal and tackle climate change by moving to a clean energy economy. The Rainbow Warrior dropped anchor in the channel leading to the Kooragang and Carrington terminals in Newcastle harbour. In addition, teams of activists occupied a 2.5 million tonne coal stockpile and one of four huge coal loaders.

"Greenpeace Australia climate and energy campaigner Ben Pearson said: 'We are here today to expose Australia's dangerous addiction to coal export dollars and its significant contribution towards global climate change. Newcastle sends 80 million tonnes of coal to the world each year, and every tonne causes worse droughts, bushfires, storms and floods. Every hour that we are here, we stop coal that could emit thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases from leaving.'

"Australia is a major exporter of pollution and a climate destroyer. It exports coal to thirty-five countries. In 2002-03, 80 % (165 million tonnes) went to Asia. The main customers are Japan and South Korea. Taiwan, India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines buy Australian coal.... Australia has the potential to be a world leader in renewable energy exports, sharing its vast solar and wind resources to its neighbouring countries in the region. It could play a more constructive role in addressing poverty and environmental issues in these already vulnerable economies by supporting their shift to safe, clean energy sources. "Coal burns our common future but renewable energy unites us. By embracing renewable energy, Australia will embrace a future common to Asia as well - a clean, sustainable future," Ronquillo concluded."

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