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Found 17 results

  1. Shell has announced that they intend to revive their oil drilling plans in the Arctic waters of off Alaska. But environmentalists, whom have campaigned against these plans for years, warn that Shell is taking a massive risk that could potentially end in disaster for the pristine Arctic environment and its wildlife. The giant's chief executive, Ben van Beurden, acknowledged to the BBC that these fossil fuel development plans for the Arctic may “divide society”, but that they are needed to meet increased global demands for oil and gas. It’s estimated that around 24 billion barrels of oil can be extracted from Alaska – potentially being the biggest oil reserve in the world. Shell’s plans are not new. For the past decade, the energy giant has spent around $6 billion on unsuccessful attempts to extract oil in the fragile region. Shell has also announced a $15 billion cut in global spending, and recent profit figures has disappointed investors. It’s clearly not going that well for Shell. And with plummeting global oil prices many are questioning whether these Arctic plans are economically beneficial. “Despite announcing cuts, Shell hasn't taken the opportunity to cut its most high-cost high-risk project,” said Greenpeace's Charlie Kronick. “Shell is taking a massive risk doggedly chasing oil in the Arctic, not just with shareholder value, but with the pristine Arctic environment. A spill there will be environmentally and financially catastrophic,” Kronick said. “It's time for investors to recognise that it's impossible for Shell to justify its continued pursuit of offshore Arctic oil.” In spite of concerns about the risks of devastating oil spills in the Arctic’s sensitive ecosystems and the impact on our climate from exploiting new sources of fossil fuels, Shell claim that they can drill for oil safely and responsibly. “We will only do this if we feel that we can do it responsibly,” Ben van Beurden said. “I think that we are as well prepared as any company can be to mitigate the risks.” Promises aside, to drill in the Arctic is a very risky business and Shell’s latest attempt in the Arctic ended in fiasco in late 2012 when their oil rig drove up on land. And their track record when it comes to oil spills are not comforting. For example, the company recently had to pay $84 million in clean-up costs after a major oil spill in Nigeria. Before Shell can set their plans in motion they first need approval from the US government to start drilling in Arctic waters. Greenpeace is now pushing for US President Barack Obama to block Shell’s oil drilling plans and to protect the Arctic.
  2. Greenpeace boats violently rammed by Spanish Navy during peaceful protest, two activists were injured. Support the activists! Tell the Spanish government freedom of speech is more important than freedom to drill for oil.     Greenpeace writes:   Spanish authorities responded to a peaceful protest against oil drilling in international waters by ramming Greenpeace boats. The boats were severely damaged, and one of the activists was knocked overboard and later hospitalised. She'll be recovering for months, but it could have been much worse. Now they've detained our ship because we dared to occupy the ecologically pristine piece of ocean where the oil company, Repsol, has been given permission to drill in total disregard of everyone’s right to a clean and healthy environment. We're not giving up, but we need your help to be heard. We need international pressure to support the Canary Islanders and people throughout Spain, who want to block this oil drilling. The tourism industry in Spain supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the Canary Islands are a popular tourist destination - so the government has good reason to listen to you. Tell them freedom of speech and protection of the ocean are more important than the profits of a multinational oil company like Repsol.   Click here to write to the Spanish government!   Also read: Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise detained in Spain following oil protest
  3. The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation in Spain has detained the Arctic Sunrise, a ship operated by Greenpeace International, while an investigation is completed into the peaceful anti-oil drilling protest, which took place in the waters off Canary Islands this past weekend. The protest was violently stopped by the Spanish Navy – resulting in the injuries of two Greenpeace activists. “The detention of the Arctic Sunrise violates the rights of all people who strive to defend the environment,” said Mario Rodriguez, director of Greenpeace Spain, in a statement. “It’s telling that the Spanish Government would so quickly support the interests of an oil company, Repsol, against a peaceful environmental organisation which stands alongside millions of people who oppose reckless oil exploration.” An investigation has been launched by the Spanish government against the captain of the Arctic Sunrise, for an alleged “infringement against marine traffic rules”, which is punishable with a fine of up to €300,000. Pending this investigation, Spanish authorities have ordered the ship to be detained until a €50,000 bond is paid. Fortunately, the captain and crew have not been detained. In a statement, Greenpeace says they find this response “to a peaceful protest against dangerous oil drilling” to be both “unnecessary and disproportionate.” This incident is sure to bring up bad memories. Just six months ago, the Arctic Sunrise was released by Russian authorities after a nine month long detention for an attempted protest against a Gazprom oil rig. Two freelance journalists and 28 Greenpeace activists were arrested at gunpoint in the Russian Arctic and had to spend three months in jail before being granted amnesty.
  4. Two Greenpeace activist have been injured following a peaceful demonstration against oil drilling in the waters off the Canary Islands. In a dramatic video, released by Greenpeace, you can see how the Spanish Navy deliberately and repeatedly rammed the small boats with the activists at full speed. The video shows how the military vessels partly climbs up on the small boats. It was during one of these collisions that a 23 year old Italian activist was seriously injured when she was knocked overboard and had her leg broken. You can hear her scream in agony in the video. A diver from the Spanish Navy eventually jumps in and save her. The activist was then taken to a hospital in Las Palmas by a navy helicopter, and is reportedly in good condition. A fellow activist received minor injuries and was treated on board the Arctic Sunrise. "We're thankful that no one else was seriously injured, and outraged at the unjustified use of force," Greenpeace writes in a comment to the incident. "It's another reminder of the lengths governments will go to protect the oil industry from peaceful protesters." Greenpeace were protesting against controversial drilling plans just outside the waters of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, two of the Canary Islands. The environmental organisation has sided with locals who are worried that oil drilling could cripple the marine environment around the islands, and ultimately the tourism industry. The activist were heading towards a drilling vessel belonging to the oil company Repsol when they were violently stopped by the Spanish Navy. A spokesman for Spain’s Ministry of Defence blamed the incident on Greenpeace. In a comment to The Spain Report, the spokesman said that Greenpeace "were committing a crime" when they came close to the Repsol ship. “There are government orders on protecting the prospecting ship and they will be followed.” Juande Fernández, head of protest actions for Greenpeace Spain, said the incident was “an act of violence by the Spanish Navy”. Fernández also promised that, despite this incident, they would continue to protest against oil drilling in the Canary Islands. In Madrid, the Socialist Party (PSOE) has called the incident "intolerable" and demanded that Defense Minister Pedro Moreno are to "urgently" explain the Spanish Navy's behaviour for the parliament.
  5. Earlier this week, a group of Greenpeace activists climbed onto an oil rig belonging to Statoil, a Norwegian state-owned oil and gas company. The oil rig was being moved to its new drilling location in the Barents Sea, located near the unique Arctic habitat of Bear Island – a protected nature reserve home to countless of sea birds, polar bears and other wildlife. The activists managed to “occupy” the oil rig for 48 hours before they were forcefully removed by Norwegian police. Following the arrest of its activists, Greenpeace decided to block the actual drilling site with its ship the Esperanza. The activists rejected the coast guard's demands to move the ship. As a result, Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum informed Greenpeace that the government had created a “safety zone” around the drilling site. And early this morning, the Norwegian coast guard boarded Esperanza and started towing it away. Because Esperanza was outside of Norwegian territorial waters, Greenpeace believes that the boarding violates international law. “There is no reason why the Esperanza should have to make way for oil companies to drill here because of the abrupt and irregular declaration of a safety zone,” said Greenpeace International legal counsel Daniel Simons. “Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, foreign vessels enjoy freedom of navigation through the Exclusive Economic Zone. We certainly have as much right to be here as companies drilling for Arctic oil," Simons explained. Greenpeace also delivered a petition from over 120,000 people to Tine Sundtoft, the Norwegian Environment minister, asking her to reconsider the decision to allow drilling near Bear Island, a protected nature reserve. “I took action in Russia last year to stop exactly the same recklessness as I can see here in Norway. We ask everyone to tell the Norwegian government to stop this dangerous rush into the beautiful Arctic environment and rethink its increasingly desperate hunt for oil,” said 32 year old Sini Saarela from Finland, who spent over two months in Russian prison for climbing another Arctic oil rig in September last year.
  6. Petition Amazon crime in UK gardens?

    Rare Amazon trees are being cut down by criminal loggers and turned into luxury garden decking. And it’s for sale at builders merchant Jewson!   We’ve reported Jewson to the UK government regulator. But if we kick off a big enough threat to their reputation as a responsible company, we could get them to stop selling dodgy wood in days, not months. We can do it with a huge and fast-growing petition.    Can you sign now to demand Jewson stop plundering the Amazon? https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/amazontimber2   The criminal loggers use sophisticated scams to give their illegal timber a legitimate-sounding cover story. You won’t find Amazon timber at B&Q and Homebase - but you will at Jewson.   A two-year Greenpeace investigation and an undercover sting in April have revealed they buy wood from the riskiest part of Brazil, where almost 80% of logging is illegal.     A salesman for Jewson’s partner company told our undercover investigator that the paperwork from Brazil, claiming to show where the timber comes from, is "not worth much more [than] what it's written on”.    The Amazon rainforest is living, breathing, vast and beautiful.  It’s home to millions of animal, plant, insect and bird species. Yet criminal loggers smash roads right through it to get to rare trees, roads that are often later used to start fires for illegal land clearance.   Recently, together we got Oriental & Pacific Tuna to stop using fishing methods that kill turtles and sharks after targeting their biggest retailer, Tesco. And we got Procter & Gamble to agree to stop buying palm oil from companies that destroy Indonesia’s rainforests.   Now let’s do it for the Amazon.   Sign the petition: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/amazontimber2 Jewson claims that the wood it sells is legal but the only evidence they can point to is exactly the same paperwork used by criminal gangs to disguise illegal timber. Time to call them out - sign now.
  7. Have you ever thought about how much and what kind of energy your favourite websites consume?   Greenpeace has released a report that takes a closer look on various IT-companies, their environment policies and energy sources. Apple is praised by Greenpeace for their commitment to renewable energy. Google and Facebook also receive high scores with Amazon, Ebay and Twitter scoring the least points.    Twitter gets a low score because a lack of energy transparency, disclosing no information about its energy footprint.   Amazon - which serves many well-known brands such as Netflix, Pinterest, Spotify, and Vine - "has dropped further and further behind its competitors in building an internet that runs on renewable sources of energy," Greenpeace states.  
  8. A dozen of Greenpeace activists sneaked into France's oldest nuclear power plant earlier this morning in an effort to highlight security weaknesses at nuclear facilities in Europe. All in all, about 60 Greenpeace activists from 14 different countries participated in today's protest at the Fessenheim nuclear plant - the oldest in France. The protest started early at dawn this Tuesday when several activists sneaked inside the premises of the nuclear power plant to hang anti-nuclear banners from a building next to one of the plant's reactors. A couple of activists even managed to climb on top of the reactor number 1's roof where they unfurled banners with the message "Stop Risking Europe". The rest of the activists stayed outside the plant, blocking its entrance with barrels and demanding the shutdown of the plant. "The Fessenheim plant is a symbol," Greenpeace activist Cyrille Cormier said. "Its planned closure must be the beginning of a series of plant closures in Europe to limit the accidental and financial risks linked to ageing (plants) and to start the energy transition." The Fessenheim nuclear plant, which is France's oldest and considered vulnerable to seismic activity and flooding, is located in north-eastern Europe, only 1,5 km from Germany in the third most densely populated region in Metropolitan France and in the centre of the so-called European Backbone. The nuclear plant is situated on the banks of the Rhine, one of Europe's largest rivers that runs through three different countries. So if an accident were to happen at the nuclear plant, it wouldn't just be France who would be affected. France's President François Hollande has said that he wants to reduce France’s reliance on nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025. Hollande has earlier promised to shut Fessenheim down by 2016. But despite this, there are currently discussions in France about extending the lifetime of several nuclear plants beyond their 40 years. "We’re demanding Mr Hollande keep his promise by limiting maximum reactor lifetimes to 40 years by law and ensuring more nuclear plants are shut down," Greenpeace said in a statement. "With climate change upon us it should really go without saying that Europe needs a real energy transition based on renewable energy. This needs to happen fast." A spokesman from EDF, the plant's operator, said in a statement that further precautionary measures has been taken. "There has been no impact on the security of the plant, which continues to function normally," the EDF spokesman said. Following today's protest, Ecology Minister Philippe Martin said he would "ask operators to reinforce the physical protection of the most sensitive zones in their nuclear facilities."
  9. The 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists who were arrested in September after a peaceful protest against oil drilling in Arctic waters has been granted amnesty. The Russian parliament has voted in favor of an amendment that extends an amnesty decree to people who have been charged with hooliganism. This amendment grants amnesty not just for the “Arctic 30”, but also for thousands of other Russians and high-profile people. These include Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oil tycoon, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhin, both members of the Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot. The amnesty grants freedom for the 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists who were arrested on international waters following a peaceful protest at a Gazprom-operated Arctic oil platform three months ago. This also means that the legal proceedings against the “Arctic 30” are over and that the 26 non-Russian Greenpeace activists will be able to leave the country and travel back home to their families. “I might soon be going home to my family, but I should never have been charged and jailed in the first place,” Peter Willcox, the Captain of the Arctic Sunrise, said. “We sailed north to bear witness to a profound environmental threat but our ship was stormed by masked men wielding knives and guns. Now it’s nearly over and we may soon be truly free, but there’s no amnesty for the Arctic.” But the amnesty could also be seen as an acknowledgement of guilt, especially for the Russian activists. “I’m relieved, but I’m not celebrating. I spent two months in jail for a crime I didn’t commit and faced criminal charges that were nothing less than absurd,” Ana Paula Maciel from Brazil said. “Right now my thoughts are with our Russian colleagues. If they accept this amnesty they will have criminal records in the country where they live, and all for something they didn’t do. All because we stood up for Arctic protection.” The photo shows an Arctic 30 vigil outside the Russian embassy in Mexico. Greenpeace and the “Arctic 30” received massive support following the arrests. Famous names such as Paul McCartney, Madonna, Jude Law, and many others called for the immediate release of the jailed activists. More than 2.6 million people also wrote to Russian embassies and Greenpeace themselves held around 860 protests in 46 countries worldwide. The campaign to free the “Arctic 30” also received political support from Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Dilma Rousseff, François Hollande, Ban Ki-moon and Hillary Clinton. Twelve Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi and Lech Walesa, likewise supported the campaign. Jim Leape, director general of WWF International, said that he was “relieved” to hear that the Greenpeace activists had received amnesty but stressed that “they should never have been arrested” in the first place. “The Gazprom Prirazlomnoye project poses a huge threat to this fragile region,” he said. “While the case against the protesters may no longer exist, the issue of risky Arctic development remains, and needs to be addressed honestly by government, business and civil society.” It is still unclear what will happen to the Arctic Sunrise, the iconic Greenpeace ship, which is still impounded in Murmansk. An international court has ordered for its release following a case brought by the Dutch government. Greenpeace says that they have not been deterred from future protests against Gazprom and has vowed to continue with its campaign against oil drilling in the Arctic.
  10. 30 Greenpeace activists, who had been part of a peaceful protest against energy giant Gazprom, are currently being held at gunpoint by Russian security officers who stormed the group's ship on international waters. Russian officials and representatives from Gazprom have accused the activists of participating in terrorism. Greenpeace dismisses these accusations and says the boarding by Russian security forces was illegal because their ship was circling Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya platform inside international waters and outside the jurisdiction of Russian authorities. The illegal boarding of the Greenpeace ship, named Arctic Sunrise, comes only a day after two other Greenpeace activists were arrested as they protested Arctic oil drilling on the Gazprom platform, Prirazlomnaya, in the Pechora Sea off the Russian coast. They were held overnight without charges or legal representation aboard a Russian Coast Guard vessel. It's been nearly 24 hours since the boarding of the Arctic Sunrise and there have been no official response from Russian authorities regarding the action. Greenpeace International has not received any formal confirmation of possible charges, and the activists have been denied access to legal or consular assistance. "The safety of our activists remains our top priority and we are working hard to establish what is facing them. They have done nothing to warrant this level of aggression and have been entirely peaceful throughout," said Arctic campaigner Ben Ayliffe. "The real threat to the Russian Arctic comes not from the crew of the Arctic Sunrise but from Gazprom, one of the most reckless oil companies in the world today." Greenpeace has organized protests at Russian embassies on 20 locations around the world today in support of the arrested Greenpeace activists. Greenpeace demands the immediate release of their activists and an end to Arctic drilling.
  11. Russia's Federal Security Service has announced that they've seized the Arctic Sunrise and its crew following a protest against oil drilling in Arctic waters. The Greenpeace ship has now been towed to port in Murmansk where an investigation will be conducted. A Russian official have said that the Greenpeace activists, totaling 27 or 30 depending on source, could face piracy charges. Greenpeace strongly rejects these allegations and describes them as a desperate attempt to justify the illegal boarding of their ship in international waters. "The suggestion that Greenpeace engaged in piracy this week smacks of real desperation," said Greenpeace International's General Counsel Jasper Teulings. "The activists climbed Gazprom's Arctic oil platform for a completely safe and peaceful protest against dangerous drilling, carrying only banners and rope. Piracy laws do not apply to safe and peaceful protests." "Over a day after our protest the Russian Coast guard boarded our ship outside of territorial waters, where there is right of free passage, with no legal justification whatsoever," Teulings added. "This looks like a retrospective attempt to create that justification and avoid embarrassment." Greenpeace organized protests outside Russian embassies on 20 locations around the world today following the boarding. They have also called on people to contact Russian embassies and demand the immediate release of the ship and its crew. So far about 400 000 letters have been sent. "We will contest these allegations strongly and we continue to demand the release of our activists and the ship," Teulings said.
  12. It's been more than 48 hours since armed Russian security officers boarded the Arctic Sunrise and arrested around 30 Greenpeace activists following a protest against oil drilling in Arctic waters. Details are still sketchy but the Greenpeace ship is apparently now being towed by the Russian coastguard to the nearest harbor with the ship's crew being held onboard at gunpoint. "They used violence against some of us, they were hitting people, kicking people down, pushing people," said Faiza Oulahsen in a phone call from the ship before communications were cut. Russian officials have accused Greenpeace of "aggressive and provocative" behavior during the oil drilling protest earlier this week. Liliya Moroz, a representative of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Murmansk region, has said to local media that the activists could now face terrorism or piracy charges. If charged with terrorism the activists could face a minimum of 10 years in prison. Greenpeace have been unable to make contact with their activists onboard the Arctic Sunrise and they have not yet received no official confirmation from Russian security services. "This is the clear detention of people against their will," said Vladimir Chuprov, head of the energy department at Greenpeace Russia. "Terrorism is a very serious crime." FSB has said that they've been co-ordinating actions with the Russian foreign ministry and energy giant Gazprom "to protect the safety of the crew on the platform and defend the interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region." But Greenpeace says these accusations are dishonest because the "unidentified object" was their safety pod, and it was brightly coloured and branded with the environmental organization's famous logo. Greenpeace have also said that the boarding was illegal because their ship was on international waters and outside the jurisdiction of Russian authorities. Jasper Teulings, a Greenpeace lawyer told Reuters that "the only reason the ship can be boarded inside the EEZ, (exclusive economic zone) is when there is suspected breach of fisheries regulation or suspected substantial discharge in violation of environmental regulation. Neither is the case. Other grounds could be piracy or slavery, so it's clear that none of these apply." Teulings also stressed that "the situation at the moment is actually unclear," and that we don't know yet whether the Greenpeace ship have been seized. "We would be surprised if it had been [seized], because that would have been illegal," Teulings said. "We do know that the ship is being held by the coastguard, and we are taking every step in our power at this moment, including international diplomacy, to ensure the swift release of the activists and we are in touch with their families."
  13. Today, six brave activists from Greenpeace climbed to the top of the tallest building in Western Europe, the Shard in London, UK. The daring stunt was made in an effort to protest Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The six climbers were Ali Garrigan from the UK, Sabine Huyghe from Holland, Sandra Lamborn from Sweden, Lisbeth Deddens from Belgium, Victoria Henry from Canada and Wiola Smul from Poland. You can read the full story here. Meet the climbers, from the left: Sabine, Sandra, Victo, Ali, Wiola & Liesbeth. The six activists started their journey up the 72-story building by climbing on to the roof of the neighboring London Bridge station early in the morning. Greenpeace says the Shard was chosen because it’s located in the middle of Shell’s three corporate headquarters. This photo shows how everyone involved in the action trained the day before the daring stunt. They arrived to the Shard in a van and climbed up to the London Bridge station using a ladder through a hatch on the roof of the van. Sabine Huyghe and Victoria Henry can be seen here climbing up the side of the Shard. “We'll try to hang a huge art installation 310m up. We may not succeed, but we’re going to do everything we can to pull it off,” Henry said. “Millions of people have called on Shell to get out of the Arctic but they're still trying to drill there anyway. If we reach the top we’ll be able to see all three of Shell’s London offices below us, meaning they'll be able to see us. Maybe then they'll stop ignoring the movement ranged against them.” Ali Garrigan has been climbing since age 18 & hopes the action can bring attention to the dangers facing the Arctic. People could follow and watch the six climbers while they climbed to the top of the Shard, situated 310 meters above ground. The live-feed was managed from the Greenpeace UK headquarter. The climbers used Iphones to stream live from their journey to the top of the Shard where they planned to unveil “a huge work of art that captures the beauty of the Arctic.” Lisbeth Deddens began climbing in high school. She has now climbed ice, rock, alpine, and the Shard. The media seemed to love the stunt and the Save the Arctic campaign got some much needed attention. Wiola Smul hopes that today’s action helps to change the way companies exploit vulnerable regions like the Arctic. Sabine Huyghe was inspired to train as a climber after helping other Greenpeace activists get ready in Belgium. Sandra Lamborn who has just finished an MA in environmental science was the lead climber during the action. “We do this to draw attention to the untenable situation in the Arctic, where the ice has melted by more than 80% since the 1950s. As the ice disappears, opportunities for development in the area previously been virtually inaccessible to humans,” Lamborn said. “This is a threat not only for the Arctic ecosystem and the animals that lives there, but actually for the planet and thus the future of humanity. The oil industry, with giant Shell in the lead, wants to drill for oil in the Arctic icy water, a place where the conditions are extremely unpredictable. Any oil spill would be devastating to the sensitive Arctic ecosystem and almost impossible to clean up. Extraction and consumption of Arctic oil leads to climate change, which in turn disrupts the planet's delicate balance ending in disasters, the extent of which we have only seen the beginning of.” The climbers reached the top of the Shard late on Thursday evening. All safe and sound, but exhausted from their free climb up the tallest building in Western Europe. All six climbers will be spending the night in police custody.
  14. Early this Thursday morning, six activists from Greenpeace started to scale the tallest building in Western Europe, the Shard in London, UK. The daring stunt is made in an effort to protest Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, which could potentially cause "irreparable harm" to the fragile nature and its inhabitants. The six climbers - identified as Ali Garrigan, Sabine Huyghe, Sandra Lamborn, Lisbeth Deddens, Victoria Henry and Wiola Smul - have been climbing for over 12 hours and, at the time of publish, managed to "free climb" 240 meters. Once they reach the top, at 310 meters, they plan to unveil "a huge work of art that captures the beauty of the Arctic." Greenpeace, who is calling for a moratorium ban on oil and gas exploitation in the Arctic, hopes that the action will result in even more signatures to their already one million strong Arctic petition. Greenpeace says the Shard was chosen because it's located in the middle of Shell's three corporate headquarters. But also because the 72-story building is modelled on a shard of ice - the very same environment that is being threatened by our continued use of dirty fossil fuels. In a response to the action, Shell said that they "respect the right of individuals and organisations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about our operations." They also defended themselves against the criticism from Greenpeace and other environmental organizations by claiming that they have the "technical experience and know-how to explore for and produce oil and gas responsibly." But Shell's failed track record in the Arctic and around the world, casts real doubts on the company's claims of being able to drill for oil and gas safe and responsible - especially in a region such as the Arctic where fierce environmental conditions are a daily occurrence. New findings, released earlier this week, also shows that it's impossible, even in fairly safe waters, to operate oil and gas rigs without a steady release of oil and other chemicals leaking out into the sea. You can watch the six-Greenpeace climbers on their journey up the Shard from the live-stream here. Photo Gallery: Meet the six brave women who scaled Europe's tallest building to save the Arctic
  15. A TV ad which attacks Coca-Cola for trying to stop a recycling scheme in Australia has been stopped from airing on TV. In recent weeks Greenpeace has been campaigning in support of the implementation of nationwide 10-cents-a-bottle recycling scheme in Australia. The environmental organization has called the scheme "a no brainer" and they've been critical of Coca-Cola's efforts to undermine and stop the recycling legislation. Last week Greenpeace raised $20,000 in donations in just one day to get the TV ad, which attacks Coca-Cola for lobbying against the recycling scheme, shown during Channel Nine's Friday Night Football broadcast in Australia. But the ad was pulled just minutes before it was supposed to air after being deemed "too offensive" by the channel. Greenpeace quickly blamed Coca-Cola and other beverage makers for putting pressure on Channel Nine to stop the ad from airing. "They took the money and now they've bottled it," Greenpeace's Reece Turner said. "Coke has been accused of bullying politicians into blocking cash for containers. It's a reasonable assumption their influence is behind Channel Nine's last-minute choking." Seabirds and other animals often mistake plastics with food. These plastic objects slowly fills their stomachs over time until they are unable to ingest any real food. A slow death by starvation then follows for these poor seabirds. In Australia, this plastic rubbish is estimated to affect up to 65% of the seabird population. And Coca-Cola is currently trying to fight legislation that is key to fixing this problem. This short ad by Greenpeace exposes how Coca-Cola, even though being a longtime supporter of WWF, is willing to let plastic pollution trash our oceans and kill our marine life. Despite being banned from TV, Greenpeace's campaign is still making waves. The actual ad has been seen over 700,000 times and is the most shared video in Australia. And now shareholders has started to question Coca-Cola's efforts to stop a national Cash for Containers scheme. During an annual meeting in Sydney, Coca-Cola Chairman David Gonski called the scheme "old fashioned", inefficient and warned that it would increase the price of soft drinks. But his comments were challenged by shareholders as well as protesters outside the meeting. "What's wrong with old fashioned?" one shareholder asked. "We have container deposit legislation in South Australia and only 4% of containers are found in litter. That's a stark contrast to the 40% of containers in the eastern states." By blocking the ad from airing on TV, Channel Nine have successfully given Greenpeace's campaign more media attention. And in the end Coca-Cola is the one who will suffer the most from the public backlash that follows.
  16. The other day nine activists from Greenpeace managed to breach the security, infiltrate and hang a banner on one of the reactor buildings at a French nuclear site. According to media reports the police took "several hours" to respond to the security breach at the Nogent Sur Seine nuclear plant, located just 120 km from Paris. "Greenpeace activists secretly entered a French nuclear site before dawn and draped a banner reading "Coucou" and "Facile", (meaning "Hey" and "Easy") on its reactor containment building, to expose the vulnerability of atomic sites in the country," AJE reports. Greenpeace's point with this action was to highlight the vulnerability of nuclear plants and to criticize France’s failure to have proper safety procedures against terrorists. "This action shows just how vulnerable the French nuclear plants are,' said Sophia Majnoni d'Intignano from Greenpeace in a statement. D'Intignano said that French nuclear plants are considered safe just because it is believed that they can withstand a flood or an earthquake. "But those aren't the real risks for our nuclear industry," D'Intignano said. "It's the risk of [an] external, non-natural attack, like the risk of terrorism." Safety experts have warned about the threat of terrorism to nuclear reactors before. The Italian nuclear engineer and safety expert Cesare Silvi says that the threat of terrorism is one of the reasons why he left his former pro-nuclear stance for solar and other renewable energy sources. I am sure many of us agree that it would be a good idea to have a strong protection against outside threats, such as terrorism, at our nuclear power plants. And I am also sure that many people would claim that their country's nuclear safety is in good standard. But apparently this is not the case for nuclear plants in France, and potentially other countries as well. For example, the UK government excluded terrorism as one of the things to consider when they participated in the European wide nuclear stress tests after the Fukushima accident. In fact, most nuclear operators around Europe never stress tested their plants vulnerability against technological or human threats such as a nuclear reactor being struck by a large aircraft.
  17. Today Greenpeace activists protested against recent political plans to introduce new nuclear reactors in Sweden. Dressed as different renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and water, and with the help from a old fire truck the activists managed to cross the security fences surrounding the Swedish nuclear plant. Once inside some of the activists managed to get up on the roof of the reactors, casting new light on the lack of security at the Swedish nuclear power plants. Ludvig Tillman, energy campaigner for Greenpeace Nordic said that: "The Swedish parliament is risking the country's reputation and position as a progressive leader in clean and safe energy development. All the evidence shows that nuclear power is a dangerous, expensive and dead-end distraction from the real solutions to climate protection and energy security. Reactors are standing in the way of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs." "The reality in many countries is that reactors are hugely expensive, construction is often delayed massively due to safety concerns and technical complications, and there is still no solution to deadly nuclear waste," added Jan Beránek, nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace International. It was in 2009 that the current right-wing government announced their plans to scrap the Settlement Act and the ban on new nuclear power in Sweden. The new pro-nuclear agreement will get voted on in the parliament on the 17th of June. Sweden is already far behind other European countries such as Spain, Germany and Denmark in the renewable energy sector. And if the agreement gets a yes from the parliament, sane progress towards a sustainable energy system based on energy efficiency and renewable technologies will likely be blocked and pushed back even further. "The world is watching. Swedish parliamentarians must let reason guide their choice rather than propaganda from the nuclear industry and vote NO to nuclear power on June 17", Tillman said.