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Network December 2009

Network December 2009

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Published by greenpeaceuk
Greenpeace Network newsletter Dec 2009
Greenpeace Network newsletter Dec 2009

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Published by: greenpeaceuk on Dec 02, 2009
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Newsletter for Greenpeace activists
Winter 2009/2010
     ©     C   o     b     b     i   n   g     /     G   r   e   e   n   p   e   a   c   e
Front cover, above and below: A team of seven activists perched on the Westminster Hall overnight and the other 24 occupied the roof of the Grand Committee Chamber –they helped each other to reach the roof using ladders.Half of the world’s tropical peat swamps are located in Indonesia, and Kampar is the largest remaining intact area of tropical peat swamprainforest.
Change the politics. Save the climate
Paul Morozzo, climate campaign
Without a change in the way we do politics, without a cross party commitment thatputs real domestic action at the centre of policy, it will not be possible for the UK totake the lead at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December – COP15. So, at3pm, Sunday 11 October, 54 Greenpeace activists swiftly scaled the walls of Parliament and occupied the roof of the great Westminster Hall calling for leaders to‘Change the politics. Save the climate’.The action lasted 26 cold hours, with 31 volunteers staying onthe roof overnight to welcome MP’s in the morning as theystarted back to their last parliamentary session before COP15.Then, on 9 November Ed Miliband announced his new policyon coal, ruling out all new coal-fired power stations unlessthey demonstrated the technology to capture and store atleast one quarter of their carbon emissions. The money forcarbon capture and storage (CCS) will come from centralgovernment funds in the form of a competition grant and aconsumer levy on energy bills.CCS can be fitted to operate either before or after the coal is burned; this is known aspre- or post-combustion. The government has said it will fund four coal-fired powerstation CCS demonstration projects: two to be fitted with full pre-combustion CCSfrom day one and two fitted with a quarter post-combustion CCS from day one.So what does this mean for the future of coal in the UK? Given the current economicsof coal, no company will build new coal power stations unless they receive this money.In all likelihood, the post-combustion funding – which still results in some carbonemissions – will go to Scottish Power’s existing Longannet plant in Scotland and E.ON’sdelayed new plant at Kingsnorth. The government has said that plants fitting onequarter post-combustion CCS would be obliged to have full CCS operational by 2025.Only a year ago, there was a very real possibility that up to eight coal-fired power plantswould be built without any CCS, led by E.ON’s plans at Kingsnorth. So this new policy isa big improvement, but we are working hard to make sure that the next – possiblyConservative – government improves on the policy, or at the very least sticks to it. Andstrong emissions performance legislation must be put in place by whoever is in power toensure that power stations will be shut down if CCS does not work in the end.
Forest camp calls for a fair deal
Ian Duff, forests campaign
Greenpeace activists set up the Climate DefendersCamp on the Kampar peninsula in Sumatra, inNovember 2009. In the run up to the climatesummit in Copenhagen the camp has been bringingurgent attention to the role that rainforest andpeatland destruction play in driving climate change.Together these processes are responsible for aquarter of global carbon emissions and help rankIndonesia as the world’s third largest greenhousegas emitter.In intense and demanding conditions, thecommitted and passionate activists have beenworking hard, building dams, stopping excavatorsand talking with people in the local community.Indonesian authorities attempted to close downthe camp and clear the region of activists – buthundreds of people from the local communitysupported the camp, demanding the police leaveinstead. ‘We want Greenpeace to stay in this campas long as possible,’ said Suwandi, a school teacherfrom Teluk Meranti. ‘Their presence in SemenanjungKampar is really helping us to protect this forestfrom destruction.’Later, journalists from Italy and India were arrestedand deported en route to the camp having stoppedby the side of the road to look at recently clearedforest. Their interest was deemed illegal by localauthorities who were clearly feeling the pressurefrom the work done by the activists and wanted todivert international attention away from the region.Greenpeace will continue its work in stopping thisdeforestation and is calling on world leaders to makea climate change deal at Copenhagen that protectsour last remaining forests and peatlands for good.
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‘Action is eloquence,’ said Shakespeare... and activist Andrew McParland
‘I became a Greenpeace financial supporter about20 years ago, after seeing a video where somebodytrying to stop nuclear dumping in the North Sea hadbarrels of waste dropped on his boat and wasknocked overboard. If they were willing to risk theirlife, I had to a least think about the issue.‘Several years later I ticked a box asking to becontacted by a local group and helped with localevents. My job as an engineer was very interestingintellectually but, looking back, it obviously wasn'tenough. I wanted to do something that affectedme deeply.‘Since then, I've helped organise local groups, takenquite a few direct actions, become a networkcoordinator, nonviolent direct action trainer andeventually joined the climb team.‘Being involved with alike-minded set of people who want toactually do something,and getting out anddoing it, has been thebest part for me.Training people to takepart in direct actions –a learning experience in itself –and working withthem on actions is very satisfying. Putting myself inthe way of something, or highlighting an issue,connects my beliefs to my actions.‘The challenge for Greenpeace is to find areas wherewe can make a difference through action. We needto act more.‘“Action is eloquence” as Shakespeare said.‘Get involved!’
Thousands of people came to see the Rainbow Warrior while she was docked in the UK. The ship has a rich history of taking direct action to bring about change –her presence at Copenhagen is symbolic of the action that world leaders need to take at COP15..As part of the boat team Andrew takes part in regular training sessions at sea –hence the splashy picture.
‘Putting myself in the way of something connects my beliefs to my actions.’ 
Sailing to the summit
Hannah Davey, communications team
As Network goes to press, Greenpeace’s flagship is on her way to COP15. Greenpeacecampaigners across the world are converging on Copenhagen, and grassroots activistsare organising an alternative summit in the city.The Rainbow Warrior moored at West India Docks in London and Cruise Liner berth inEdinburgh on the way. At November’s open boat days, Greenpeace staff and scores of active supporters talked to visitors about Greenpeace’s work while crew conductedtours round the iconic 55 metre working vessel.Greenpeace active supporter, SashaGabbe
boarded the RainbowWarrior in London to join the crew asassistant chef. Sasha is an existingmember of the Greenpeace UK boatteam and also helps coordinateGreenpeace events. ‘We are sailing!’said Sasha at the start of her tour. ‘All four sails are up and I feelat home here in the Warrior. Perversely, I’m enjoying the rollingwaves as we start our voyage up the east coast of the UK toEdinburgh... and beyond.’The Rainbow Warrior is an international symbol of hope for the planet, and whateverthe outcome at Copenhagen, the global Greenpeace community will continue to holddecision makers to their word and push for higher standards in business and politics tostop climate change at home and internationally.
Bluefin news
David Ritter, biodiversity campaign
Greenpeace campaigners attended the World Sushi Awards in London in November toremind Nobu and other indiscriminate sushi traders that Bluefin is endangered andthey should not be serving it. Fishing quotas have been granted (albeit lower) againfor 2010 but fisheries must close if fish stocks are to recover. However, aninternational meeting in March could list Bluefin as endangered, which would make itillegal to buy or sell the fish. For the full story behind the Bluefin’s plight: The End of the Line DVD is now released and available exclusively from www.endoftheline.com
‘We are sailing! All four sails are up and I feel at home here inthe Warrior.’ 
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