NETWORK

Newsletter for Greenpeace activists
Winter 2009/2010

www.greenpeace.org.uk/active

©Cobbing/Greenpeace

INTERNATIONAL

Half of the world’s tropical peat swamps are located in Indonesia, and Kampar is the largest remaining intact area of tropical peat swamp rainforest.

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.

Forest camp calls for a fair deal
Ian Duff, forests campaign Greenpeace activists set up the Climate Defenders Camp on the Kampar peninsula in Sumatra, in November 2009. In the run up to the climate summit in Copenhagen the camp has been bringing urgent attention to the role that rainforest and peatland destruction play in driving climate change. Together these processes are responsible for a quarter of global carbon emissions and help rank Indonesia as the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter. In intense and demanding conditions, the committed and passionate activists have been working hard, building dams, stopping excavators and talking with people in the local community. Indonesian authorities attempted to close down the camp and clear the region of activists – but hundreds of people from the local community supported the camp, demanding the police leave instead. ‘We want Greenpeace to stay in this camp as long as possible,’ said Suwandi, a school teacher from Teluk Meranti. ‘Their presence in Semenanjung Kampar is really helping us to protect this forest from destruction.’ Later, journalists from Italy and India were arrested and deported en route to the camp having stopped by the side of the road to look at recently cleared forest. Their interest was deemed illegal by local authorities who were clearly feeling the pressure from the work done by the activists and wanted to divert international attention away from the region. Greenpeace will continue its work in stopping this deforestation and is calling on world leaders to make a climate change deal at Copenhagen that protects our last remaining forests and peatlands for good.

Change the politics. Save the climate
Paul Morozzo, climate campaign

Without a change in the way we do politics, without a cross party commitment that puts real domestic action at the centre of policy, it will not be possible for the UK to take the lead at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December – COP15. So, at 3pm, 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 on the roof overnight to welcome MP’s in the morning as they started back to their last parliamentary session before COP15. Then, on 9 November Ed Miliband announced his new policy on coal, ruling out all new coal-fired power stations unless they demonstrated the technology to capture and store at least one quarter of their carbon emissions. The money for carbon capture and storage (CCS) will come from central government funds in the form of a competition grant and a consumer levy on energy bills.

CCS can be fitted to operate either before or after the coal is burned; this is known as pre- or post-combustion. The government has said it will fund four coal-fired power station CCS demonstration projects: two to be fitted with full pre-combustion CCS from 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 economics of 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 carbon emissions – will go to Scottish Power’s existing Longannet plant in Scotland and E.ON’s delayed new plant at Kingsnorth. The government has said that plants fitting one quarter 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 plants would be built without any CCS, led by E.ON’s plans at Kingsnorth. So this new policy is a big improvement, but we are working hard to make sure that the next – possibly Conservative – government improves on the policy, or at the very least sticks to it. And strong emissions performance legislation must be put in place by whoever is in power to ensure that power stations will be shut down if CCS does not work in the end.

©Cobbing/Greenpeace

©Greenpeace

SPOTLIGHT

©Stoner/Greenpeace

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.

Sailing to the summit
Hannah Davey, communications team

‘Action is eloquence,’ said Shakespeare ... and activist Andrew McParland
‘I became a Greenpeace financial supporter about 20 years ago, after seeing a video where somebody trying to stop nuclear dumping in the North Sea had barrels of waste dropped on his boat and was knocked overboard. If they were willing to risk their life, I had to a least think about the issue. ‘Several years later I ticked a box asking to be contacted by a local group and helped with local events. My job as an engineer was very interesting intellectually but, looking back, it obviously wasn't enough. I wanted to do something that affected me deeply. ‘Since then, I've helped organise local groups, taken quite a few direct actions, become a network coordinator, nonviolent direct action trainer and eventually joined the climb team. ‘Being involved with a like-minded set of people who want to actually do something, and getting out and doing it, has been the best part for me. Training people to take part in direct actions – a learning experience in itself – and working with them on actions is very satisfying. Putting myself in the way of something, or highlighting an issue, connects my beliefs to my actions.

As Network goes to press, Greenpeace’s flagship is on her way to COP15. Greenpeace campaigners across the world are converging on Copenhagen, and grassroots activists are organising an alternative summit in the city. The Rainbow Warrior moored at West India Docks in London and Cruise Liner berth in Edinburgh 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 conducted tours round the iconic 55 metre working vessel. Greenpeace active supporter, Sasha Gabbe (right) boarded the Rainbow Warrior in London to join the crew as assistant chef. Sasha is an existing member of the Greenpeace UK boat team and also helps coordinate Greenpeace events. ‘We are sailing!’ said Sasha at the start of her tour. ‘All four sails are up and I feel at home here in the Warrior. Perversely, I’m enjoying the rolling waves as we start our voyage up the east coast of the UK to Edinburgh... and beyond.’

©Cordingley/Greenpeace

‘We are sailing! All four sails are up and I feel at home here in the Warrior.’

The Rainbow Warrior is an international symbol of hope for the planet, and whatever the outcome at Copenhagen, the global Greenpeace community will continue to hold decision makers to their word and push for higher standards in business and politics to stop climate change at home and internationally.

‘Putting myself in the way of something connects my beliefs to my actions.’

Bluefin news
David Ritter, biodiversity campaign

Greenpeace campaigners attended the World Sushi Awards in London in November to remind Nobu and other indiscriminate sushi traders that Bluefin is endangered and they should not be serving it. Fishing quotas have been granted (albeit lower) again for 2010 but fisheries must close if fish stocks are to recover. However, an international meeting in March could list Bluefin as endangered, which would make it illegal 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

‘The challenge for Greenpeace is to find areas where we can make a difference through action. We need to act more. ‘“Action is eloquence” as Shakespeare said. ‘Get involved!’

TALK TALK

©Couchman/Greenpeace

Active supporters organised competitons and games for guests at the orchard planting, like this apple peeling contest.

Roots of resistance
Anna Jones, aviation campaign

The roots of resistance against aviation expansion have been growing this autumn. Greenpeace, the Woodland Trust and others planted an orchard on the Airplot in the centre of the planned third runway site. Active supporters have planted trees up and down the country and twinned them with trees in the Airplot orchard, showing the diverse and widespread opposition to the government’s misguided airport expansion policy. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, actors Alison Steadman and Richard Briers joined a crosssection of civil society to oppose expansion plans, by adopting and planting trees on the Airplot. Several Labour and Conservative MPs – including David Cameron– adopted trees, and the Lib Dems and Green parties have adopted trees too. Trees were adopted by scientists, government advisers, local councils, local people, writers, celebrities and campaigning groups including RSPB, WWF and Garden Organic. The Reverend Tafue of Tuvalu, the Pacific nation which is already feeling the effects of climate change, has also adopted a tree. BAA’s recent writer-in-residence at Heathrow, Alain de Botton said: ‘I'm sponsoring a tree in the orchard because I love airports and air travel, and recognise that if our society is to tolerate them, we are all going to have to learn to fly a lot less.’ And at the orchard planting, Alison Steadman read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy which predicts the demise of the third runway as the Ghost of Christmas Past visits the orchards of Sipson: ‘“No Runway Three!” cried Mrs Scrooge.’ The orchard links the heritage of Heathrow with its present. In the 1850s Richard Cox first cultivated apples in the area and is buried in Harmondsworth, one of the villages that would be destroyed if a third runway goes ahead. In 2009, MPs, Parliamentary candidates, individuals and groups are continuing Cox’s legacy of apple trees and we hope that these trees will continue to fruit long after the third runway proposals and aviation policy have been overturned.

GET ACTIVE!
Do something astonishing to stop airport expansion, then tell your MP
Get together with your friends and fellow hobbyists and put your creative ideas into practice with help from the Airplot activist’s toolkit at www.airplot.org.uk/toolkit.html If you haven’t joined the plot already, become a beneficiary owner www.airplot.org.uk

Canonbury Villas London N1 2PN t 020 7865 8100 f 020 7865 8200 www.greenpeace.org.uk

©Sandison/Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists persuade Brazilian President Lula to come to Copenhagen.

STREET CAMPAINING TRAINING, London, Saturday, 16 January. Contact Richard (below). EAST OF ENGLAND SKILLSHARE, Cambridge, Saturday, 16 January. For all active supporters in the region. Contact Richard. FUNDRAISING THANKS Issy Griffin, community fundraising PICTURE PERFECT: 82-year-old artist, Ruth Ingram, raised £1,200 in October through sales of her artwork at her open house exhibition in Camden. Ruth is a longstanding supporter and intends to repeat her success next year. SWASHBUCKLING: The Berkshire Network threw a pirate fancy dress party in Reading. With music from the finest local bands and costume prizes they raised £900. ACTIVE SUPPORTER NETWORK OVERVIEW
Greenpeace’s active supporter network is made up of network coordinators, local networks and individual active supporters. Today we have 92 network coordinators, 84 networks and 23,374 active supporters.

CONTACT DETAILS
getactive@uk.greenpeace.org Rachael King 020 7865 8174 rachael.king@uk.greenpeace.org Jo Melzack (Scotland, North England & Northern Ireland) 0161 448 1929 jo.melzack@uk.greenpeace.org Malcolm Carroll (West) 020 7865 8172 malcolm.carroll@uk.greenpeace.org Richard Martin (South England) 020 7865 8178 richard.martin@uk.greenpeace.org

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