Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

A feed containing all Greenpeace Australia Pacific press release
    0 0

    Ahead of Minister Upton’s speech at the Keep NSW Beautiful Congress today, Greenpeace sent a colourful message to the NSW Environment Minister to clean up the state’s act and finally ban the bag.

    Greenpeace parked a 5 metre high mobile billboard out the front of the Congress at the Kirribilli Club for the Environment Minister to see out the window as she gave her speech.

    Greenpeace’s plastic bag campaigner questioned the Environment Minister as she walked in to give her speech (video).

    “In order to Keep NSW Beautiful we need the Berejiklian Government to get with the program and ban the bag, just like other states and the big supermarket chains have,” Greenpeace plastic bag campaigner Samantha Wockner.

    “Minister Upton has an important opportunity to finally ban the bag on Friday when she meets with environment ministers from other states and territories.

    “Most of the other states and territories are already banning single use plastic bags and even Coles and Woolworths have announced they will phase them out over the next 12 months.

    “It’s time for NSW to clean up its act.

    “Every year in Australia, tens of millions of plastic bags make their way into our waterways and eventually end inside marine life and our food.

    “It’s embarrassing that it is taking NSW so long to act, despite being Australia’s most populous state and having so many beautiful beaches and waterways that need protection from plastic pollution,” Ms Wockner said.

    The giant billboard displayed powerful videos (http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJXR1MHD) and images urging Minister Upton and Premier Berejiklian to ban the bag.

    Photos of the billboard outside the Congress (http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJX48UPR)

    Contact - Monique Vandeleur 0419 588 430

     

    Plastic facts:

    • Plastic pollution is killing our marine life. 30% of the world’s turtles and 90% of seabird species have now ingested plastic debris.

    • Australians use tens of millions of plastic bags each day.

    • An estimated 50 million of the littered bags end up in our waterways and oceans each year.

    • There is now an estimated 1.7 million tonnes of plastic contaminating our waterways.

    • South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT all have bans on single-use plastic bags.

    • Queensland will introduce a ban in July 2018 while NSW and Victoria are yet to implement a policy on bags. Western Australia has stated it hopes to bring in a ban on bags in the next 18 months.


    0 0

    August 2, 2017: Freedom of Information requests have revealed details of the Queensland government’s “transparent policy framework” on Adani is being kept secret with officials asking for help calculating the benefits of the a royalty holiday after its announcement earlier this year.

    Documents supplied to The Guardian are heavily redacted and appear to both show that public servants attempted to find an economic justification for the government’s “royalty holiday” to Adani after it was issued, and to confirm that the arrangement was made specifically for Adani.

    “Trying to find a justification for a royalty holiday after it has been granted is like a bank doing background checks after giving someone a home loan,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said.

    “The Australian public deserve better and the government must immediately release all of the documents showing the full process of their allegedly ‘transparent policy framework’.”

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific are calling for the Queensland government to make good on its promise that there would be no royalty holiday for the Adani Carmichael mine and to release the full details of their framework.

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://bit.ly/2vgkFHN

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


    0 0

    Sydney, Australia August 8, 2017: Groundbreaking shareholder litigation filed against Australia’s largest bank by its own shareholders will argue that the Commonwealth Bank have failed in their duty to disclose the risk that climate change poses to the bank.

    Filed today by Environmental Justice Australia on behalf of shareholders of over twenty years, Guy and Kim Abrahams, and litigated by former Federal Court judge Ron Merkel QC, the case will argue that the bank has failed in its duty to shareholders to disclose the financial and reputational risk posed by climate change.

    "The Commonwealth Bank's multi-billion-dollar exposure to fossil fuels not only poses a threat to future generations and the Great Barrier Reef, but as regulators and analysts have repeatedly warned, it also poses a risk to the Bank's own shareholders,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokesperson Jonathan Moylan said.

    “Projects like Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and the Newcastle coal port expansion must not continue if we have any chance of slowing climate change and meeting our targets under the Paris Accords.

    “Despite a public commitment to taking action on climate change CommBank continues to pour billions of dollars into the expansion of fossil fuel projects.”

    Analysis [1] by environmental finance group Market Forces shows that the Commonwealth Bank has loaned AU$6 billion to fossil fuel companies in the last eighteen months since they publicly committed to support the goals of the Paris Agreement, representing lifetime emissions of 2.8 billion tonnes of CO2, making the Commonwealth Bank the most polluting bank of the "Big Four" Australian banks.

    They are also the only remaining big four Australian bank to have not ruled out financing Adani's coal mine in the Galilee Basin, and have operated as a transactional bank for the project.

    The Commonwealth Bank are also currently facing allegations of more than 50,000 cases of failing to comply with laws relating to money laundering. These allegations are currently before the court.

    “The current allegations against CommBank, if proven true, would be another example of the bank's litany of failures it its attempts to appropriately manage risk in recent years,” Moylan said.

    “Today's filing by Environmental Justice Australia demonstrates another threat that the bank are failing to take seriously - that of climate change, which poses a serious and material risk to banks that continue to expose themselves to fossil fuel projects that would become stranded assets if the Paris targets are met.

    “This case is the latest demonstration of growing public concern about financial institutions' failure to account for climate risk. The age of coal is ending, and investments of this nature are only getting riskier.

    “Commonwealth Bank investors need to know how exposed they are to these risks.”

    While fourteen international banks including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and ING have adopted policies excluding new coal mines in recent years, the Commonwealth Bank has failed to do so.

    Financial institutions have been repeatedly warned of the risk of litigation due to climate risk, most notably by the G20 Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, led by Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and by Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority director Geoff Summerhayes, who in February warned that the prudential regulator would be paying increased attention to climate risk.

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] https://www.marketforces.org.au/campaigns/banks-new/twodegrees/

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    August 9, 2017: The approval of a new coal lease in southern Queensland shows the government are more interested in propping up the fossil fuel industry than protecting communities and the environment.

    Mining giant Glencore was yesterday granted the first mining leases for a 22 million tonne thermal coal mine in the Surat Basin at Wandoan, north west of Brisbane.

    “The Queensland government have repeatedly shown their first priority is to prop up a dying coal industry instead of standing up for communities and the environment,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy campaigner Nikola Casule said.

    “We can either have a healthy planet and thriving Great Barrier Reef or we can have new coal mines, not both.

    “While the world is moving away from coal, Australia’s politicians seem content to take us in the opposite direction.

    “This approval is simply the latest in a long series of decisions benefitting the coal industry at the expense of the Australian people and the places they love.”

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific is calling for the government to stop the lucrative taxpayer-funded handouts designed to prop up the coal industry despite the fact that global coal demand is in decline.  [1]

    “Our energy future is in renewables, not last century’s polluting coal. Any country that attempts to stick to the fossil fuel path will be left behind,” Casule said.

    “Our politicians must abandon their coal fetish and instead harness the renewable energy revolution to protect Australian communities and position Australia as an industry leader in this rapidly growing sector.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/docs/BoomAndBust_2017_EMBARGO.pdf

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    August 14, 2017: The climate policy released today by the Commonwealth Bank is significantly worse than expected and will do nothing to restore the bank’s tattered reputation.

    CommBank today released a one-page “Climate Policy Position Statement” which now makes them the only of the “big four” to not restrict lending around coal projects, and sees them fall far behind the standard set by other banks.

    “A climate policy that doesn’t mention coal or fossil fuels is not a climate policy at all,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “The Commonwealth Bank commit in their policy to support a transition to net zero emissions by 2050 but then make a mockery of that promise by failing to outline any significant measures to achieve that goal.

    “By failing to exclude highly polluting fossil fuel projects like coal mines, CommBank have fallen far behind other banks such as HSBC and Deutsche Bank.”

    More than 90,000 people have called on CommBank to rule out fossil fuel projects and the bank is also subject to legal action for having failed to consider climate change a material financial risk in their 2016 annual report.

    Moylan said that the bank's recognition of the risk climate change poses to investors through its adoption of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations around climate related risks was welcome, but noted that the bank has again failed to take action.

    “In this policy, CommBank states they recognise that climate related risks are real but then fail to take any significant measures to curb them,” Moylan said.

    “This is flagrant hypocrisy from an institution struggling to protect its name after wave after wave of scandals.

    “By continuing to invest in the coal industry, CommBank have failed both the Australian people and their own shareholders by exposing them to the risk of catastrophic climate change.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org 


    0 0

    August 15, 2017: A report has found that levels of toxic air pollution emitted by Australian coal fired power plants are so high that many of them would be illegal in the US and Europe.

    Released today Environmental Justice Australia’s report Toxic and terminal: How the regulation of coal-fired power stations fails Australian communities[1] found emissions limits in Australia are much more lax than those in the US, EU and China and Mercury limits for some NSW power stations are 666 times higher than the US limits.

    “High-polluting coal power plants in Australia are putting communities at risk with the government doing nothing to hold these companies to account,” Greenpeace campaigner Andrew Kelly said.

    “These plants are pumping substances that directly cause and contribute to asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and respiratory disease into the air in much higher levels than would be permitted overseas.”

    The report also found that new “low emission” coal-fired power stations only marginally reduced toxins produced and that “despite evidence of a failure to comply with pollution licence conditions, no power station in Victoria, NSW or Queensland has been prosecuted for any offence in the past ten years”.

    It also uncovered several instances where officials from plants failed to report their emissions, or reported them incorrectly.  

    “The Australian government has shown over and over again that it is coal’s best friend,” Kelly said.

    “This shows that they are also the enemy of the very communities they are claiming to support with emissions limits rarely monitored or enforced.

    “Despite ample evidence emissions standards are being exceeded the government are yet to punish the plants responsible.”

    Michelle Coles runs Port Augusta's community cinema with her husband, and has been independently monitoring the air quality with a crowd-funding air monitor since a failure to decommission the plant properly saw “fly ash” cover the town for days.

    She said that the report was further demonstration State and Federal governments were failing to protect Australian communities from toxic air pollution from coal-fired power stations but warned communities needed to be protected during plant closures as well.

    “Governments are unprepared for power station closures and the huge task of decommissioning and rehabilitation,” Coles said.“Port Augusta is an example of what happens if you fail to plan a coal-fired power station closure properly.

    “The coal dust from the power station really affected our lives. We always had dust when the power station was operating. But over new years’, it was horrific. We had no information. People were coughing, had burning throats and itchy eyes. We were afraid to go outside. I'm talking about our families, our community.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://envirojustice.org.au/sites/default/files/files/EJA_CoalHealth_final.pdf

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    August 16, 2017: The Australian government must immediately rule out a taxpayer-funded loan to coal miner Adani after revelations the company is accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.

    The Guardian [1] today published details around the allegations that the company inflated invoices for an electricity project in order to move US$235 million into offshore bank accounts.

    “The fraud case currently before the courts is yet another warning of what a stupid idea it would be to give taxpayers’ money to Adani,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “There is already a cloud over the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s consideration of the Adani Carmichael mine proposal but this should be the final nail in the coffin.

    “To give a loan to a project that economists warn is a significant risk of becoming a stranded asset run by a company that is under investigation for funnelling borrowed money into overseas tax havens would be insanity.”

    Greenpeace are calling on the government to listen to the tens of thousands of Australians who  have spoken out against this project and immediately rule out loaning any money to the Carmichael rail line.  

    “According to the NAIF’s own charter this project should be ineligible as the company have stated they do not need the money to go ahead,” Casule said.

    “The government must immediately rule out any taxpayer money going to this dangerous and divisive project.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


    0 0

    August 21, 2017: The contamination of Sydney’s drinking water catchment by millions of litres of highly toxic water from a decommissioned mine is yet another reason for the government to distance itself from the polluting coal mining industry.

    One of Australia's leading water scientists, Dr Ian Wright, today described the waste water contamination revealed in his research [1] from the derelict Berrima Colliery, which was shut down in 2013, as “the worst” he's ever seen.

    “Yet again the coal industry have demonstrated their indifference to the environment and the community,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “This mine is continuing to pollute from beyond the grave with millions of litres of toxic water draining into the Sydney drinking water catchment and posing a risk almost five years after it was shut down.

    “The mine’s owners have taken their profits, packed up, and moved on, but the communities left behind have to swallow the costs.”

    The tests conducted by Dr Wright found dangerous amounts of heavy metals in nearby rivers, with registering  at 120 times the normal level and almost 90 per cent of the aquatic insects in the discharge vicinity have been wiped out. There are close to 50,000 derelict mines across Australia.

    “This is not the first time a coal mine has been shown to still be polluting the environment and threatening people’s health long after it was shut down, and it shows yet another cost of the government’s coal fetish,” Casule said.

    “Both state and federal governments must immediately move to ensure a just transition for mine workers and to ensure fossil fuel companies are held to account for their crimes, whenever they are perpetrated.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS: 

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


    0 0

    22 August 2017: Today the world mourns a fearless voice in the battle for global climate safety, Climate Ambassador and former Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum.

    “On behalf of Greenpeace, our staff, our volunteers, supporters and friends, we extend the deepest condolences to the family of Honorable Tony de Brum”, said Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter.

    “Mr de Brum’s tireless dedication to the pursuit of security and sustainability for his home and his people has given hope and direction to vulnerable nations in the face of the climate crisis.  

    “Through his courage in tirelessly pursuing security and sustainability for his people, Mr de Brum demonstrated to vulnerable nations facing climate crisis that victory is always possible, and no obstacle is insurmountable.

    “A leader of the Pacific Islands, in all true meanings of the word, Mr de Brum leaves a legacy of courage, respect and dignity with his homeland and the climate movement.

    “We must continue to live within this inspiration and example. In solidarity and with a heavy heart, we will defend and continue his legacy.”

    For more information, contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    +61 (0)418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    August 23, 2017, Washington, DC: In response to the peer-reviewed study from Harvard University that compares what Exxon privately knew about climate change with what the company said publicly, Greenpeace USA Climate Liability Campaigner Naomi Ages said.

    “Exxon has officially run out of excuses. This peer-reviewed study from Harvard is just the latest piece of evidence indicating that the largest oil company in the world knew about the risks of climate change, but concealed them from the public and shareholders.

    "State attorneys general dedicated to protecting people and the environment from recent assaults should act now to hold polluters accountable for the biggest crisis facing humanity.

    "The pressure on the parties most responsible for climate change will continue, from investors who recognize the economic risks, to attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York, to the majority of the people in this country who know we need action on climate change.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS: 

    [1] http://nyti.ms/2w07YAr

    For more information, contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     

     


    0 0

    August 10, 2017: Leaders from Australian business, industry, and academia have published an open letter in The Australian Financial Review calling for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to provide more transparency around their policies one day before a senate inquiry into the board’s composition.

    The letter also calls for members to rule out any involvement with Adani’s Carmichael mine in Queensland, with the NAIF currently considering a proposal to loan $1 billion of taxpayers’ money to the billionaire mining company for the construction of a rail line.

    “Given the large amount of public money at stake and the high degree of community interest in this issue, it is particularly important that the public not be kept in the dark,” the letter reads.

    “We ask you to be transparent and open in your decision-making.

    “In reaching your decision, please give proper weight to the overwhelming popular conviction that public money should not be used to finance Adani’s high-risk Carmichael project.”

    The letter comes one day before the fund is due to face a senate grilling over possible conflicts of interest on its board after revelations that one of the board’s directors also runs companies associated with mining labour and equipment hire and was personally known by the the former resources minister.

    “The controversy surrounding the NAIF and its consideration of this project has united Australians from every background,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy campaigner Nikola Casule said.

    “This letter is another reminder that both experts in corporate governance and transparency as well as ordinary Australians are opposed to any taxpayers’ money being used to prop up a dying industry. New coal mines, like the Carmichael mine, aren’t viable without the support they get from the government in the form of subsidies and royalty holidays.

    “With this letter more prominent voices join those of former treasurer Wayne Swan and former Liberal Party leader John Hewson in warning against any public money going into this mine.”

    The letter has been signed by:

    Jon AltmanProfessor of Anthropology, Deakin University

    Frank BongiornoProfessor of History, Australian National University

    Ian DunlopFormer Chair, Australian Coal Association and CEO AICD

    Robyn EckersleyProfessor of Political Science, University of Melbourne

    Alex GardnerProfessor of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, The University of

    Western Australia

    Sarah JosephProfessor of Law, Monash University

    John KeaneProfessor of Politics, University of Sydney

    Stephen Keim SCSenior Counsel

    Greg McIntyre SCSenior Counsel

    John QuigginProfessor of Economics, University of Queensland

    Barry RafeDirector Trainer

    Christopher WrightProfessor of Organisational Studies, University of Sydney

    James WrightCEO, Future Business Council

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    September 3, 2017: North Korea announced on Sunday that it had successfully conducted a nuclear test using a hydrogen bomb more powerful than any it previously used. This is believed to be the sixth test conducted by North Korea.

    In response, Greenpeace International, Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid said:

    “Greenpeace strongly condemns the alleged nuclear testing by North Korea. Greenpeace has opposed any kind of development, testing and use of nuclear weapons by any country since its founding in 1971. We are deeply alarmed by the news emerging from the region and by the prospects of looming escalation.

    “We believe in a world where peace is achieved through diplomacy, negotiation and cooperation, not by threat, military escalation and brinkmanship.

    “We urge all parties to rapidly de-escalate the situation and pull back from the brink. We call on the UN Security Council to uphold its primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security on behalf of all humanity and not individual national interests.

    “Furthermore, in a time where the threat of nuclear war has become, to some, thinkable again, world governments must use it as an impetus to come to their senses and disarm.

    On September 20 a new treaty banning Nuclear Weapons will be open for signature at the UN. We urge all governments to sign and ratify the treaty so that we can finally rid the world of this evil invention - nuclear weapons.”

    The nine nuclear armed states (the US, Russia, China, France, UK, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) still hold an estimated 16,300 nuclear warheads at 98 sites in 14 countries. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are all in possession of nuclear weapons.

    Media contacts:

    Greenpeace International Press Desk: pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org  +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

    For Australian interviews contact:

    Simon Black
    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner
    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


    0 0

    September 6, 2017: Queensland’s Parliament has shamed the Premiers of NSW and Victoria by taking decisive action to limit plastic waste by passing a ban on single-use bags and a drinks container refund scheme into law.

    The Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill was passed with bipartisan support last night.

    “With this law, Queensland become the latest state to listen to the people and take decisive action to limit plastic waste,” Greenpeace campaigner Samantha Wockner said.

    “Despite polls showing overwhelming support for banning the bag both Victoria and NSW are saddled with do-nothing Premiers who are refusing to take the hint.

    “Other states have now proved we can reduce plastic waste - the governments who aren't on board yet for bag bans or a container deposit scheme need to up their game.”

    Queensland’s new law sees it join South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT which all have bans on single-use plastic bags. Western Australia has stated it hopes to introduce a ban on bags in the next 18 months.

    NSW and Victoria are yet to implement any policy on bags.

    “Every year in Australia, tens of millions of plastic bags make their way into our waterways and eventually end inside marine life and our food,” Wockner said.

    “By continuing to fail to act on plastic bags NSW and Victoria are ensuring an estimated 1.6 - 2 billion more bags per year will be used in Australia [2].”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://bit.ly/2eCLL21

    [2] http://bit.ly/2w4zQA9

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    September 7, 2017: Barnaby Joyce’s declaration that the government is “redesigning the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF)” so it can use $5 billion in taxpayer funds to better serve mining interests is a slap in the face to millions of Australians.

    The deputy PM made the troubling promise during a speech to the Minerals Council on Wednesday, during which he also attacked charities and environmental groups. The NAIF is currently considering a $1 billion loan to the Carmichael coal mine project.

    “The deputy PM is no longer pretending the NAIF is intended to do anything else other than siphon off $5 billion of taxpayers’ money to be used as a gift to the mining industry,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “This is a slap in the face to taxpayers, tourism operators, farmers, developers of renewable energy projects, and basically anyone else that isn't a well-paid mining executive living on public subsidies.

    “The NAIF has already been heavily criticised by leading voices in government and the corporate sector and is the subject of a senate inquiry over potential conflicts of interest. Making it more biased in favour of mining will only worsen the perception that it’s little more than a government-run slush fund.”

    The NAIF is not fit for purpose and the only solution is to scrap it completely and start again rather than creating a Frankenstein’s monster beholden only to the mining industry.

    “Barnaby Joyce is right that Australians are in the fight of their lives,” Casule said.

    “The coal mining industry is killing beloved natural treasures like the Great Barrier Reef, poisoning our air and water, and fuelling dangerous global warming.

    “Major financial institutions and businesses are recognising that continuing to fetishise coal is a road to nowhere. As recently as yesterday the CEO of AGL said coal could not deliver the reliable, affordable energy Australians need.  

    “The deputy PM needs to wake up, dismantle the NAIF, and stop propping up a dead industry that is doing immense damage.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://bit.ly/2vMpdXs

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    September 7, 2017: Barnaby Joyce’s declaration that the government is “redesigning the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF)” so it can use $5 billion in taxpayer funds to better serve mining interests is a slap in the face to millions of Australians.

    The deputy PM made the troubling promise during a speech to the Minerals Council on Wednesday, during which he also attacked charities and environmental groups. The NAIF is currently considering a $1 billion loan to the Carmichael coal mine project.

    “The deputy PM is no longer pretending the NAIF is intended to do anything else other than siphon off $5 billion of taxpayers’ money to be used as a gift to the mining industry,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “This is a slap in the face to taxpayers, tourism operators, farmers, developers of renewable energy projects, and basically anyone else that isn't a well-paid mining executive living on public subsidies.

    “The NAIF has already been heavily criticised by leading voices in government and the corporate sector and is the subject of a senate inquiry over potential conflicts of interest. Making it more biased in favour of mining will only worsen the perception that it’s little more than a government-run slush fund.”

    The NAIF is not fit for purpose and the only solution is to scrap it completely and start again rather than creating a Frankenstein’s monster beholden only to the mining industry.

    “Barnaby Joyce is right that Australians are in the fight of their lives,” Casule said.

    “The coal mining industry is killing beloved natural treasures like the Great Barrier Reef, poisoning our air and water, and fuelling dangerous global warming.

    “Major financial institutions and businesses are recognising that continuing to fetishise coal is a road to nowhere. As recently as yesterday the CEO of AGL said coal could not deliver the reliable, affordable energy Australians need.  

    “The deputy PM needs to wake up, dismantle the NAIF, and stop propping up a dead industry that is doing immense damage.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://bit.ly/2vMpdXs

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    July 28, 2017: New analysis by Greenpeace released today shows that if NSW and Vic continue to fail to ‘ban the bag’, an estimated 1.6 - 2 billion more bags per year will be used in Australia, even with voluntary phase outs by supermarkets.

    The analysis comes as Environment Ministers from across Australia meet in Melbourne today.

    Greenpeace plastics campaigner Samantha Wockner, who is in Melbourne with Greenpeace supporters demonstrating outside the meeting, said:

    “It’s time for New South Wales and Victoria to clean up their act and finally ban the bag.

    “Every other state and territory is banning the bag and even the big supermarket chains are acting.

    “Government inaction in our two most populous states is letting down the country.

    “We’re calling on NSW Environment Minister Upton and Victorian Environment Minister D'Ambrosio to finally ban the bag at today’s meeting of environment ministers.

    “Our analysis shows that the New South Wales and Victorian governments can’t get away with the excuse that they don’t need to act because the supermarkets are.

    “Even once the supermarket bans are in place, there will be 1.6 to 2 billion bags each year not covered if NSW and Victoria fail to act.

    “The analysis also shows that many websites including some government sources in Australia grossly underestimate the amount of plastic bags being used.

    “Our oceans are already being clogged up with plastic pollution, and the last thing we need is billions more bags across NSW and Victoria ending up in these states’ beautiful beaches, waterways and oceans to strangle and suffocate marine life,” Ms Wockner said. 

    Contact – Monique Vandeleur 0419 588 430

    Notes for editors: 

    For a copy of the analysis go to the Greenpeace blog

    http://www.greenpeace.org.au/blog/billions-of-bags/#.WX_PEVqg9QN


    0 0

    August 11, 2017: The secret departure of a board director of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) one week before a senate inquiry is yet another clear sign it is operating as a “slush fund” without accountability and must be disbanded.

    A submission made to the inquiry by the NAIF itself shows that director Sally Pitkin ceased her association with the body on July 31, 2017.

    No mention of Ms Pitkin’s departure has been made on the NAIF’s website nor has any public announcement been made about her position or the effect this resignation will have on the projects the board is considering.

    “The NAIF is run by a compromised board of hand-picked mining executives, some of whom were personally familiar with, and recommended by, the former resources minister Matt Canavan,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy campaigner Nikola Casule said.

    “They have consistently refused any public accountability or oversight. This latest resignation, done quietly behind the scenes only a week before a senate inquiry into the Facility, shows that the NAIF is in disarray and not fit for purpose.

    “If the NAIF is truly to operate in the interests of Northern Australia rather than a $5 billion ‘slush fund’ of public money, as it was described by former treasurer, Wayne Swan, it must be disbanded so we can start again.”

    The Australian Senate voted to establish an inquiry into the NAIF and any potential conflicts of interest on its board after revelations that one of the board’s directors, Karla Way-McPhail, also runs mining labour and equipment hire companies and had made “hyper-partisan comments” online in support of the coal industry.

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    Korpfjell, Barents Sea, Norway 17 August 2017: Peaceful activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise have entered the exclusion zone of Statoil’s oil rig, Songa Enabler in the Barents Sea with kayaks and inflatable boats, while swimmers are in the waters protesting with hand banners.

    The activists are there to deliver this message to the Norwegian government from around the world: Put People over Arctic Oil.

    They are also displaying a constructed giant globe in front of the rig with written statements to the government.

    Thirty-five activists from 25 countries are escalating a peaceful protest after tailing the rig for one month in the Barents Sea.

    The Norwegian government has opened up a new oil frontier in the Arctic. The state-owned oil company has just started to drill for oil at the Korpfjell well, a controversial site 415km from land.

    It is close to the ice edge and an important feeding area for seabirds. This is the first opening of new areas for oil drilling in 20 years and it is the northernmost area licensed by Norway.

    The “environmentally friendly” Norwegian government granted new oil licenses, as part of the 23rd license round, in the Arctic on June 10 last year.

    Just ten days after, they ratified the Paris Agreement.

    Greenpeace US activist Britt Baker, at the location, said:

    “As an American and global citizen, Trump's decision to retreat from the Paris climate agreement and boost fossil fuels at the expense of people around the world was devastating. Likewise, we see the Norwegian government opening new oil areas in the Arctic at full throttle, in spite of knowing the dangers it will have for future generations. The major difference between the situation in the U.S and Norway is that Trump left the Paris agreement with tunnel-vision motives to extend handouts to the flailing fossil fuel industry.

    "Norway may as well have left the Paris agreement given the Norwegian's government desire to accelerate fossil fuel production. This government is showing the same disrespect to global climate commitments as Trump”

    Greenpeace and its co-plaintiff Nature and Youth are taking the government to court in November, arguing that the new oil licenses are in breach of the Norwegian Constitution’s right to a healthy environment (Article 112). Despite the ongoing legal case, Statoil is drilling several new oil wells in the Arctic this summer.

    Greenpeace Norway Arctic campaigner, Erlend Tellnes, from on board the Arctic Sunrise, said:

    “Norway is not as green as their image. With one hand, the government have signed the Paris Agreement and profiled themselvesas an environmental champion, whilst handing out hundreds of new oil blocks in the Arctic with the other. They ignore and disrespect environmental, scientific recommendations and have offered the oil industry licenses in some of the most pristine areas of the Arctic. Now they have to answer for their actions in court."

    Within a month more than 150,000 people have joined the call to the Norwegian government to respect the Norwegian Constitution and The Paris Agreement, bringing the number to 355,000.

    Notes to Editors

    Photos from the protest: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJXVZK8M

    Full collection from The People vs. Arctic Oil ship tour: http://bit.ly/2x9s0GC

    Read more here about the climate lawsuit: http://www.greenpeace.org/norway/no/reports/Media-Briefing-Lawsuit-2017/

    Read more about oil drilling in the Barents Sea: 

    http://www.greenpeace.org/norway/no/reports/Media-Briefing-Oil-Drilling-in-the-Barents-Sea/

    Media contacts

    For interviews with activists and spokespersons on board:

    Poul Bonke Justesen, communications lead, Greenpeace Nordic. Mobile: +45 2629 4938

    Greenpeace International Press Desk:pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)


    0 0

    CSIRO quietly funding climate denier super-lobbyists, the Minerals Council of Australia

    September 6, 2017: The credibility of Australia’s peak science body, CSIRO, has been rocked today by revelations that it has been a long-term financial supporter of mining super-lobbyists the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

    The government’s peak scientific body has been a paid up member of a coalition of the nation’s biggest polluters since 2004, paying $10,000 for an “annual subscription” in 2017, documents obtained by The Australia Institute under FOI laws reveal.

    “If AGL, Australia's biggest single carbon polluter, felt it had to quit the MCA in 2016 over its position on climate change, then it's incredible that the CSIRO is still involved,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner Nikola Casule said.

    “Their support of the MCA goes against both the overwhelming scientific opinion on coal and climate, and the CSIRO's own statements about remaining separate from political and policy debates.”

    The MCA has been a highly influential lobby group for the mining and energy industry for years, promoting coal mining and coal fired power, and lobbying against action on climate change. The MCA has in the past boasted to its members that it played a key role in abolishing the carbon and mining taxes in 2014.

    Over the same period the CSIRO has been accused of failing to provide the government with free and independent advice on climate-related issues. In 2016 newly appointed CSIRO CEO, Larry Marshall, attempted to cut hundreds of positions in climate science at the organisation [1].

    Emails leaked earlier this year revealed divisions within the CSIRO over its failure to make a submission to the government’s consultation on greenhouse gas emissions targets in 2009. [2]

    “Greenpeace is all in favour of a robust, science-driven CSIRO. Australia certainly needs its independent scientists now more than ever - but we won’t hesitate to call out apparent industry capture when we see it,” said Casule.

    Greenpeace is calling on CSIRO management to immediately cut all ties with the MCA.

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/04/csiro-confirms-300-job-cuts-with-climate-research-bearing-the-brunt

    [2] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/06/csiro-member-minerals-council-which-fights-climate-change-action

    For interviews contact:

    Martin Zavan

    Greenpeace Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 / martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     


    0 0

    September 13, 2017: Two new potential cases of conflict of interest within the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) revealed by documents leaked to media are a clear indication something has gone badly wrong in “Canavan’s slush fund”.

    Media reports published on Monday reveal potential conflicts of interests for NAIF Chair, Sharon Warburton, and NAIF board director, Justin Mannolini, in relation to a project that is being considered for a taxpayer subsidised loan. This is in addition to a previously highlighted possible conflict of interest involving director Karla Way-McPhail that sparked the Senate inquiry in the first place.

    “These leaks reveal yet another potential conflict of interest at NAIF and are disappointing but sadly not surprising,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “When you fill a board almost entirely with current or former mining executives and ask them to make decisions about distributing $5 billion in taxpayer money, largely to mining companies, you can’t be surprised when you find yourself in this situation.”

    The report reveals that the NAIF board have been approached for funding by the proponents of the Balla Balla project, which comprises a port and railway to the Pilbara Iron Ore project in Western Australia. The Balla Balla Infrastructure Group (BBIG) is majority owned by NZ's Todd Corporation.

    The project poses a potential conflict of interest for the chair of the NAIF board, Sharon Warburton, who is also a non-Executive Director on the Board of Fortescue Metals - the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world and owner of the The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI), which owns and operates a rail line and port facilities in the Pilbara.

    NAIF director Justin Mannolini is a Partner with the WA law firm Gilbert + Tobin - a firm hired to advise the Balla Balla Infrastructure Group on the execution of a State Agreement with the Government of Western Australia for the project that it is seeking a loan from NAIF to fund. The firm’s advisory role for the Balla Balla Infrastructure Group is ongoing.

    Mannolini is also the Chairman of the Board of Jindalee Resources - a company which has an interest in a number of iron and base metal projects in the Pilbara and other parts of Western Australia.

    “The consideration of this project poses a potential conflict of interest for both a NAIF board director and the board’s chair, Sharon Warburton,” Casule said.

    “When you combine this with the other potential conflicts within the board, NAIF’s refusal to respond in a substantive way to freedom of information requests, and assertions by prominent figures such as the former federal treasurer that it was setup to operate as a ‘slush fund’, it is clear that the NAIF is not fit for purpose.

    “The ongoing Senate inquiry into the NAIF has an obligation to get to the bottom of these new allegations and to call a second hearing as part of their inquiry. In the meantime, NAIF’s operations must be suspended until all outstanding questions regarding conflict of interest and transparency are addressed.”

    Last month the Senate ran a hearing into the NAIF and any potential conflicts of interest on its board after it was revealed one of the directors also runs mining labour and equipment hire companies and had made “hyper-partisan comments” online in support of the coal industry.

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

    Martin Zavan

    Greenpeace Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 / martin.zavan@greenpeace.org


    0 0

    September 13, 2017: Pyjama-clad Greenpeace activists representing Pricewaterhousecoopers Australia (PwC) and the Minerals Council have cosied up in a bed at the consulting firm’s Sydney office to highlight the awkward relationship between the two.

    PwC promotes itself as a corporate leader on environmental issues but the firm is putting its reputation at risk through its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), which has repeatedly boasted about stymying action on climate change.

    PwC was the first professional services firm in Australia to becarbon neutral certifiedunder the National Carbon Offset Standard and is also a member of the UN Global Compact, which says businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges and undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

    “PwC has taken some positive steps to mitigate its carbon footprint but all of this good work is put into question by its funding of the Minerals Council,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “The MCA not only questions the science of climate change but aggressively lobbies governments to prevent them from taking action to address it. If PwC wants to continue to be viewed as a business leader on environmental sustainability and climate change, it cannot simultaneously support the MCA and its anti-environmental positions.

    “If PwC genuinely believes in the environmental issues it has chosen to take a stand on it should follow AGL’s lead and quit the Minerals Council.”

    Last year AGL, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Australia, dropped its membership of the MCA over the company’s different position on renewable energy.

     

    For interviews contact:

    Martin Zavan

    Greenpeace Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 / martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     

    For photos:

    http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJXDUQB2


    0 0

    September 19, 2017: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is set to ignore the wishes of a clear majority of Australians by refusing to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    More than 72 percent of Australians support a ban on nuclear weapons and more than 65 percent want Australia to sign up to the UN ban treaty, according to Reachtel polling commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

    “Julie Bishop’s decision not to sign Australia up offers yet another example of how out of touch this government is,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said.

    “A clear majority of Australians want these weapons eliminated but the government still clings onto the flawed assumption that these weapons of mass destruction somehow make the world a safer place.”

    The polling also reveals that the government’s belief that the United States’ nuclear arsenal bolsters Australia’s national security is not a view shared by the majority of Australians.

    More than 71 percent of Australians surveyed disagreed with the notion that nuclear weapons make the world safer.

    “Bishop can’t go to New York and tell the world she is representing the will of the people,” Ritter said.

    “By refusing to be part of the international push to ban nuclear weapons Bishop is not only putting Australia on the wrong side of history but acting against the wishes of the people she claims to represent.”

    This is echoed by the fact that more than 65 percent of voters want Australia to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    With tensions rising on the Korean peninsula the catastrophic threat posed by nuclear weapons needs to be taken more seriously than any time in recent history.

    The world has previously united to ban chemical and biological weapons, cluster munitions and landmines and the same thing needs to happen with nukes.

    It defies belief that eight nuclear states can possess these weapons of mass destruction for the foreseeable future without ever using them, intentionally or not.

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific is calling on Ms Bishop to do the right thing by the planet and her people and sign Australia up to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    “Nobody wins a nuclear war,” Ritter said.

    “The only way we can be truly free of the threat of nuclear annihilation is to consign these weapons to the dustbin of history.”

     

    For interviews contact:

    Martin Zavan

    Greenpeace Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 / martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     

    Notes for editors

    Link to polling

    What the UN treaty will do

    The treaty will comprehensively bans nuclear weapons and related activity. It will be illegal for parties to undertake any activities related to nuclear weapons. It bans the use, development, testing, production, manufacturing, acquiring, possession, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, threatening to use, stationing, installation, or deployment of nuclear weapons.

    When will it enter into force?

    Fifty states are required to ratify the treaty for it to enter into force. At a national level, the process of ratification varies, but usually requires parliamentary approval and the development of national legislation to turn prohibitions into national legislation. This process is also an opportunity to elaborate additional measures, such as prohibiting the financing of nuclear weapons.

    How is it different to the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty?

    The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 contains only partial prohibitions, and nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties prohibit nuclear weapons only within certain geographical regions. The Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty is an addition, and recognises the importance of full implementation of the NPT.

     


    0 0

    September 22, 2017: Another climate change denier will leave the public debate with the announcement of the resignation next month by Brendan Pearson from his position as Chief Executive of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

    Pearson's nine years at the MCA has been characterised by a constant undermining of the health and well-being of all Australians and the destruction of environmental treasures such as the Great Barrier Reef.

    “As the Great Barrier Reef bleached and much of its coral died, the MCA under Pearson funded climate denialism and boasted about fighting against meaningful action that would protect all Australians from the harm of dangerous global warming,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “The MCA's legacy is clear: a dying Reef, thousands of Australians suffering from preventable illness, the return of black lung to coal mining communities in Queensland, and an uncertain future facing catastrophic climate change.”

    Casule said that the departure of the controversial CEO presented an opportunity for the MCA to step back from climate denial and chart a new course.

    “The MCA have themselves claimed to be instrumental in the demise of the carbon and mining taxes contrary to the wellbeing of the Australian people and continue to spend millions advocating the creation of new coal-fired power generation,” Casule said.

    “We hope the new CEO will help the MCA turn their back on their climate change denialism and take a more serious approach to their responsibilities and the beliefs of their members, many of whom have made public commitments to combating climate change.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org