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A feed containing all Greenpeace Australia Pacific press release
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    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

     


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    October 10, 2017: A handout to the oil and gas industry by the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has today confirmed they are a fossil fuel slush fund set up to funnel money into dying industries.

    NAIF today announced that it will provide a $18.6 million concessional loan to the company building the Onslow Marine Support Base to support shipping along the West Australian coast linked to oil and gas exports.

    “Our worst fears about the NAIF have been confirmed with this announcement: it’s clear now that the NAIF is simply a slush fund set up to funnel taxpayers’ money into fossil fuel projects,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “While the majority of Australians want our public money spent on renewable energy projects, schools, and hospitals the NAIF are instead intent on investing in the past, not the future.

    “And if Adani Group get their way we are in grave danger of seeing this board waste $1 billion more of taxpayers’ money on a rail line for a toxic coal mine.”

    Polling released on the weekend showed a majority of Australians now oppose Adani’s Carmichael coal mine with two thirds of people wanting the Queensland government to use its power to veto the loan [1].

    Last Saturday saw an unprecedented show of opposition to Adani’s Carmichael mine, with tens of thousands of Australians attending Stop Adani protests at dozens of sites around the country.

    “There is a renewable energy boom happening in North Queensland right now but the government is ignoring it even as the Great Barrier Reef bleaches and Australia’s emissions rise,” Casule said.

    “This decision is the result of a NAIF board that is hopelessly compromised by its links to the mining industry. The government must step in to reject any loan to Adani, and start over with a reformed, independent NAIF that puts the interests of Australians first. ”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://bit.ly/2kC5F2L

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    October 13, 2017: Greenpeace says the time has come for Norwegian oil company Statoil to “Gå hjem” (go home) too as Chevron follow BP in abandoning plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight, leaving Statoil as the last desperate oil major persisting with risky deepwater oil exploration.

    Statoil’s plans would place thousands of kilometres of pristine coastline, fishing towns, and tourist icons in grave danger, with companies admitting a major oil spill would reach coastal towns such as Kangaroo Island within days.

    “The news Chevron has given up on drilling in the Bight means the coastal communities of Southern Australia have dodged another bullet, but the threat of Statoil still looms,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said.

    “Oil spill modelling conducted last year for Statoil's well locations show that the entire southern coastline of Australia would be at risk in the event of an oil spill in the Great Australian Bight.

    “Coastal towns from Esperance in WA, to Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island and even Victoria’s Great Ocean road are still in danger from Statoil’s proposed deepwater wells.”

    Statoil announced their intentions to drill in the GAB after taking over two of BP’s exploration permits in June this year. Their announcement came mere months after the Norwegian national regulator voiced concerns over a surge in serious safety incidents at their wells.

    “Statoil are planning to expand their operations into the pristine South Australian coastline right at a time when their record of incidents and spills at wells have increased catastrophically,” Pelle said.

    “That worsening safety record includes a doubling of the volume of oil spills from their Norwegian wells last year and fourteen major safety incidents in the past eighteen months.

    “And this is despite Norway’s stricter regulations around oil drilling compared with Australia.  

    “Chevron’s announcement shows the only sane thing to do is for the federal government to terminate all oil leases in this area, reform our national oil regulations to world’s best practice, and move quickly to protect one of the world’s most biodiverse regions and the communities that surround it.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2017/05/11/statoil-arctic-barents-safety-incidents/

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    Pacific Islanders crowdfunding to call out hypocrisy at UN climate meeting in Germany

    October 13, 2017 - Two Pacific Island Representatives are calling on the public to join them as they head to a key UN climate meeting in Germany where they will demand that countries cut their sweet-talk and honour their Paris Agreement commitments.

    The Pacific Islands contribute virtually nothing to climate change but in a cruel twist of fate they will be more impacted than almost anywhere else on earth.

    Despite being at the coalface of global warming the big international climate meetings are dominated by the likes of China, the EU and the US, who too often decide the fate of the Pacific with little to no input from Pacific leaders.

    Even worse, nations like Australia portray themselves as climate progressives but at the same time violate the spirit of the Paris agreement by continuing to export and extract fossil fuels. Through coal Australia exports almost double the emissions it produces at home.

    “It’s a disgrace! The big polluters need to stop sugar-coating their climate destruction, step up and take responsibility for their actions,” Pacific Island Represent spokesman Samu Kuridrani said.

    “Our shorelines have eroded, the extinction of fish and the repetitive occurrence of extreme weather events is becoming the new norm. At the same time Australia, our so-called friend, exports more coal than ever. We have been hammered by the impacts of climate change and if nothing is done it could be even worse for the next generation.”

    Kuridrani is one of the faces of Pacific Island Represent (P.I Rep), a new group set up to inform, empower and support Pacific Islanders to challenge the hypocrisy of nations that say one thing and do another on climate change.

    As part of P.I Rep’s mission to call out the climate sweet-talk and demand that countries abide by their commitments Kuridrani and fellow P.I Representative Alisi Nacewa are travelling to Bonn, Germany where Fiji is hosting the 23rd Conference of Parties meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23).

    The meeting presents a unique opportunity for Pacific voices to be heard as it will be the first hosted by a Pacific island state. COP23 will be critical to the future of the Pacific with world leaders set to decide how to implement the Paris agreement, which aims to cap global warming at 1.5°C.

    “Limiting warming to 1.5°C means a chance to continue to live on our Pacific Island homes,” Nacewa said.

    “Rising seas are taking away scarce land, coastal erosion is digging away at the foundations of our homes and salt-water intrusion is making it harder to plant and grow food. Stopping global warming at 1.5°C means entire coastal villages will not have to relocate to escape rising seas.“

    In order to realise their goal P.I Rep is crowdfunding to get Kuridrani and Nacewa all the way from Fiji to Bonn.

    Going to COP would be a great opportunity to question world leaders on what they’re doing to reduce carbon emissions. Nations signed up to the Paris Agreements continue to extract, export and burn coal, oil and gas. They think that we don’t see the double game they’re playing,” Kuridrani said.

    I want to be the voice of my people. The decisions they’ll make at COP affect the Pacific and we need our voices to be heard. In the Pacific we making a stand by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and turning to renewable energy. We need answers from the global community on what they are actually doing to fix climate change and we need answers now!”

    Just a day after launching the group has already raised more than $12,000.

    COP23, chaired by Fiji, will be held in Bonn, Germany from November 6-17.

     

    To support P.I Represent’s! COP campaign click here

     

    For interviews contact:

     Greenpeace Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

     0424 295 422

     martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     


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    October 17, 2017: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s new energy plan shows he has completely caved in to the extreme demands of the radical climate deniers in his party.

    The PM will today announce a plan to reposition Australia's energy and emissions policy to scrap all renewable energy subsidies, abandon the Clean Energy Target (CET), and mandate the use of energy like coal and gas.

    “Mandating coal and gas while abandoning renewables condemns our children's generation to a future of unchecked global warming,” Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “If this policy is adopted by the party room, nobody will take this PM seriously again.”

    Greenpeace is calling on the PM to recognise the impossibility of achieving Australia’s promised national emissions reductions targets under the Paris Agreement under this new plan.

    “We’ve had two sequential years of climate change-driven bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland is in the grip of drought,” Casule said.

    “But while Malcolm Turnbull knows Australia must move to reduce our emissions and combat climate change he is trying to appease the extreme elements in his party so he can keep his tenuous grip on power.   

    “This is a slap in the face to anyone who cares about Australia's future.

    “What’s more, recent reports have shown that renewables make energy cheaper. The best thing to do if you want to bring down prices is get more renewables into the grid.” [1]

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

    [1] http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/solar_savings

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    October 17, 2017: Victoria’s move to ban single-use bags has left a dangerously out of touch NSW the last state to move on the most prevalent form of plastic pollution.

    Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, today announced the ban saying he would look to move “as quickly as we can” on the issue.  

    “With this move by Premier Andrews we now have NSW left as the odd state out in their failure to act on plastic bag pollution,” Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner, Simon Black, said.

    “NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, is now lagging behind every other state in Australia and even behind the major supermarket chains who have also taken action to ban the bag.”

    In September Queensland and Western Australia joined South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT in implementing bans on single-use plastic bags.

    Premier Berejiklian in July said there was no need for NSW to ban single-use plastic bags as major supermarket chains had already done so.

    But analysis done by Greenpeace Australian Pacific showed a failure to ban single use plastics means 1.1 billion bags would continue to be discarded each year in NSW alone.

    “More than 1 billion bags in NSW will not be covered by the voluntary action by supermarkets. That’s billions of bags that Berejiklian is letting end up in our waterways and landfill,” Black said.

    “Letting supermarkets lead the state on environmental issues would be weak even if it were effective, given that it will still not solve the problem the Premier’s inaction is disgraceful.

    “The EPA’s director of waste management, Steve Beaman, was caught on tape talking about a ‘ban on bans’ in NSW [2] and if that’s the case it’s time to end that foolishness immediately.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

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

    [2] http://ab.co/2gMAGNn

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    October 17, 2017: A giant container of “Gladys Wrap” bearing the face of NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has been unveiled as part of the opening day of Sydney’s iconic Sculptures by the Sea.

    The guerilla art installation was created and placed among the other art exhibits by a dozen Greenpeace activists who are protesting the Premier’s refusal to join other states in regulating the use of single-use plastic bags.

    “Our analysis shows that the NSW government can’t continue to make excuses for their inaction on plastic pollution,” Greenpeace activist, Maggie Koussa, said.

    “Every state other than NSW have moved to ban single use plastic bags but Premier Berejiklian continues to do nothing.”

    Premier Berejiklian in July said there was no need for NSW to ban single-use plastic bags as major supermarket chains had already done so.

    But analysis done by Greenpeace Australian Pacific showed a failure to ban single use plastics means 1.1 billion bags would continue to be discarded each year in NSW alone.

    “More than 1 billion bags in NSW will not be covered by the voluntary action by supermarkets. That’s billions of bags that Berejiklian has an environmental responsibility to keep out of our waterways and landfill,” Koussa said.

    “Letting supermarkets lead the state on environmental issues would be weak even if it were effective, given that it will still not solve the problem the Premier’s inaction is disgraceful.

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

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:

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

    For interviews contact:

    Maggie Koussa

    0452 621 472 / maggie.koussa@gmail.com

     


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    Hobart, 27 October 2017 - Greenpeace has launched a global campaign for an Antarctic Sanctuary, covering 1.8 million square kilometres of ocean, to protect whales, penguins and other wildlife.

    Following a failure to agree strong marine protection in the East Antarctic [1], Greenpeace has called for governments to show “greater vision and ambition” in the coming year and create the largest protected area on Earth: an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

    The Antarctic Sanctuary would be five times the size of Germany, in the Weddell Sea, next to the Antarctic peninsula. [2]

    “Over the next 12 months we have an opportunity to make history: to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary which would be the largest protected area on Earth’ said Frida Bengtsson, head of Greenpeace’s Antarctic Campaign. “Ocean sanctuaries not only protect incredible wildlife like whales and penguins, but they ensure healthy oceans which soak up carbon dioxide and help us to tackle climate change.”

    The proposal, submitted by the EU and championed by the German Government, will be considered in October 2018 by the governments responsible for management of the Antarctic marine environment (CCAMLR), which have just concluded this year’s proceedings, having failed to agree strong marine protection in the East Antarctic.

    “From great blue whales to vast colonies of Emperor and Adélie penguins, Antarctic wildlife is already under acute pressure from climate change and now industrial fishing vessels are vacuuming up the tiny shrimp-like krill which Antarctic life relies upon. The fishing industry simply can’t be allowed to expand their operations and steal food from threatened penguins and whales. We now have a unique opportunity to make sure that doesn't happen,” said Bengtsson.

    “We have just 12 months to create the largest protected area on Earth. With almost half our planet made up of waters outside of national borders, and an urgent global need for more large ocean sanctuaries, governments now need to show greater vision and ambition to protect what belongs to us all.”

    Alex Rogers, Professor of Conservation Biology, University of Oxford said:  

    “If we’re going to avoid the worst effects of climate change and protect biodiversity we need to safeguard more than 30% of our oceans and the Antarctic is a fantastic place to start. Threats to the Antarctic are increasing, such as climate change and pollution, including from plastics and fishing. Creating large marine reserves can allow these ecosystems to remain in a fully diverse and functional state. Furthermore, the importance of Antarctic ecosystems in sequestering carbon is only now being realised. There is a narrow window of time for governments to work together to protect the oceans so the time for action is now.”

     ENDS

    Notes:

    [1] The East Antarctic Marine Protected Area aims to protect representative areas of open ocean and seabed biodiversity in East Antarctica. It comprises the following areas: MacRobertson, Drygalski and D’Urville Sea-Mertz. The proposal was prepared by the European Union and Australia.

    [2] Greenpeace is campaigning for an Antarctic Sanctuary covering 1.8 million square kilometres in the Weddell Sea. The proposal has been submitted by the EU and backed by the German Government. It will be considered when CCAMLR next convenes, in October 2018.

    The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. It consists of 25 members. For further information, see: https://www.ccamlr.org/en

    For a selection of historic Greenpeace images from the Antarctic, see here

    Contacts:

    Luke Massey, Press & Communications Officer, luke.massey@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7973 873 155

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


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    SYDNEY, November 1, 2017 - Australia is poised to miss its 2030 emissions reduction targets with the United Nations identifying us as one of a number of countries that need to take stronger action to meet its Paris commitments.

    The UN Environment Programme's ‘Emissions Gap 2017’ report overnight found that pledges made by nations at Paris in 2015 are only around one-third of what is required to halt global average temperatures rising two degrees or more above pre-industrial levels.

    Australia has pledged to cut its 2005 emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 but the report highlighted the federal government’s own forecasts, which show the nation is set to dramatically miss the target.

    Australia is projected to emit 592 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent a year by 2030, well above the targeted range of 429-440 million tonnes.

    “Coal is at the heart of Australia’s emissions problems yet the Coalition’s hopelessly compromised energy policy does nothing to address this,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “Australia's failure to adopt a policy to phase out coal exports was specifically criticised by the UNEP report and Pacific leaders, including Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, who said that Australia was stuck in the dark ages with its reliance on fossil fuels.”

    Only yesterday the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin revealed that CO2 levels in the atmosphere had reached their highest level last year in 800,000 years.

    Rapidly increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can spark unprecedented changes in climate systems, the WMO said.

    With world leaders meeting next week in Bonn, Germany for the annual UN climate negotiations, COP23, it’s clear that a strong and shared vision must emerge if the world is to close the 2030 emissions gap and stem the increasing levels of CO2 levels in our atmosphere.

    “In the space of just two days we have seen how levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have surged at ‘record-breaking speed’ to new highs in 2016 and how the world’s governments are still not living up to the promises they made in Paris. Time is running out,” Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

    “The sooner we act, the better. This year’s spate of climate-fuelled hurricanes, floods and drought will rapidly worsen if we fail to seize our moment. The obligation for all countries meeting in Bonn and going forward must be to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

    “Paris was just the starting point. Faster, bolder action is needed. Leaders must emerge in Bonn and use the platform to take stronger action and hold others to account if they fail to live up to their obligations. We can still achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius if we all work together.”

    Greenpeace is calling for countries to use the first stocktake of collective climate action (the facilitative dialogue) in 2018 to unveil stronger climate ambition.

    “The message is clear: our climate is changing and governments must ramp up their action. But more than that, we must also start talking about the responsibilities of carbon producers,” Morgan added.

    “Carbon producers have so far avoided taking responsibility, in any form, for greenhouse gas emissions from their products. That must and will change. The world’s carbon producers have a responsibility to contribute to limiting climate change through investment in mitigation, support for adaptation and compensation for climate damages.”

     

    For interviews contact:

    Greenpeace Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

    +61424 295 422

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org


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    November 3, 2017: Greenpeace Australia Pacific welcomes the Queensland Premier’s pledge to use her veto power to block $1 billion of taxpayers’ money being used to assist in the construction of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

    Annastacia Palaszczuk today said she would veto any federal loan by the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to help fund Adani’s Carmichael coal and rail line.

    “This is a welcome move by Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Labor Party that will be appreciated by the people of Queensland,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “Tim Nicholls and the LNP need to move quickly to divert this distortive loan from a project that no commercial bank will touch and risks the Great Artesian Basin, farmland and the Great Barrier Reef.

    “A billion dollars has the potential to be much better spent in north Queensland, on projects that could create vast numbers of jobs in tourism, agriculture, renewable energy, education and health services.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    November 3, 2017: Greenpeace Australia Pacific welcomes the Queensland Premier’s pledge to use her veto power to block $1 billion of taxpayers’ money being used to assist in the construction of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

    Annastacia Palaszczuk today said she would veto any federal loan by the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to help fund Adani’s Carmichael coal and rail line.

    “This is a welcome move by Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Labor Party that will be appreciated by the people of Queensland,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “Tim Nicholls and the LNP need to move quickly to divert this distortive loan from a project that no commercial bank will touch and risks the Great Artesian Basin, farmland and the Great Barrier Reef.

    “A billion dollars has the potential to be much better spent in north Queensland, on projects that could create vast numbers of jobs in tourism, agriculture, renewable energy, education and health services.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    Bonn, November 3, 2017 – In a year marked by devastating hurricanes, floods and drought, Greenpeace said real world leaders must stand up at the UN climate talks in Bonn and propel climate action forward or be held accountable for their inaction.

    Two years since the Paris Climate Agreement signalled the intent to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Greenpeace said leaders meeting in Bonn must now achieve real progress on the Paris Agreement’s implementation guidelines (the rulebook).

    Leaders must also set the groundwork for raising climate ambition and ending the injustice of inaction ahead of the first stocktake of collective efforts in 2018. (1)

    Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

    “We have no time to waste. Our climate is changing, putting people and communities increasingly at threat, from Suva to Washington or anywhere, but we have a window of opportunity to take fast, bold action to deliver true security and justice for every one of us.

    “At this year’s COP, leaders can start fulfilling the promises they made in Paris and signal their intent to seize the opportunity and the obligation of our time by ramping up climate action.”

    Dubbed the Pacific COP because it is being presided over by Fiji, it will be the first time the global community has met since US President Trump announced Washington would withdraw from the Paris agreement. Fiji has called for Bonn to become a visionary summit and a reaffirmation of climate action.

    “Trump’s decision to back out of Paris has backfired spectacularly, sparking a groundswell of support for global climate action. There is no turning back and there will be no renegotiation and that message must be made clear at COP23. We expect new leaders to emerge in Bonn and the eyes of the world will be on the EU, China and others to step up,” Morgan added.

    The continued hypocrisy of Paris signatories is also being exposed as people around the world take matters into their own hands. On November 14, the Norwegian government’s Arctic oil drilling agenda will be challenged in court as part of a global wave of people litigating to hold governments and big polluters to account. (2)

    “Negotiating for global climate action in Bonn while planning to open up the Arctic for oil drilling is simply incompatible and when politicians put oil before people, they need to be held accountable. This is why we are taking Arctic oil to court,” Morgan added.

    In Germany, summit co-host Angela Merkel must also bring substantial climate commitments to the Pacific COP if she is to reclaim her climate-chancellor badge.

    Greenpeace Germany Executive Director Sweelin Heuss said:

    “Coal is still a major part of Germany’s energy mix threatening the nation’s targeted emissions cuts, while CO2 emissions from the transport sector continue to rise despite the promises of cleaner, more efficient cars. What authority does a COP host hold if it fails to deliver on its own promises? Germany must now kick its coal habit and signal the end of the line for the combustion engine.”

     

    Notes:

    1. More information can be found in Greenpeace’s media briefing:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/climate/COP23/COP23_mission_briefing.pdf

    2. More information on the court case against the Norwegian government:

    https://www.savethearctic.org/en/peoplevsarcticoil/blog/we-are-going-to-court/

     

    Contacts:

    Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia: tom.baxter@greenpeace.org, phone: +86 156 5241 1229 (CH), +49 152 1927 7342 (DE)

    For interviews with Jennifer Morgan, contact Leola Abraham, Communications Manager, Greenpeace International: leola.abraham@greenpeace.org, phone: +31 6 46 16 20 12

    For interviews with Sweelin Heuss, contact Gregor Kessler, Communications, Greenpeace Germany: gregor.kessler@greenpeace.org, phone: +49 151 7270 2918

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


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    Bonn, November 6, 2017: Every region of the world has suffered extreme weather events this year with the alarming news 2017 is on track to be the second hottest year ever recorded demonstrating the need for global leaders at COP23 to take urgent action to contain global warming.

    The average global temperature from January to September 2017 was approximately 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) provisional Statement on the State of the Climate published today.

    “The WMO report provides yet another impetus for world leaders to live up to their commitments under the Paris climate agreement and phase out fossil fuels to prevent catastrophic climate change,” Pacific Island Represent activist Alisi Nacewa said.

    “Global warming causes more frequent extreme weather events and exacerbates their intensity. It puts lives in the Pacific and all around the world at risk, but there is still a chance to prevent once in a lifetime disasters becoming the new norm if world leaders gathered at Bonn commit to ending the era of fossil fuels.”

    The report was published on the opening day of the UN climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, where leaders from across the world will aim to set the rules for the implementation of the Paris agreement, which aims to contain global warming to 1.5°C.

    2016 is likely to remain the hottest year on record, due to a powerful El Niño with 2017 and 2015 to take second and/or third places respectively. 2013-2017 is set to be the hottest five-year period on record.

    WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said the results were part of a “long term warming trend”.

    “We have witnessed extraordinary weather, including temperatures topping 50 degrees Celsius in Asia, record-breaking hurricanes in rapid succession in the Caribbean and Atlantic reaching as far as Ireland, devastating monsoon flooding affecting many millions of people and a relentless drought in East Africa,” Mr Taalas said

    “Many of these events – and detailed scientific studies will determine exactly how many – bear the tell-tale sign of climate change caused by increased greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities.”

    Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which is hosting the Bonn conference, said the findings highlight the growing risks to life on Earth if leaders fail to get on track with the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement. 

    “There is unprecedented and very welcome momentum among governments, but also cities, states, territories, regions, business and civil society. Bonn 2017 needs to be the launch pad towards the next, higher level of ambition by all nations and all sectors of society as we look to de-risk the future and maximize the opportunities from a fresh, forward-looking and sustainable development path,” Ms Espinosa said.

     

    For interviews contact:

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

    +49 1521 8480440

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org


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    Monday 16th Oct, 2017: A group of people, including a number from coal-affected communities have today delivered a load of coal to the front of the Commonwealth Bank’s Harbour Street office in Sydney in order to highlight the consequences of their fossil fuel lending policies.

    A group of people, including a number from coal-affected communities have today delivered a
    load of coal to the front of the Commonwealth Bank’s Harbour Street office in Sydney in order to highlight
    the consequences of their fossil fuel lending policies.

    The coal has been placed in front of the main entrance to the building alongside posters highlighting the impacts of the Commonwealth Bank’s climate policy on community health, the environment, and the global climate.

    “The Commonwealth Bank’s climate policy promises to support a transition to net zero emissions by 2050 but their actions make a mockery of that promise,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “By failing to exclude highly polluting fossil fuel projects like coal mines CommBank are funding projects that destroy our environment, take a catastrophic toll on the health of communities, and accelerate climate change.”

    Since March more than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for CommBank to rule out investment in new coal projects. But in October CommBank released a one-page “Climate Policy Position Statement” which contains no restrictions around lending to coal projects - the only of the “big four” to fail to do this[1].

    Newcastle resident and grandfather John Hayes lives within 200 metres of the world’s largest coal port in Carrington, for which the Commonwealth Bank was a mandated lead arranger.

    “The Commonwealth Bank is damaging the air quality of my community which is putting the health of my  seven grandchildren at risk,” Mr Hayes said. “I have come to Sydney today to attempt to deliver a bag of coal back to CommBank’s CEO, Ian Narev.”

    Analysis 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 [2].

    Despite public commitments to take action to limit global warming to no more than two degrees in late 2015 Commonwealth Bank last year loaned more than $3.8 billion to coal, gas and oil mining and infrastructure projects, making it the biggest funder of dirty fossil fuels in Australia in 2016.

    “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,” Moylan said.

    “CommBank must change their climate policy before their AGM to recognise that climate related risks are real and to take significant measures to curb them.”

    NOTES FOR EDITORS:


    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 /

    simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    Bonn, November 7, 2017: The Australian government has been awarded the Climate Action Network-International’s (CAN) Fossil of the Day for its support of Adani Group’s plans to build a coal mine larger than the city of Paris and ship its coal out through the bleaching Great Barrier Reef.

    The dubious honour was awarded to the Australian government on the second day of the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, where world leaders are gathered to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

    “As bad neighbours go, Australia is the worst! Providing funding and approval for these mines (Adani isn’t the only one!) would put its already vulnerable neighbours at further risk. You should be striving to protect the Pacific Islands, Australia, not destroy them,” CAN said in a statement.

    Pacific islander platform Pacific Island Represent presented the Fossil of the Day award and slammedthe Australian government, which has publically committed to the aims of the Paris Agreement while simultaneously lining up $1 billion of taxpayer money for the Carmichael mine and rail line, as well as lobbying other governments for overseas finance.  

    “For us in the Pacific this is a matter of survival. Australia can’t sign up to the Paris agreement and then give almost $1 billion to Adani to build the world’s biggest coal mine. It is putting short term profits ahead of the future of entire nations,” Pacific Island Represent activist Samu Kuridrani said.

    “The age of fossil fuels is over. Australia must prove it is serious about limiting warming to 1.5 degrees if it wants to reduce the frequency and severity of natural disasters, from strengthening Pacific cyclones and sea level rise to extended bushfire seasons and bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.”

    Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter and is on track to become the world’s largest LNG exporter. Australia also supports Statoil’s plans to drill for deepwater oil in the Great Australian Bight, another risky venture that will lock in decades of emissions and make achieving the Paris goals much more difficult.   

    The Australian government is well-known for its climate denialism and continued support of coal, gas and oil expansion despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that we must phase out fossil fuels, and has also scrapped renewable energy subsidies and abandoned its Clean Energy Target (CET).

    “Australia’s hypocritical actions are destroying the environment inside its own borders and beyond. The Australian government cannot continue to do this and call itself a friend of the Pacific. These are not the actions of a friend,” Kuridrani said.

     

    Images here

     

    For interviews contact:

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

    +49 1521 8480440

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     

    For interviews in Australia contact:

     Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner Simon Black

    0418 219 086

    simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    Bonn, Germany, November 10, 2017 - Pacific Island Represent activists, supported by Greenpeace in Germany have sent a message to leaders meeting at the UN climate talks in Bonn, projecting an image of faces onto a coal power plant and calling for an urgent phase out of fossil fuels.

    The message “No future in fossil fuels” and #COP23 was projected onto the polluting Neurath coal power plant alongside faces from the Pacific Islands and around the world to put a spotlight on the impact the emissions from climate summit host nation Germany have on the Pacific.

    The activists were also critical of Pacific regional neighbour Australia and the impacts its coal exports and emissions have on small island states, where people are already living with the consequences of climate change.

    “The unabated mining and burning of fossil fuels is driving climate change, making cyclones and storm surges more frequent and more intense,” Pacific Island Represent activist Alisi Nacewa said.

    “The damage already caused by fossil fuels cannot be reversed but we can still prevent entire Pacific Islands from being swallowed up if we rapidly phase out fossil fuels. Paris Agreement signatories have already promised this. Now is the time to do it.”  

    As signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement, Germany and Australia have agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but are so far failing to act on that promise.

    Germany still generates more than 40 percent of its electricity from coal (1) and has continued to build dirty coal plants since committing to emissions reductions, while Australia has greenlighted the construction of Adani Group’s Carmichael mega coal mine and continues to hand out billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies.

    “Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to comply with the German climate target of a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. This is only possible with a coal phase-out.” said Greenpeace Germany climate expert Karsten Smid. “If she fails to do so, she is sacrificing the fruits of the clean energy transition for the sake of the coal industry.”

    The Neurath brown coal-fired power plant is located 50 kilometres from the climate conference. With an output of 4400 megawatts, Neurath is the largest coal-fired power plant in Germany and the second largest in Europe. With annual emissions of 32 million tons of CO2, it is one of the most climate-damaging coal-fired power plants in the world.

    The power plant's CO2 emissions are more than twice as high as those of the island state of Fiji. Despite massive protests, Chancellor Merkel laid the foundation stone for the new BoA 2&3 lignite blocks from the energy company RWE in Neurath in August 2006.

    Pacific Island Represent activist Samu Kuridrani added:

    “Expanding fossil fuel industries at home, while sweet-talking to vulnerable countries on the world stage, goes against the spirit of the Paris Agreement. We want to show world leaders that we see through their deception and demand real action. You can’t claim to be a friend of the Pacific while ramping up your fossil fuel industry.

    “In places like Germany and Australia as well as many other countries, climate change is seen as a problem for future generations - but for us in the Pacific, we are dealing with the situation right now. I am already planting mangroves around my village community in Fiji, to try and stop erosion caused by rising sea levels.\

    “We are speaking directly to the political leaders at COP23, and calling for their governments to commit to a timeline for the phasing out of fossil fuels. This year’s extreme weather events around the world have shown that no nation is immune to climate change. This global problem requires an immediate global solution.”



    Notes:
    1. https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumption-and-power-mix-charts

     

    Images here

     

    For interviews contact:

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner Martin Zavan, martin.zavan@greenpeace.org; +49 1521 8480440

    Björn Jettka, Press Officer, Greenpeace Germany, bjoern.jettka@greenpeace.org; +49 1718 780 778

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


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    Bonn, November 12, 2017 - Australia picked up a second Fossil of the Day award on day six of COP23 for seeking to twist, water down and delete references to finance from the loss and damage decision text.

    Loss and damage refers to impacts of climate change including slow onset events such as sea level rise, and extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, which may both result in loss of lands, livelihoods and in small island states, coastal areas.

    “Australia has long lacked many things – sympathy, support, and solidarity among them – with its Pacific Island neighbors, but these bullying tactics are over the line, even for them,” the Climate Action Network, which presented the award said in a statement.

    Australia’s reported hypocritical behaviour also appears to contradict the comments it made in its opening statement on behalf of the Umbrella Group of non-EU developed countries to current COP President Fiji.

    “We are mindful that this is the first time a Small Island Developing State has held the Presidency and we are committed to providing our full support for your successful Presidency, including to bring the Pacific consciousness to this COP which we know to be an important aspect of your Presidency,” Australia said in its opening statement to the COP plenary.

    “Australia’s domestic policies, such as support for the fossil fuel industry through subsidies, is insult enough to the Pacific. Couple that with blocking financial mechanisms for the highly affected, and you do not have a recipe for friendship,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Pacific Net Matisse Walkden-Brown said.

    The Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN) condemned Australia’s reported obstruction, saying the region is already experiencing loss and damage from climate change.

    “Support is necessary and deserved from countries who have caused this problem. Developed countries’ fossil fuels is the Pacific's loss and damage. The issue of Loss and Damage finance needs to be advanced not continuously pushed to the next session," PICAN said.

    Australia was awarded the Fossil of the Day along with Canada, the EU and the US.

    Australia, through the Umbrella Group, also argued in 2015 that there be no reference to loss and damage in the Paris Agreement, reportedly driven by fear of being forced to pay compensation for climate damage caused by their emissions.

    On day two of COP23 Australia received the Fossil of the Day for its support of the Adani Group’s plans to build the world’s largest export coal mine.

     

    For interviews contact:

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

    +49 1521 8480440

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     

     


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    Bonn, Germany – 13 November 2017 – Developed countries must break a deadlock at the UN climate talks in Bonn and discuss their pre-2020 climate actions, starting with COP host German Chancellor Merkel who can lead the way, Greenpeace said.

    While there has been progress on the Paris rulebook and the design of next year’s stocktake of collective climate action efforts (the Talanoa Dialogue), the issue of pre-2020 climate action has emerged as the most contentious aspect of COP23 in Bonn.

    Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

    “Developing countries are rightfully concerned about pre-2020 climate action and developed countries need to show good faith by giving the issue the space it needs to discuss how to ratchet up our efforts.

    “Emissions need to peak by 2020 at the latest. This means pre-2020 climate action is critical if we’re to limit global warming to the 1.5 degrees. We have a small window of opportunity and the sooner we act, the better.”

    Germany has targeted a 40 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, but will fall far short of its target unless it ends its reliance on coal. Greenpeace is demanding Merkel signal a full coal phase out in the new coalition government agreement.

    “Merkel cannot truly call herself a friend of the Pacific is she fails to meet her commitments at home. The time for climate sweet talk has ended. Merkel must present a plan on how to reach and go beyond the 2020 targets,” Morgan added.

    In a year marked by a spate of destructive hurricanes, drought and floods, climate vulnerable Fiji is presiding over this year’s climate talks in Bonn, placing heightened focus on the threat of rising seas and extreme weather.

    The climate talks also coincide with new figures from the Global Carbon Project revealing CO2 emissions are expected to rise this year by about 2 percent after three years of zero growth due to the slower pace of emissions cuts in the EU and US and (anomalous) higher emissions in China.  (1)

    “We are making progress, but not fast enough. We must do more. Developing countries are right to raise the issue of pre-2020 action. All stakeholders need to pull together,” Morgan said.

    “Bonn is another crucial step in the path and all eyes are on Chancellor Merkel. The US non-state actors have shown the true face of America by their commitment to climate action here in Bonn. Merkel and others, like the EU and China, now need to do the same,” Morgan said.

     

    Notes

    1.     Global Carbon Project's repport on the Global Carbon Budget is available here

     

    Contact

    Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia: tom.baxter@greenpeace.org, phone: +49 152 1927 7342 (DE)

    For interviews with Jennifer Morgan, contact Leola Abraham, Communications Manager, Greenpeace International: leola.abraham@greenpeace.org, phone: +31 6 46 16 20 12

    For German media, contact Gregor Kessler, Communications, Greenpeace Germany: gregor.kessler@greenpeace.org, phone: +49 151 7270 2918

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

     


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    Oslo, Norway 13 November 2017 – Tomorrow, environmental organisations Greenpeace Nordic and Nature and Youth take on the Norwegian government in court for opening up new areas in the Arctic to oil drilling. They are arguing that drilling for oil violates the Paris Agreement as well as the Norwegian constitution. Winning the case could set a precedent for future climate cases around the world.

    Norway’s Grandparents Climate Campaign has also joined the case, as intervenors against the government and in support of the environmental groups.

    Truls Gulowsen, Head of Greenpeace Norway said:

    “This is a big day for all of us fighting climate change and greedy governments around the world. By allowing new oil drilling in the Arctic the Norwegian government puts homes, health and families everywhere at risk, and should be held accountable. It is clear to us that this new search for oil is in violation of the Paris Agreement and the Norwegian Constitution, and we look forward to raising these arguments in court.”

    In the trial, set for 14-23 November, the plaintiffs will argue that the Norwegian government has violated the right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations granted by the Norwegian Constitution. This will be the first time this right is used in court. Around the world some 90 countries have a Constitutionally protected right to a healthy environment, and this lawsuit can have a ripple effect helping guide other jurisdictions on how to interpret these rights in their legal systems, and inspiring more people to hold their governments to account.

    Ingrid Skjoldvær, Head of Nature and Youth, added:

    “The Norwegian government, like every government, has an obligation to protect people's right to a healthy environment. It is us in the younger generation, and our children, who will feel the worst effects of this oil being burned. This court case is giving us a critical opportunity to protect our futures and, we hope, providing a valuable tool for others to do the same.”

    At the same time as the climate trial starts in Norway, Fiji is hosting the United Nations climate change conference COP 23 in Bonn, and attending the first day of the trial in Oslo are two young Pacific Islanders representatives from Fiji.

    Alisi Nacewa, Pacific Island Represent activist said:

    "We are here in Norway because our home is on the frontline of climate change. Our way of life is being impacted by extreme weather and rising sea levels right now. There is no way the continuation of oil and gas extraction, can deliver a world below 1.5 degrees. No way. No matter how politicians try to spin it. The Norwegian government has signed the Paris Agreement but they continue to drill for oil and supply the world with more fossil fuels. The two are in complete contradiction. It’s time to hold countries accountable for breaking their Paris commitments."

    The Norwegian government will defend their decision to, for the first time in 20 years, open up a new oil drilling area in the Barents Sea, allowing 13 oil companies to start new exploration campaigns in the Arctic. Norwegian state-owned Statoil has already begun their drilling operations in the Arctic this summer.

    The 13 oil companies that have new license blocks in the Barents Sea are: Statoil (Norway), Capricorn, Tullow and Centrica (UK), Chevron and ConocoPhillips (USA), DEA (Germany), Aker BP (Norway), Idemitsu (Japan), Lukoil (Russia), Lundin Petroleum (Sweden), OMV (Austria), PGNiG (Norway/Poland).

    Notes for editors:

    Media briefings and background on the climate lawsuit: http://act.gp/2jkhjix

    Legal writ submitted to Oslo District Court:http://act.gp/2hc0EJQ

    Nature and Youth is a youth organisation with branches all across Norway. They are connected to Young Friends of the Earth Europe, but it is the organisation in Norway that is a plaintiff in the case.

    Photos and video clipreel: http://act.gp/2hviZp6

    Contacts:

    Truls Gulowsen, spokesperson, Greenpeace Norway,  +47 901 07 904, truls.gulowsen@greenpeace.org
    Ingrid Skjoldvær spokesperson, Nature and Youth + 47 977 02 181, ingridsk@nu.no

    Daniel Bengtsson, international communications coordination, Greenpeace Nordic, +46 703 300 95 10, daniel.bengtsson@greenpeace.org

    Poul Bonke Justesen, press officer Greenpeace Nordic, +45 2629 4938, poul.bonke.justesen@greenpeace.org

    For Australian media enquiries call:

    Simon Black, simon.black@greenpeace.org, 0418 219 086


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    November 13, 2017: One of Australia’s Big Four banks has announced that it will review its support for fossil fuels and diversified miners that do not have a strategy to move away from coal.

    The announcement came as part of the bank’s 2017 Sustainability Report, released today, which also promised to increase clean energy financing to $20 billion by 2025.

    “This is an important step by NAB and reflects community concern, but the bank clearly has a very long way to go,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    In order to meet their Paris commitments of keeping warming well below two degrees and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible, financial institutions need to rule out new coal investments and phase out fossil fuels by 2030.

    “A proper review based on science and the Paris commitments would lead NAB to this conclusion.”

    The news further isolates the Commonwealth Bank as the only major Australian bank that has no restriction on coal financing and with the highest financed emissions.

    “As many as 14 global banks have ruled out project finance for new thermal coal mines,” Moylan said.

    “And with community members planning to take action as part of Commbank’s AGM on Thursday the message is starting to get through to the major banks - there is no place for high-polluting and deadly coal investments anymore.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    Amsterdam, 14 November 2017: Today, a climate complaint against ING filed by Greenpeace Netherlands, Oxfam, BankTrack and Milieudefensie for violating OECD guidelines, was accepted by a Dutch representative of the OECD. [1] [2] The Dutch bank will be investigated by the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) for having no plan to report on and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from its financing.

    This is the first time a NCP has accepted a complaint on the basis of a threat to the climate. This could open up a new avenue for holding businesses accountable for their carbon footprint and climate impacts.

    Kim Schoppink, a campaigner with Greenpeace Netherlands, said:

    "No corporation should get away with financing climate destruction. This should serve to accelerate the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels. To be responsible, businesses must report emissions and climate risks, or they too will face investigations and even lawsuits. The time for them to act is now."

    Jonathan Moylan, a campaigner with Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said:

    “This complaint underscores the fact that banks that do not adopt targets to reduce their fossil fuel exposure will be investigated for violating global standards. The Commonwealth Bank not only has no targets, but it has no policies in place to restrict its exposure to coal.”

    Peter Ras, Senior Policy Advisor at Oxfam Novib, said:

    “The decision of the OECD National Contact Point to accept our complaint against ING is great news. We hope this is a wake-up call for the bank and that it will encourage ING to take concrete steps to reduce the climate impact of its financing.”  

    International companies, like ING, must respect the corporate social responsibility expectations of the country in which they are based. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises is clear about what those expectations are.

    Among other things, the OECD considers it important that companies report on how much they contribute directly and indirectly to greenhouse gas emissions and that companies set targets to reduce emissions. ING does this for the emissions of its own operations, but not for those of the companies and projects it finances, even though these emissions are significant.

    The four organisations sent their complaint to the NCP the 8th of May, 2017. They called on ING to demonstrate its commitment to the OECD Guidelines in relation to the climate impact of its investments.

    ING can do this by publishing details of the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to its investments, as well as setting ambitious, concrete and measurable targets to reduce them. This approach should align ING's climate policy with the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, as agreed by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. [3]

    This investigation is part of a growing global wave of legal challenges to businesses failing to act on climate change. This year, Commonwealth Bank was forced to acknowledge climate change as a material risk in its annual report, following a lawsuit brought by two shareholders that was later withdrawn following the Bank’s announcement. [4] Cities in California are also suing the world’s biggest companies for contributing to climate-fueled sea-level rise that will cost billions of dollars. [5] All of these actions are part of a concerted effort to ensure greater transparency of climate risks and a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

    Notes for the Editor:
    [1]https://www.oxfamnovib.nl/Files/rapporten/2017/OECD%20complaint%20against%20ING%202017.pdf

    [2] https://www.oesorichtlijnen.nl/meldingen/overzicht-meldingen/lopende-meldingen

    [3]http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf

    [4]https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/21/commonwealth-bank-shareholders-drop-suit-over-non-disclosure-of-climate-risks

    [5]https://www.reuters.com/article/legal-us-usa-oil-climatesuits/california-cities-sue-big-oil-firms-over-climate-change-idUSKCN1BV2QM

    Contacts:

    For Australian media contact:

    Simon Black, senior media campaigner / simon.black@greenpeace.org / 0418 219 086


    Kim Schoppink - Climate & Energy Campaigner - Greenpeace Netherlands -

    +31681410797 - kim.schoppink@greenpeace.org

     

    Peter Ras - Senior Policy Advisor - Oxfam Novib

    +31623300110 - peter.ras@oxfamnovib.nl


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

     


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    Oslo, November 14, 2017: Pacific Island Represent activists are in attendance at an historic court case where the Norwegian government is attempting to defend its unsustainable and climate-threatening Arctic drilling operations.

    Greenpeace Nordic and Nature and Youth are suing the Norwegian government for opening up new oil fields for drilling in the Arctic, arguing that this is a violation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations as stated in the Norwegian constitution.

    Norway’s state owned oil company Statoil, has already conducted exploratory drilling in the contested areas.

    “The expansion of fossil fuel extraction directly contradicts the Paris Agreement’s aim of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees,” Pacific Island Represent activist Samu Kuridrani said.

    “The Norwegian government has signed up to the Paris Agreement but any steps they take to reduce emissions by doing things like banning petrol and diesel cars are negated by their plans to expand oil drilling operations in the Arctic.

    “Fossil fuels cause climate change, which for us in the Pacific means more frequent and intense cyclones and rising sea levels that threaten to wipe entire nations off the map. The Norwegian government cannot commit to containing global warming and then go and open up new oil fields.”

    The science that underpins the Paris agreement is clear: at least 80 percent of existing fossil fuel reserves have to stay in the ground. If the world is to achieve the Paris target limiting global warming to 1.5°C, all new fossil fuel developments must be stopped.

    If Statoil follows through on its plans to drill in the Arctic the oil would not hit the market for 10 to 20 years, locking in future emissions.

    Statoil have also recently expanded their operations into other risky oil fields with plans currently in place to drill in the rough, deep waters of the Great Australian Bight.

    “We’ve come all the way from Fiji to bear witness at this trial and show the Norwegian government that its operations have far-reaching consequences. But we didn’t need to travel this far to find an example of Statoil breaking Norway’s Paris commitments and exacerbating climate change in the Pacific, with their rigs eyeing up waters off the southern coastline of Pacific neighbour Australia” Pacific Island Represent activist Alisi Nacewa said.

    “Statoil’s appetite for risky frontier oil knows no bounds. The earth is under assault from Statoil in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The company is determined to pollute the ocean, destroy marine life and risk workers lives in its own Arctic waters but it acts with equally reckless abandon on the other side of the world in the Great Australian Bight.”

     

    For interviews contact:

    Greenpeace Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

    +61424 295 422

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org 


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    Bonn, November 15, 2017: Australia has again been shamed on the world stage for its inaction on climate change, taking 57th place out of 60 countries ranked in the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) report.

    Australia was named among the “very low-performing countries” in three of the four categories the CCPI ranking is based on – greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and climate policy.

    Australia was also listed among the lowest performing countries in terms of renewable energy.

    “Australia appears to be going backwards,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Deputy Program Director, Susannah Compton, said.

    “Recent howlers include scrapping subsidies for renewable energy in one of the sunniest countries on earth and propping up the embattled Adani mega-mine with offers of public handouts when no commercial bank will touch the project.

    “Australia’s climate inaction is an anchor dragging down global progress towards limiting warming to 1.5C.  And as the world’s largest coal exporter soon-to-be largest gas exporter, what happens here is of material concern to our Pacific neighbours and the Arctic ice melt.

    “Australia urgently needs to strengthen its 2030 targets on emissions reductions and renewables, and announce credible policy pathways to meet them.”

    The news comes around two weeks after the United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) ‘Emissions Gap’ report found that Australia was on track to miss its Paris Agreement commitments by a significant margin.

    Australia has pledged to reduce its emissions by 26-28 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. However, UNEP projects the nation’s emissions will rise to 592 million tons of C02 equivalent annually by 2030, far above the 429-440 MTCO2 level required.  

    Read the full CCPI report here

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    +61 418 219 086

    simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    November 16, 2017: Greenpeace welcomes the announcement today by the Commonwealth Bank that they would distance itself from coal projects.

    In a statement released to the ASX ahead of the bank’s annual general meeting shareholders were informed that they “should note that our coal funding is comparatively small and has been trending down for some time. We expect that trend to continue over time as we help finance the transition to a low carbon economy”.

    “Commonwealth Bank have today set a new standard for financial investment in Australia,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “By ruling out future investments in coal they have shown they are willing to literally put their money where their mouth is on fossil fuel investment.

    “Westpac, ANZ, and National Australia Bank must immediately follow suit and show the rest of the world Australian financial institutions are serious about combating climate change and protecting coal affected communities.”

    Moylan said the announcement shows Australia was now joining other world economies who are moving away from the most polluting of all fossil fuels.

    “Around the world financial institutions are turning their backs on coal,” Moylan said.

    “But we cannot be complacent and ignore the very real damage every mine and every coal-fired power plant is doing to the environment, the communities that surround them, and the planet.”


    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    Bonn, 17 November 2017 – Greenpeace demanded climate leadership to emerge from the Pacific COP, calling on leaders to listen to the need for urgency and transform their energy and land-use systems.

    The Trump administration failed to stop the global climate talks from moving forward, despite its  announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but the world is still in urgent need of action.

    The head of Greenpeace’s political delegation Jens Mattias Clausen said:
     
    “Leaders must now go home and do the right thing, prove that they have listened to the voices of the Pacific, with all their hurt and hope, and understand the urgency of our time. Talk is not good enough and we still lack the action we need.

    “We call on France, Germany, China and others to step up and display the leadership they claim to stake. Clinging to coal or nuclear power and parading as climate champions while failing to accelerate the clean energy transition is nothing but bad faith.”

    This year’s COP placed heightened attention on climate impacts and the need for accountability, but failed to deliver the concrete support that a small island COP should have. 
     
    Clausen added:

    “We welcome the focus on enhanced ambition and the inclusion of pre-2020 climate action in the design of next year’s stocktake, the Talanoa Dialogue. This will form part of Fiji’s legacy and it is imperative that the dialogue will not just be a discussion but actually lead to countries ramping up their climate targets. 

    “Bonn still leaves a daunting task of concluding the Paris rulebook next year. Countries need to rediscover the political courage they had in Paris to complete the rulebook on time.”

    A deal to break a deadlock in Bonn over the languishing pre-2020 climate action from developed countries and to anchor it in coming climate talks must now prove pivotal in forging additional ambition.

    Pacific Island Represent activist Samu Kuridrani said:

“The Pacific has been dealing with the devastating impacts of climate change for years so time is a luxury we do not have. While leaders talk, we face the effects. It’s time for leaders to live up to their promises.” 

    Greenpeace USA climate campaigner Naomi Ages said:

    “We have seen the true face of America here, exposing how Trump and his regressive fossil fuel agenda are outnumbered by those who proclaim with one voice, America is still in. It's been abundantly clear here that despite Trump, climate action continues. World leaders must now categorically reject any proposed weakening of America’s commitments and hold the US administration to account if it reneges.”

    Greenpeace Germany Executive Director Sweelin Heuss said:
     
    “This COP saw Germany drastically lose credibility and leadership on climate action. Chancellor Merkel’s disappointing speech failed to align Germany with a coalition of progressive nations stepping away from coal, raising doubts if Germany is committed to the ambition of the Paris agreement. Only by deciding on a coal phase out will the new government be able to reach its climate targets for 2020 and 2030.”

    Greenpeace China Climate Policy Adviser Li Shuo:

    “The Pacific COP has been a way-station in China's aspiration to become a climate leader. The transformation from a developing country to a responsible global power takes time and courage, but climate leadership demands urgency. In 2018, eyes will increasingly turn to China to enhance the country's climate ambition and help conclude the Paris rulebook.”

    Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Yeb Saño said:

    "The voices from the climate frontlines have spoken in the Pacific COP. But how much have those who are historically most accountable for climate change listened? Those least responsible for climate change are suffering the worst impacts and this great injustice must be addressed. Governments and corporations must urgently change their policies and practices to avert climate-related human rights harms."

    Contact:
    Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia: tom.baxter@greenpeace.org, phone: +49 152 1927 7342

    For German media, contact Gregor Kessler, Communications, Greenpeace Germany: gregor.kessler@greenpeace.org, phone: +49 151 7270 2918

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