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A feed containing all Greenpeace Australia Pacific press release
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    Oslo, Norway 22 November, 2017 – Today is the last day in court where three environmental organisations have taken on the Norwegian government for opening up new areas in the Arctic to oil drilling. The plaintiffs have been arguing that drilling for new oil violates the Norwegian Constitution and contravenes the Paris Agreement. Winning the case could set a precedent for future climate cases around the world. The verdict is expected in 4 to 12 weeks.

    More than half a million people have submitted their names as evidence of the global opposition against Arctic oil drilling. They are asking the Norwegian government to withdraw the new oil licenses in the Arctic. In a crowdsourcing drive to contribute to legal costs, so far 2500 Norwegians have donated funds covering close to half of the legal costs for the plaintiffs.

    Truls Gulowsen, Head of Greenpeace Norway said:

    “The Norwegian Constitution gives the right to a healthy environment. Winning this case -- having new oil licenses in the Arctic ruled invalid -- would keep millions of oil barrels in the ground. During the hearing, I believe we have made it clear that opening up new oil fields will be in violation of both the Norwegian constitution and the Paris Agreement. We have also shown that Norway, in fact, risks losing billions by investing in these oil fields.”

    During the trial, three environmental organisations: GreenpeaceNature and Youth and Grandparents Climate Campaign, have argued that the Norwegian government has violated the right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations, as outlined in the Norwegian Constitution §112. This is the first time this right has been used in the court of law. Around the world, over 90 countries have a constitutionally protected right to a healthy environment, and the world is now waiting to see if the verdict can inspire more people to make their governments responsible to their citizens.

    Ingrid Skjoldvær, Head of Nature and Youth, added:

    "If we lose, the Norwegian state will continue to drill for oil in the Arctic. This will lead to more climate change and an uncertain future for young people today, and those who come after us. Our hope is that the court will both cancel the oil licenses awarded in the 23rd licensing round and ensure that the Norwegian government start to assess the climate change consequences of distributing new oil licenses."

    During the first week of the climate trial in Oslo, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Oil Fund and the Norwegian Central bank (Norges Bank) asked the Government for permission to divest more than 35 billion USD from oil and gas to make the government’s wealth less vulnerable”.

    The 13 oil companies that have new license blocks in the Barents Sea, and would be affected by the verdict, 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).

    -- ENDS --

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

    Contacts:

    For Australian media contact:

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

    For international media contact:

    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

    Steinar Høiback, spokesperson, Grandparents Climate Campaign, +47 911 74 848

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

    Notes to Editor:

    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 across Norway. They are connected to Young Friends of the Earth Europe. Nature and Youth is a plaintiff in this case.


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    December 1, 2017: Board members of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) have been targeted by an alliance of not-for-profit groups in an attempt to prevent them from using more than a billion dollars in taxpayers’ money to help fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

    Polling released today by Greenpeace Australia Pacific reveals that 73 per cent of Australians say that mining industry executives shouldn’t be involved in deciding how to spend public money.

    That polling is being placed on video billboards outside the Perth workplaces of NAIF Chair Sharon Warburton and NAIF board member Justin Mannolini, both of whom lead mining company boards despite their positions with the ostensibly independent NAIF.

    Separately, pamphlets will be distributed calling on board members to immediately distance themselves from the Adani project.

    “Public opinion polling has shown again and again that the majority of Australians reject this mine and now we can see that nobody wants mining lackeys deciding on how their money is spent at all,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “The message from the Australian people is clear - if you’re a mining lackey you’re compromised, and you have no place in administering public funds.

    “If the NAIF board members have any sense at all they will immediately distance themselves from the terminally toxic Adani mine.”

     Glen Klatovsky, 350.org Australia deputy CEO, said it was a fundamental conflict of interest.

    “How can individuals deeply invested in the mining industry make objective decisions on the use of $1 billion of taxpayer money on a fossil fuel project such as Adani? “ Klatovsky said.

    “No wonder these polling results are so strong.  Australian people are rightly concerned that we are letting mining industry foxes into the taxpayer-funded chicken coop.”

    ReachTel polling: 

    Do you think board members of institutions that decide how to allocate public funds to large mining projects should be independent of the mining industry?

     

    Total

    Female

    Male

    18-34

    35-50

    51-65

    65+

    Yes

    73.1%

    74.0%

    72.2%

    64.2%

    77.3%

    78.3%

    73.9%

    No

    12.1%

    9.6%

    14.7%

    16.9%

    11.2%

    9.5%

    8.9%

    Undecided

    14.8%

    16.4%

    13.1%

    18.9%

    11.4%

    12.2%

    17.1%

     

     

    Total

    Liberal

    The Nationals

    Labor

    Greens

    One Nation

    Australian Conservatives

    Other

    Undecided

    Yes

    73.1%

    63.7%

    82.4%

    79.5%

    89.0%

    74.5%

    54.4%

    75.6%

    64.5%

    No

    12.1%

    18.9%

    11.8%

    7.2%

    3.5%

    17.3%

    24.1%

    6.5%

    10.8%

    Undecided

    14.8%

    17.4%

    5.9%

    13.4%

    7.5%

    8.2%

    21.5%

    17.9%

    24.7%

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    SYDNEY, December 1, 2017 - As a huge marine protected area in the Ross Sea comes into force on World Antarctica Day (Friday 1 December) this year, Greenpeace has announced an ambitious three-month Antarctic expedition.

    Between January and March 2018, the crew aboard Greenpeace’s iconic Arctic Sunrise vessel will undertake groundbreaking scientific research including a world first visit to the bottom of the Weddell Sea, which is currently the subject of an EU proposal for a 1.8 million square kilometre ocean sanctuary.

    “Almost 30 years ago nations came together to preserve Antarctica as a peaceful place for scientific research, free from the scourge of mining. Unfortunately, the treaty doesn’t cover the surrounding ocean where industrial fishing vessels are sucking up the precious krill that underpins the Antarctic food chain,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Antarctic Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said.

    “The establishment of the Ross Sea marine reserve shows what can be achieved when governments work together to defend our marine environment. And that kind of cooperation is what is need once again to protect iconic species like penguins, whales and seals, who rely on a healthy ocean for their survival.”    

    During its three-month voyage, Greenpeace will document the Antarctic’s unique wildlife to bolster the case for the establishment of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, which would be the largest protected area on Earth.

    Greenpeace is taking Antarctic specialists who will conduct scientific research to identify new species and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems on the seafloor, including rare corals and sponges. This would provide further evidence for the need for comprehensive protection of the region. The crew will also undertake water sampling to identify the presence of any plastic pollution in this remote region.

    The expedition will also see documentation of the unique and iconic Antarctic wildlife which is facing acute pressure from climate change, fishing and pollution. Award-winning photographers and videographers will be on board to document marine life, such as penguin colonies coping with pressures on food supplies, and majestic whales feasting in the Antarctic Ocean after mammoth migrations.

    Head of Greenpeace’s International Antarctic Campaign, Frida Bengtsson, added that ocean sanctuaries “affect us all” and do a lot more than just protecting the marine life that live within them.

    “Healthy oceans take in vast quantities of carbon dioxide and are essential in tackling climate change,” she said.

    “We’re going to do everything we can over the next year to make sure that not only do the governments responsible for Antarctic protection know the world is watching them, but also make sure they do not pass up this historic opportunity to protect this amazing place.”

     

    Notes

    The expedition will run for three months from the start of January to the end of March 2018.

    Further details of the expedition will be released in January.

    See here for a collection of historic Greenpeace images from the Antarctic.

    See here for an image of the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise.

     

    For interviews

    Martin Zavan

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 / martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     


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    Manila, 11 December 2017 - The world’s first ever national inquiry into the responsibility of the fossil fuel industry for the human rights impacts resulting from climate change hits an important milestone in the Philippines today - one day after Human Rights Day. Companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Suncor and Repsol, are being asked to explain their role in making climate change worse.

    The investigating body, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, sent Notices in October requesting the companies to attend the 11 December meeting to discuss and agree on how the investigation will be conducted, as well as evidence submission and witnesses (1). The investigation will intensify in 2018 and has the potential to shift global understanding of corporate responsibility for climate change.

    “Many homes were destroyed during typhoon Yolanda and people died - including some I knew,” said Isagani Serrano, president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), an organisation that provides support in the aftermath of disasters and one of the petitioners. “We hope CEOs of these companies look deep within their hearts and see how their profit harms people and the planet.”

    Filipino typhoon survivors, other communities suffering the impacts of climate change, and civil society organisations, including Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines), petitioned the Commission for the investigation in 2015 (2), two years after super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) claimed the lives of more than 6,300 people and affected millions of others who have yet to recover (3).

    “International Human Rights Day should remind these companies why it’s important that they participate in the national inquiry. Extreme weather fuelled by climate change is making life worse for people on the frontlines of climate change,” said Yeb Saño, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, who is also a petitioner in the investigation.

    “Their basic rights to food, water, shelter, health, and even life are under threat. People have rights, states have duties, and companies have responsibilities to respect these rights. No oil, gas, or coal company has a right to pollute the climate, and those that undermine, threaten, and violate human rights must be held accountable.”

    “The national inquiry in the Philippines is an opportunity to set the record straight on climate change and make sure these companies are as committed as society needs them to be to phasing out fossil fuels and ensuring that our future is powered by 100% renewable energy,” said Saño.

    The Philippines national inquiry is one of a wave of people-powered legal actions taking place around the world. Greenpeace Nordic and Nature and Youth in Norway, young people in the US, senior women in Switzerland, a Peruvian farmer in Germany, a law student in New Zealand, and many others, are taking legal action to seek protection from climate change.

    Yesterday was a very important day for all of humanity. 10 December is International Human Rights Day and the start of the one-year lead up to the 70th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

     

    Notes:

    [1] The Climate Change and Human Rights Petition - see section V. Commission on Human Rights’ Notice for companies to attend preliminary conference of parties.

    [2]  Petition Requesting for Investigation of the Responsibility of the Carbon Majors for Human Rights Violations or Threats of Violations Resulting from the Impacts of Climate Change. 9 May 2016.

    [3] The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. 2015. Final Report re Effects of Typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan).

    [4] Sections 17-18, Article 13 of the Philippine Constitution. For further details see Petitioners´ Consolidated Reply

    [5] Corporate responses and comments on the petition here.

    Images are available here: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJXXEQGR


    Media contacts:

    Desiree Llanos Dee, Climate Justice Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines,
    email: desiree.llanosdee@greenpeace.org; +639985959733

    JP Agcaoili, Communications and Digital Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, email: jp.agcaoili@greenpeace.org; tel. +639498891334

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


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    December 14, 2017: Australia’s dirtiest industry has been dealt another blow with the second of the “Big Four” banks ruling out funding for new thermal coal mines.

    National Australia Bank today issued their latest risk appetite statement which prohibits the funding of any new thermal coal mines.

    “This is a market-leading position for an Australian bank and is even stronger than the position taken by Commonwealth Bank last month because it is formal policy,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “All over the world financial institutions are turning their backs on coal after realising its contribution to climate change and the damage it does to the health of communities and the planet."

    Moylan said the announcement shows Australian banks were now joining other world financial institutions who are moving to abandon the most polluting of all fossil fuels, with ING promising this week to phase out coal within a decade and commiting to stop funding any utility company which relies on coal for more than 5 percent of its energy.

    The World Bank also announced it will “no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019" in an effort to be consistent with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C.

    “NAB's decision to abandon coal shows Australian banks realise they cannot continue to ignore the very real damage every mine and every coal-fired power plant is doing to the health of the communities that surround them, and the contribution their fossil fuel financing makes to climate change," Moylan said.

    "It’s time for ANZ and Westpac to do the same and rule out investing in new coal projects.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    December 19, 2017: The proposal to open up thousands of square kilometres of Australia’s ocean environment to new oil and gas exploration while committing to reducing emissions is incredibly hypocritical and shows the government are in the pocket of fossil fuel industries.

    The Australian government today released 21 new proposed drilling blocks, including in the Great Australian Bight, for public consultation [1], with several in protected marine parks and breeding grounds for endangered whales.   

    “Hours before the government released a review into their climate policies and re-affirmed the need to reduce carbon emissions they go and open up thousands of square kilometres to new oil drilling,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle, said.

    “Putting more of Australia’s priceless marine environment in the path of oil spills and damaging seismic testing is bad enough, but the hypocrisy of committing Australia to further emissions-intensive fossil fuel extraction as the rest of the world begins the transition towards clean energy is breathtaking.”

    Last week the World Bank committed to phasing out investment in oil and gas by 2019 and a number of countries, including the UK, France, India, and Norway, have committed to banning petrol-powered vehicles over the next few decades.

    “Data released by the Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg today show that Australia will miss the 2020 Kyoto Target by a full 5 per cent and will be unable to achieve targets under the Paris Climate Accords,” Pelle said.

    “Despite this we are committing to opening up thousands of kilometres to oil companies with a history of environmental destruction and paying little to no tax, so they can drill and burn more oil.

    “The Australian government must listen to the huge community opposition to oil drilling and cease their undying support for fossil fuel industries.”

    Notes for editors:

    [1] https://consult.industry.gov.au/offshore-resources-branch/2018-acreage-release/

    [2] http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/review-climate-change-policies

     

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    Oslo, Norway, January 5, 2018 – In the case brought against the Norwegian Government by Greenpeace Norway, Nature and Youth and the Grandparents Climate Campaign for granting new oil licenses to drill in the Arctic, the Oslo District Court yesterday reached a decision. [1] [2]

    The Court found the Norwegian government not responsible for breaching the Constitution. However, the Court found that the right to a healthy environment is protected by the Constitution and the Government must uphold those rights. In reaction to the judgment, the head of Greenpeace Norway, Truls Gulowsen, said:

    "While it's good news that the judgment acknowledges the Environmental Article in the Norwegian Constitution, it's very disappointing that it neglects Norway’s responsibility for damaging the planet’s climate.

    “The demand for immediate action against climate change may not have been heard by the Norwegian government or courts, but every environment defender has heard the millions of people across the world who want Arctic protection. This decision should serve to shape the playbook which is being used everywhere by people taking their governments to court to protect their basic human right to a healthy environment."

    Ingrid Skjoldvær, head of Nature and Youth, said:

    “We have shown that the Norwegian Constitution gives future generations the right to a safe and healthy environment. We see this as an important step for stronger protection of the environment, that can serve as inspiration for youth all around the world.”

    More than half a million people, including 25,000 Australians, have submitted their names supporting the court case against Arctic oil drilling, and have asked the Norwegian government to withdraw the new oil licenses in the Arctic.

    ENDS

    Notes

    [1] More about the case can be read here

    [2] The judgement can be found here.

    Media briefings and background on the climate lawsuit can be read here.

    Photos and clip reel can be seen here.


    Contacts

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner 0424295422

    Email: martin.zavan@greenpeace.org.au

    Poul Bonke Justesen, press officer, Greenpeace Nordic. Mobile: +45 2629 4938

    Email: poul.bonke.justesen@greenpeace.org

    Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway. Mobile: +47 90107904


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    SYDNEY, January 5 2018 - An alarming new study published today in Science warning that large-scale coral bleaching events could start occurring every year highlights the urgent need for serious action to fight climate change.

    Mass bleaching events that previously took place every 25-30 years before the 1980s are now occurring around once every six years, and that bleach-free window could shrink dramatically in the coming years, the study warns. [1]

    “This study is another damning piece of evidence that climate change is putting huge ecosystems at critical risk,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said.

    “We are already seeing climate change impact the Great Barrier Reef, which has suffered consecutive years of mass bleaching events killing at least 29 per cent of its shallow-water corals and affecting up to two thirds of its corals overall. [2]

    “Australia’s fossil fuel addiction is warming our planet and its oceans. The Australian government must finally listen to scientists’ warnings and take immediate steps to meet and exceed our Paris Agreement targets. That means transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as quickly as possible.”     

    The study, whose lead author is Terry Hughes, head of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Science Studies at James Cook University, analysed more than 100 tropical reefs around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef after it suffered its back to back bleaching events.

    Only six of the reefs surveyed avoided bleaching events, which suggests the world is already approaching a scenario in which every hot summer, with or without an El Niño event, has the potential to cause bleaching and mortality at a regional scale, the study said.

     

    Notes to editors:

    Photo and video from 2017’s bleaching event can be found here. (Select photos to add to lightbox, create account, download lightbox using 'actions' tab.)

     

    [1] Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene

    [2] http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/media-room/latest-news/coral-bleaching/2017/significant-coral-decline-and-habitat-loss-on-the-great-barrier-reef

     

    For interviews:

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org.au


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    Beijing, 8 January 2018 - In response to the collision of the Sanchi oil tanker and the cargo ship CF Crystal in the East China Sea on Sunday, Greenpeace expresses concern about the safety of the 32 missing crew members.

    Greenpeace East Asia campaigner, Rashid Kang, said:

    “First and foremost, Greenpeace hopes that the search and rescue operations of the Chinese coast guard go smoothly and the 32 missing crew will be found.”

    Greenpeace is also concerned about the potential environmental damage that could be caused by the one million barrels of oil on board.  

    “We are worried about the potential environmental impact that could be caused by leakage from the vessel that was holding almost 42 million gallons of oil. A clean up procedure is already underway and we will be monitoring its progress,” said Rashid Kang.

    A Reuters report on Monday morning suggested that the collision has the potential to cause the worst such oil spill since the ABT Summer spill off the Angolan coast in 1991.[1]

    Chinese coast guards have already sent four rescue ships and three oil spill cleaning boats to the site.

    The collision occurred 160 nautical miles of the Chinese coast. The Panamanian flagged vessel, The Sanchi, is transporting 136,000 tons of condensate crude oil, equivalent to 1 million barrels, purchased by Korean joint venture Hanhwa Total from Iran to the port of Daesan in South Korea.[2]

    Notes to Editor:

    [1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-accident-oil/iranian-oil-tanker-still-ablaze-as-rescuers-search-for-missing-mariners-idUSKBN1EX00J

    [2] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-accident-oil/iranian-oil-tanker-still-ablaze-as-rescuers-search-for-missing-mariners-idUSKBN1EX00J

    International media contact:

    Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing | +86 156 5241 1229 | tom.baxter@greenpeace.org

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

    For Australian enquiries contact:

    Simon Black, Senior Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific

    0418 219 086 | simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    January 11, 2018: Calls by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) to hobble workers’ rights and strip environmental protections are a reminder of why the lobby group is being abandoned by their own members.

    The MCA have today made a pre-budget submission to Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, calling for environmental approval laws to be weakened and for changes to the Fair Work Act.

    “Only a day after falsely claiming royalties are taxes rather than the cost of the raw material, the peak mining industry group are making outrageous demands to dismantle Australia’s national environmental law,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

    “The environmental laws in this country are already too weak and are failing national treasures like the Great Barrier Reef while allowing the Queensland Government to bulldoze an oval’s worth of bushland every three minutes.

    “These laws need to be urgently strengthened, not weakened.”

    The MCA’s submission comes a day after calling for wide-ranging tax cuts for large mining companies and confirmation of their plans for an advertising blitz in favour of coal-fired power.

    Last year one of the MCA’s largest members, BHP, issued a public statement criticising the group’s continued support of new coal-fired power stations and warned they were considering revoking their membership.

    “The MCA have shown they are out of touch not just with the Australian public but even with their own mining giant members. This latest attempt to roll back environmental and workers’ protections is a final gasp for relevance from a crippled vested interest lobby group,” Moylan said.

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    Sydney, 15 January 2018 – As a groundbreaking expedition begins in the Antarctic, pop-up penguins have been spotted from London to Seoul, Buenos Aires to Sydney, and Johannesburg to Washington DC, marching for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. [1]

    The striking geometric sculptures have appeared by national landmarks across the globe, on local transport, and travelling to the Antarctic with suitcases in hand, including by the White House, Buenos Aires’ colourful Boca district, Sydney Opera House, and the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. [See here for images.]

    The penguins are part of a new Greenpeace campaign calling for the creation of the largest protected area on earth: a 1.8 million square kilometre ocean sanctuary in the Antarctic. “This sanctuary would put the Weddell Sea off limits to destructive human activities such as industrial fishing and provide a safe haven for penguins, whales and seals,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Antarctic Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said.

    A few days ago Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise, set sail for the Antarctic, where the crew will undertake pioneering scientific research in submarines, document the area’s unique wildlife, which is facing pressures from climate change, overfishing and pollution, and gather evidence of the urgent need for governments to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

    “The expedition will see a submersible dive to locations on the Antarctic seabed never previously visited by humans.  Remotely operated vehicles and dropcams will also be deployed to capture footage of the unique home of whales, penguins, seals and thousands more creatures,” Foster Vander Elst said.

    “These activities will bring our supporters closer to the Antarctic than ever before as the crew documents the impacts of climate change and collects the scientific evidence to further build the case to protect the Weddell Sea and the marine life who call it home.”

    The expedition will mark the first occasion that humans visit the seafloor in the Weddell Sea, which is the subject of an EU proposal for an ocean sanctuary to be considered by the Antarctic Ocean Commission (CCAMLR) in October 2018. Antarctic scientists will conduct research to identify Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems and new species on the seabed, including rare corals and sponges. This would provide further evidence of the need for comprehensive protection of the area. The crew will also undertake water sampling to identify the presence of any plastic pollution in this remote region.

    Dr Susanne Lockhart, a renowned Antarctic specialist with the California Academy of Sciences is joining the expedition’s dives to the seafloor:

    “The first steps have finally been taken by those entrusted to govern the Antarctic Ocean to protect one of the world's last pristine marine ecosystems; an ocean that connects all oceans. I'm excited to partner with Greenpeace and provide the science that will help determine areas which should be a priority for protection as countries work together to create the world's largest ocean sanctuary.”

    Frida Bengtsson, head of Greenpeace’s new Protect The Antarctic campaign said:

    “There are 35 of us on this ship - scientists, campaigners, submarine pilots, deck hands - but when we return in three month’s time, we want to come back with a global movement calling for governments to protect the Antarctic.

    “The bottom of our blue planet may seem far away to many of us, but what happens there is crucial to all of our futures. An Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would not only safeguard the unique penguins, whales and seals in this incredible area, but it will ensure the ocean is healthy enough to help mitigate against the worst effects of climate change. When governments meet in October, they have the opportunity to  create the largest protected area on Earth. Let’s make it happen.”

     

    ENDS

     

    Notes

    [1] The pop-up penguins have appeared in the following cities: Barcelona, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Hamburg, Johannesburg, London, New Delhi, Stockholm, Sydney and Washington DC.

    For images of the penguin sculptures, see:

    http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJX9X3SO  

    For images of Greenpeace’s ship the Arctic Sunrise, which has just commenced its three-month Antarctic expedition, see: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJX9IE3D

    The penguin sculptures were made by Wolfram Kampffmeyer of German-based 3D design company Paperwolf.

     

    Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary:

    Greenpeace is campaigning for an Antarctic Ocean 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.

    Greenpeace’s Antarctic expedition will run for three months from January to early April 2018.

     

    Contacts:

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner, martin.zavan@greenpeace.org, 0424 295 422

    Luke Massey, Antarctic Global Communications Lead, luke.massey@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7973 873 155

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

     


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    Jakarta, 16 January, 2018 - A Greenpeace Belgium campaigner and ornithologist, together with researchers from the University of Singapore and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, have described a new species of bird on Rote Island, Indonesia.

    The Rote myzomela (Myzomela irianawidodoae) belongs to the colourful honeyeater family and is named after the First Lady of Indonesia, Iriana Joko Widodo.The team’s findings were published in the Indonesian scientific journal, Treubia, in December 2017.[1]

    “Indonesia has over 1500 species of birds and new birds are still being discovered every year. In the past, hardly any birdwatchers visited Rote Island because no endemic bird species were known to live there,” said Greenpeace campaigner Philippe Verbelen, who undertook fieldwork on the island that led to this discovery.

    “Most bird species have a distinctive song that is unique to that species. Only a handful of new bird species are identified every year. Getting them this proper scientific recognition is hugely rewarding for any birdwatcher,” said Verbelen.

    Indonesian forests are threatened by industrial and agricultural development [2] and the Rote Island landscape is no exception. The habitat of this new honeyeater species is at risk and needs protection.

    “I hope the discovery of this new bird will remind people that these forests are critical to the survival not only of birds like this new honeyeater but also tigers, orangutans and other wildlife yet undocumented. Authorities in Jakarta should take note and strengthen efforts  to protect and conserve Rote Island and other remaining forests in Indonesia,” said Verbelen.

    In 2009, nearly 20 years after the bird was first observed by the Australian ornithologist Ron Johnstone, Verbelen visited Rote Island as part of a larger project to study owl vocalisations in Indonesia.

    He photographed the myzomela birds on the island and extensively recorded their song and call. He realised that their song was significantly different to that of the myzomelas on neighbouring Indonesian islands and Australia. [3]

    Verbelen returned to Indonesia in 2014 for further field trips to Rote and Sumba islands. He  collected more sound recordings of the birds on both islands to check the hypothesis that despite its similar appearance, the Rote Island bird was likely to be a new species.  

    The new species was scientifically documented by researchers from the University of Singapore and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), who went to Rote Island in December 2015.

    Notes to Editors:

    [1] http://e-journal.biologi.lipi.go.id/index.php/treubia/index. Full report here.

    [2] ‘The palm oil industry promises reform, but there’s still no sign of change’

    [3] Myzomela dammermani– (Sumba Myzomela) and Myzomela vulnerata (Timor Myzomela)  and the Red-headed Myzomela (Myzomela erythrocephala) which lives in mainland Australia.

    Photos and video footage available HERE

    Here for more information on Greenpeace South East Asia’s Save our Sounds project, and to hear “The Birds of Paradise,” Greenpeace’s unique collaboration with Indonesian musician, DJ Ninda Felina.

    Contact:

    Sol Gosetti, Media Coordinator, Greenpeace Southeast Asia: sol.gosetti@greenpeace.org phone: +447807352020

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


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    Davos, 18 January, 2018 - Greenpeace Switzerland activists have unveiled a 6-metre statue of Justice on the outskirts of Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum.[1] The action comes as Greenpeace International sets out the ten fundamental principles needed to cut environmental and human rights abuses by corporations in the ‘Justice for People and Planet’ report, which documents the root causes of these abuses — and how to stop them.[2]

    Justice for People and Planet calls on governments to impose effective and binding rules on corporate behaviour, to make them accountable toward people and the planet. It shows how, rather than imposing these rules, governments have willingly or unwillingly become enablers of corporate impunity. The report’s analysis of 20 specific cases shows how corporations have exploited corporate law, tax and investment treaties, regulatory capture and a series of barriers to justice to profit at the expense of human rights and the environment.

    “In Davos the global elite will discuss ‘creating a shared future in a fractured world’, but the real corporate agenda remains one of expanding corporate power and profiting at the expense of citizens and the environment. If we are to protect our fragile planet, we need justice at the heart of corporate governance” - Matthias Wüthrich, Corporate Accountability Campaigner, Greenpeace Switzerland.

    The report documents, among others, how differences in legal standards saw VW fined billions in the US for the dieselgate scandal, but escape unpunished in Europe [3]; how Resolute Forest Products and Energy Transfer Partners have used SLAPP suits in an attempt to silence critics [4]; how Glencore pollutes the environment and climate and uses private arbitration courts to pressurise governments [5];  and how Spanish ACS group became an accomplice to an environmental and social catastrophe when it joined the construction of the Renace hydroelectric power project in Guatemala.[6]

    The report’s 20 cases expose corporate wrongdoing relating to climate change, deforestation, pollution, violations of Indigenous rights, repression against NGOs and environmental / human rights defenders, tax avoidance, corruption, fraudulent manipulation of the public debate and more [7]. 20 of the companies named in the report are partners or participants in the World Economic Forum. [8]

    The common sense Corporate Accountability Principles that Greenpeace is asking to be adopted include ‘Holding corporations and those individuals who direct them liable for environmental and human rights violations committed domestically or abroad by companies under their control.’ and ‘Promoting a race to the top by prohibiting corporations from carrying out activities abroad which are banned in their home state for reasons of risks to environmental or human rights.’

    “If corporations were held to the highest applicable standard, be that at home or abroad, it would go a long way to healing our fractured world. And if company directors risked fines or jail for the misdeeds of their subsidiaries and subcontractors corporate accountability could become a reality rather than a myth” - Shira Stanton, Senior Political Strategist, Greenpeace International.

    Greenpeace is supporting the launch with the release of the short, comedy film ‘It’s not Business, it’s personal’, produced by Don’t Panic! London, which imagines what would happen if a natural person were granted the privileges extended to corporations. [9]

    Notes

    [1] The activity was supported by activities in Switzerland, Mexico and Italy and is part of the Fight Inequality Alliance’s Messages from the other mountains campaign. #fightinequality

    [2] Executive Summary: Justice for People and Planet : Ending the age of corporate capture, collusion and impunity

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Justice-Report-Exec-Summary.pdf

    Full report: Justice for People and Planet : Ending the age of corporate capture, collusion and impunity

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Justice-for-people-and-planet.pdf

    [3] VW case

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Cases/VW.pdf

    [4] Energy Transfer Partners case:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Cases/ETP.pdf

    Resolute Forest Products case:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Cases/Resolute-Forest-Products.pdf

    [5] Glencore case:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Cases/Glencore.pdf

    [6] ACS case: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/other/2018/Cases/ACS-Group.pdf

    [7] The corporations examined in the case studies are ACS Group (Grupo Cobra), The Carbon Majors (47 companies), Chevron, DowDuPont, Energy Transfer Partners, Exxon, Gabriel Resources, Glencore, Grupo Bimbo, Halcyon Agri (Sudcam), ICIG (Miteni), Keskinoğlu, Monsanto, Nestlé, Novartis (Sandoz), Resolute Forest Products, Rosatom, Schörghuber group (Ventisqueros), Total, Trafigura, and VW

    [8] The following corporations are named in the report and are also official partners or participants in the WEF: Chevron, Dow Chemical Company (DowDuPont), Glencore, Monsanto, Nestlé, Novartis, Total, Trafigura, Volkswagen VW, BP, Eni, LUKOIL, Shell, Suncor, ArcelorMittal, Barclays, Citi, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    [9] It’s not business, it’s just personal, to see at www.greenpeace.org/justice

    Photo and video:

    Available at http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJX3QB3Y

    Nicolas Fojtu – Visual Communication Producer

    nfojtu@greenpeace.org

    Contacts

    Matthias Wuethric, Corporate Accountability Project Leader

    Tel: +41 797 048 409

    matthias.wuethrich@greenpeace.org

    Shira Stanton, Senior Political Strategist, Greenpeace International

    Tel:  +41 (0)78 708 5837

    shira.stanton@greenpeace.org,

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


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    SYDNEY, January 19, 2018 - The news that last year was the hottest ever recorded outside the El Niño cycle provides yet another wake-up call for world leaders to take swift action to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

    Even without an El Niño effect to exacerbate the heat, 2017 was still the third hottest year since global records began, with temperatures almost 1C above the levels registered in pre-industrial times.  

    “Year after year the earth is warming at an alarming rate. Unfortunately here in Australia the obvious first steps, such as phasing out coal-fired power generation, are either not being taken or being  implemented in a haphazard manner,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy campaigner Nikola Casule said.

    “Ignorance of the issue stopped being an excuse decades ago. The time has come for coal-obsessed governments like Australia’s to stop living in the past and commit to meaningful action on climate change. This means slashing emissions by phasing out coal,  incentivising the use of renewable energy, and saying no to Adani Group’s destructive Carmichael coal mine.”   

    The data published yesterday by the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration echoed the Bureau of Meteorology’s Annual Climate Statement that found 2017 was Australia's third-warmest year on record.

    The period from 2016 to 2017 capped off a trio of the three hottest years ever recorded while 17 of the 18 hottest years recorded since 1850 have occurred since 2000.

    2017 was also marked by a series of devastating weather events across the globe, from heatwaves in Australia to hurricanes in the US and Caribbean and flooding in south Asia.

    The news came on the same day that the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Erik Solheim warned that climate change had placed coral reefs at a tipping point and called for the re-evaluation of the construction of new coal mines.

    “We are at a make or break point where we can take possible steps forward or [oversee] the decline of the reefs," Mr Solheim told told Fairfax at the start of the International Year of the Reef.

    Mr Solheim added that nations considering opening new coal frontiers should reassess their decision on environmental as well as economic grounds.

    "Those who open up a lot of coal now may not only have an environmental problem but very soon [also] an economic problem because coal is more costly than renewables," he said.

     

    Contacts:

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner, martin.zavan@greenpeace.org, 0424 295 422

     


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    SYDNEY, January 22, 2018 - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to pay farmers up to $60 million to reduce sediment runoff to the Great Barrier Reef is the kind of tinkering around the edges approach that has failed in the past and does nothing to address the cause of devastating coral bleaching.

    “Coal-fueled climate change is killing the Reef, but instead of phasing out fossil fuels and pulling support for Adani’s Carmichael mine, the PM and Josh Frydenberg are again just dealing with symptoms of the problem,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Dr Nikola Casule, said.

    “The Reef is now in the early stages of an unprecedented third consecutive year of bleaching. The Reef bleached in 2016 and 2017 and the Turnbull government did nothing. The science is clear: dangerous global warming is the biggest threat to the Reef.

    “Rather than engaging in piecemeal exercises that ignore the biggest threat to the Reef, Malcolm Turnbull should place the interests of all Australians ahead of the profits of coal barons by embracing renewable energy and saying no to new coal projects, like Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.”

    Today in Townsville the Prime Minister announced a $60 million Great Barrier Reef program that includes paying farmers to reduce sediment runoff, increasing the number of vessels targeting the crown-of-thorns starfish and the number of field officers to protect the Reef.

    The program also includes $6 million for science and research, but does not include a single initiative to reduce Australia’s support of the coal industry or any serious measures to combat global warming.

    “If Mr Turnbull genuinely cared about our precious Reef and the people who depend on it, he would get serious about fighting climate change instead of engaging in fantasy solutions that ignore the real issue,” Dr Casule said.

     

    Contact: 

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner Martin Zavan

    0424 295 422

    martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

     


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    January 23, 2018: A proposal to rejuvenate an old Commodore factory to manufacture electric vehicles is exactly the future South Australia should strive for instead of outdated plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

    Plans by a British billionaire to turn the former Holden factory into an electric car manufacturing hub were revealed in a letter from the SA Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, to GM Holden asking them to support the plans and purchase of assets from the closed Elizabeth factory [1].

    “This is a reminder that South Australia’s pathway to energy and economic security lies in clean energy technology, not outdated fossil fuels” Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle, said.

    “Electric vehicles and batteries are the industries of the future and this plant would be another example of SA leading the rest of the country.

    “With oil demand predicted to peak as early as the next decade and the rest of the world moving away from fossil fuels this is another reminder of why we should keep drilling out of the Great Australian Bight.”

    Greenpeace is calling for a permanent ban on oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight in order to protect this unique wilderness and a rapid shift to clean transport modes, including electric vehicles, to combat climate change and air pollution .

    “The UBS global autos survey released in November predicted that almost every sixth car sold in the world will be electric by 2025 [2],” Pelle said.

    “Drilling in the Bight is not only gambling with the Bight’s marine life and fishing industries,  with cities such as Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, and Athens already committing to removing petrol vehicles from their roads by 2030 it’s also a bad bet against a future in which the end of the oil age is inevitable” .

    “The offshore oil industry, like the coal industry, is in a state of decline with job cuts and project cancellations occuring on a regular basis. Oil companies have admitted that oil-related job prospects in South Australia would be ‘negligible’. Backing electric cars and renewable technology on the other hand will ensure jobs for the future.”

    Notes for editors:

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

    [2] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-28/rise-of-electric-cars-quickens-pace-to-tesla-s-benefit

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    SYDNEY, January 24, 2018: Greenpeace International has released its first submarine footage from a part of the Antarctic seafloor never before visited by humans.

    The footage shows a seafloor ‘carpeted with life’ as well as ‘clear indications of a vulnerable marine ecosystem’ — strong evidence of the need for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to protect species like whales and penguins.

    The submarine dive footage is available here

    Greenpeace is currently in the Antarctic campaigning for an ocean sanctuary covering 1.8 million square kilometres, which would be the largest protected area on Earth.

    John Hocevar, a Greenpeace US marine biologist who piloted the submarine, described the team’s first dive in the Antarctic Ocean as “amazing”.

    “I really didn't know what to expect, but we saw so much life, it was very diverse. There were a lot of species of sponges, corals, sea squirts, a lot of different kinds of sea stars and their relatives, basket stars, feather stars,” he said.

    “It was just incredible how the whole bottom was carpeted with life. I really didn't expect it. I hope the work we're doing down here shows exactly why we need to protect this precious ecosystem.”

    Dr Susanne Lockhart, an Antarctic biologist who visited the seafloor in a two-person submarine, said there were clear indications of a vulnerable marine ecosystem in the initial footage gathered at the seabed.

    “We’ll be doing further exploration of the bottom of the sea to help determine specific areas that should be a priority for protection from commercial fishing in these pristine waters, as well as building a body of evidence to support proposals for protection in the Antarctic Ocean,” she said.

    Frida Bengtsson, head of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign, said:

    “Over half a million people have already backed the call for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary - a 1.8 million square kilometre safe haven for penguins and whales. The movement to create the biggest protected area on Earth is growing by the day.”

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Antarctic campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst, said more than 30,000 Australians had shown their support for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary roughly the size of Queensland.

    “The research Greenpeace is undertaking will bolster the case for protecting iconic Antarctic species by safeguarding the ocean they live in,” she said.

    “Penguins should not have to compete with industrial fishing vessels for their next meal. The way to keep them out of this lopsided fight is by putting the Weddell Sea off limits to commercial fishing through an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.”

    The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise is on a three-month expedition to the Antarctic to carry out scientific research, including seafloor submarine dives and sampling for plastic pollution, to highlight the urgent need for the creation of the world’s largest protected area to safeguard fragile Antarctic ecosystems.

    The proposal for the sanctuary has been submitted by the EU and is backed by the German Government. It will be considered when the Antarctic Ocean Commission next convenes, in Hobart, in October.

    Key footage gathered from the submarine dives will be submitted to the Antarctic Ocean Commission for both specific, localised, protection as well as strengthening proposals for marine protection in the Antarctic.

     

    The release comes a day after “Stranger Things” star David Harbour rose to a Twitter challenge to reach 200,000 retweets in order to join Greenpeace’s Antarctic expedition.

     

    See footage from the submarine dives here

    See photos of the submarine dives and the expedition here

    Learn more about the campaign here

     

    ENDS

     

    Media contacts:

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner, 0424 295 422, martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

    Luke Massey, Antarctic Global Communications Lead, Greenpeace UK, luke.massey@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7973 873 155

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

     


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    Sydney, 30 January, 2018 – Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem has dived to the Antarctic seafloor in a two-person submarine to call for the creation of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

    [See video of Javier’s dive here.]

    After a two-hour dive to the Antarctic Peninsula seabed, Javier Bardem described the “overwhelming variety of colours and life” 270m below the surface.

    “It is an incredibly important mission to go down and document these species in all their colorful existence and to prove the importance of protecting this unique ocean,” Bardem said.

    Greenpeace is currently undertaking a three-month expedition to the Antarctic to carry out scientific research, including sampling for plastic pollution, to highlight the urgent need to create a 1.8 million square kilometre Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to safeguard species like whales and penguins.

    Javier Bardem continued: “As soon as we reached the seafloor, I was completely amazed by the overwhelming variety of colors and life all around us. I’m not a biologist, but to find a pink, yellow and green world of corals and sponges at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean was a real surprise to me.”

    “It was a very relaxed experience, even though I’d expected to become more nervous, as we dived into the deep. It is really impressive to witness the scientific research that is done on this expedition first-hand and I’m just very grateful to be allowed one dive in between the many others where a real Antarctic biologist is in the passenger seat!”

    “To me, an experience like this shows exactly why we need to show respect as human beings. It is an incredibly important mission to go down and document these species in all their colorful existence to prove the importance of protecting a unique ocean that also feeds all the bigger animals in the Antarctic”.

    John Hocevar, a Greenpeace US marine biologist who piloted the submarine, said:

    “Being in a two-person submarine with Javier Bardem was awesome. He was a very relaxed passenger, especially considering this was his first dive. He seemed completely awestruck by the whole experience and so was I.”

    The proposal for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has been submitted by the EU and will be considered when the Hobart-based Antarctic Ocean Commission next convenes, in October 2018.

    Key findings from the footage gathered from the submarine dives will be shared with the Commission to establish localised protection as well as to strengthen this and other upcoming proposals for marine protection in the Antarctic.

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said Greenpeace’s Antarctic expedition was continuing to build the scientific case for protecting the Antarctic Ocean and the marine life it supports.

    “Although there is still much work to be done, it is already clear at this early stage of the expedition that the Antarctic is home to a diverse range of species who deserve our protection,” she said.

    “The Antarctic Ocean Commission must carry out its mandate to protect the Antarctic by establishing an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. More than 600,000 petition signatories are calling on them to do just that and this latest evidence of the rich marine life that exists in the Antarctic further bolsters their case.”

     

    ENDS

    Notes:

    See footage of Javier Bardem’s submarine dive here: http://media.greenpeace.org/archive/Actor-Javier-Bardem-dives-in-Greenpeace-submarine-in-Antarctic-Ocean--with-Greenpeace-marine-biologist-John-Hocevar.-News-Edit-27MZIFJXE45T0.html

    See further photo and video of the expedition and submarine dives, see here: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJX9IE3D

    The petition to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has already gathered over half a million signatures globally:http://protecttheantarctic.org

     

    Media contacts:

    Martin Zavan 0424 295 422, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner, martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

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


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    January 30, 2017: Federal Labor leader, Bill Shorten, has effectively committed to stopping the Adani mine if his party wins the next election.

    The opposition leader today declared during his National Press Club address that there was “legitimate concern” about the controversial project and that “if it doesn’t stack up economically and environmentally, it won’t get our support”.

    “If there was ever a project that failed to stack up both environmentally and economically it’s the Adani Carmichael mega-mine,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said.

    “It's encouraging to see Bill Shorten publically recognise the harm this mine will do to the climate, Great Barrier Reef, and Australia’s economy.

    “Poll after poll shows Australians don't want this toxic and damaging mine. It's time the ALP did the right thing and opposed the project outright.”

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific is calling for a promise that any future ALP government will revoke Adani's mining license for the Carmichael project.

    “The people of Australia don’t want this mine, the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners whose land the mine is on have said they don’t want it, and the world’s major banks don’t want anything to do with this mine,” Casule said.

    “Bill Shorten must commit to revoking Adani’s mining license for the Galilee Basin and ending this toxic project once and for all.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    February 2, 2018: Seismic testing approved to take place off the Newcastle Coastline could potentially impact migrating whales and exposes endangered and critically endangered species to possible harm.

    The details are contained in the Environment Plan Summary and Statement of Reasons for seismic testing to be undertaken by Asset Energy and which has been approved by the Federal regulator, NOPSEMA, and allows testing until May 31 - the day before the official start of whale migration on the first of June.

    “Whales and other endangered species do not adhere to the Gregorian calendar and do not know the difference between May 31 and June 1,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle, said.

    “Whale sightings off the coast of Sydney are an almost daily occurrence from the second week of May meaning there’s a high likelihood that seismic testing could impact these much loved creatures if it goes ahead at the end of the approved window [1].”

    The seismic testing, which consists of concentrated blasts of air being detonated every few seconds for days at a time, 24 hours a day, is set to take place in an area that the plan says will be home to 22 threatened species, seven of which are endangered and three critically endangered.

    These species include humpback whales, loggerhead turtles and critically endangered grey nurse sharks.

    Pelle said troublingly no tourism operators appear to have been consulted, with the environment plan stating that “while other impacts were considered, such as tourism, they were not deemed key with respect to potential impacts and no concerns were raised during the consultation period from any tourism related organisation”.

    “Despite stating that no issues were raised around whale migration by tourism bodies, not a single such group are listed in the environment plan appendix as being contacted,” Pelle said.

    “It is irresponsible and disingenuous for a body such as this to claim there were no concerns raised when it appears from their own appendix that no opinions were sought.”

    “Sadly this is what we have come to expect from companies intent on fueling their obsession with fossil fuels at any expense.”

    Notes for editors:

    [1] https://www.nopsema.gov.au/environmental-management/activity-status-and-summaries/details/404

    [2] http://whalewatchingsydney.net/whale-sightings

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org

     


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    Sydney, 5 February, 2018 – Greenpeace Australia Pacific vessels greeted Japan’s Peace Boat in Sydney Harbour this morning as it arrived to advocate for nuclear disarmament and urge the Australian and Japanese governments to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    The 11-storey boat, carrying survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the Fukushima nuclear disaster and descendents of Aboriginal survivors of nuclear testing, was welcomed by the Maritime Union of Australia and Uranium Free NSW as it entered Sydney harbour around 7am this morning.

    “The world is closer to nuclear war today than it has been in decades. With the doomsday clock at two minutes to midnight, the Peace Boat’s survivor-led call for nuclear disarmament could not come at a more opportune time,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said.

    “Australia needs to put the safety of its citizens and the wider world ahead of its alliances and short term political self-interest and take steps to safeguard the future by signing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The global community has put forward a mechanism to end the scourge of these weapons - it is crucial that Australia seizes this opportunity.

    “We know the immense suffering that nuclear weapons and nuclear testing has caused to the people of Australia and Japan. Both governments have similar problems. They talk about the goal of a nuclear weapon free world but they boycotted the negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Now it is time for the people of Australia and Japan to stand together to convince their governments to take the right course of action”, said Akira Kawasaki, Executive Committee Member of Peace Boat and member of the ICAN International Steering Group.

    “Australia has joined the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. It is inevitable that Australia join the nuclear weapon ban treaty as well. We cannot sit on the fence while the nuclear threat continues to escalate; the ban treaty is the circuit-breaker we need,” said Gem Romuld, Australian Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

    The Peace Boat is visiting Sydney as part of its ‘Making Waves’ tour which is exploring the devastating humanitarian consequences of the use and testing of nuclear weapons.

    Japanese survivors as well as Indigenous Australian survivors of 1950s British nuclear weapons testing at Maralinga will offer public testimony and draw attention to the resistance of the Japanese and Australian governments to the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    Karina Lester’s father, the late Yankunytjatjara elder Yami Lester, was blinded by the Emu Field nuclear tests of 1953. She will travel aboard Peace Boat to speak in cities across Australia.

    “This is a fantastic opportunity to get our stories out, not only to our Australian community but also the international community. We will share and learn from one another, draw the links, and also raise awareness of the impacts of nuclear,” she said.

    Photos of the Peace Boat’s arrival will be available at this link:

    http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJX1E86D

    Video of the Peace Boat’s arrival will be available at this link:

    http://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJX1ERY1 

    Notes:

    There will be a press conference on the Peace Boat this morning at 8.00am, however only pre-registered media will be able to board. Separate interviews are available before or after these events:

     

    • Rally at 12:30pm outside the Australian Government offices and the Japanese Consulate-General, 1 Bligh St, Sydney CBD. Speakers include:

      • Tanaka Terumi (Nagasaki survivor)

      • Karina Lester (Yankunytjatjara woman)

      • Tilman Ruff (founding Chair of ICAN)

      • Ray Acheson (Reaching Critical Will, New York)

      • Dominique Rowe (Greenpeace Australia Pacific)

    • Public forum and performances at 6pm at the Redfern Community Centre. Details at www.icanw.org/au/making-waves

     

    Media contacts:

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 martin.zavan@greenpeace.org

    Gem Romuld, Australian Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

    0421 955 066 gem@icanw.org

    Meri Joyce, Peace Boat

    0491 026 507 meri@peaceboat.gr.jp


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    Oslo, 5 February, 2018: Today, Greenpeace Nordic and Nature and Youth are appealing the judgement in their case against the Norwegian Government for Arctic oil drilling.

    In the People vs. Arctic oil climate lawsuit, the Norwegian State was sued for violating the Norwegian Constitution's environmental Article § 112 for opening up a vast new area for oil and gas drilling in the Norwegian Arctic. [1] Today Greenpeace and Nature and Youth will challenge the judgement by taking the legal battle directly to the Supreme Court.

    “There is already enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to seriously damage our future. By opening up these pristine areas for oil exploration Norway is effectively smuggling its emissions outside of its own borders and furthering climate change, which harms everyone, everywhere,”said Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace in Norway.

    Gaute Eiterjord, the 22 year- old leader of Nature and Youth added: “Opening up new untouched areas like the Arctic for oil drilling is a direct attack on today’s youth and future generations. As one of the richest countries in the world, Norway should be on the forefront of battling climate change, instead we’re profiting from climate destruction.”

    Gulowsen of Greenpeace continued: “When politicians put oil before people, they need to be held accountable. If we win, millions of barrels of oil could be kept in the ground, and this is why we are taking Arctic oil to the Supreme Court.”

    Throughout the 23rd licensing round, the Norwegian government, for the first time in 20 years, opened up a vast new, pristine area in the Barents Sea for oil exploration. A total of 13 oil companies were awarded 10 licenses. It is the assignment of these licenses the organisations believe violates the environmental rights in the constitution.

    The organisations won a partial victory in January, when the Oslo District Court recognized the citizens and future generations constitutional right to a healthy environment. [2] Still, the Court failed to invalidate the Arctic oil licenses as a breach of these rights. This part of the ruling has been strongly criticized by legal academics. [3] In the appeal, Greenpeace and Nature and Youth claim that the judgement is based on an improper  assessment of the evidence and incorrect interpretation and application of the law.

    Cathrine Hambro, one of the lawyers representing the environmental organizations in the case, added: “It doesn't matter where the oil is burned.  It is our view that as long as the consequences of the oil exploration effects Norwegian inhabitants environmental rights, it is clear from the Constitution that the State is responsible for that effect.”

    522,000 people from all over the world have added their names to the evidence that Greenpeace and Nature and Youth have presented in the court. Norwegian group Grandparents Climate Campaign also support the appeal.

    This  lawsuit in Norway is part of a growing wave of increasingly successful cases all over the world to hold governments and corporations accountable for climate change. Only very few cases per year are allowed a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.

    Notes for editors

    [1] https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/press/releases/2017/Worlds-eyes-on-Norway-as-historic-climate-trial-begins/

    [2] https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/press/releases/2017/Decision-made-in-case-against-Arctic-Oil-in-Norway-Right-to-a-healthy-environment-acknowledged/

    [3] in Norwegian

    https://morgenbladet.no/ideer/2018/01/dommen-i-klimasoksmalet

    https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/e1PzwQ/Jusprofessor-om-klimadommen--Det-blir-som-a-si-at-vi-ikke-er-ansvarlige-for-skadene-om-vi-sender-opp-en-rakett-og-den-lander-i-et-annet-land

    For more background on the case: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/suing-norway-climate-change-oil-drilling-171110172034317.html

    Nature and Youth is a Youth Brench of Friends of The Earth Norway.

    Article (112) of the Norwegian Constitution says that everyone has the right to a healthy environment , including future generations, and that the State has a duty to safeguard these rights. This is the first case where these constitutional protections are used. .  

    Contacts:

    Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway,  +47 901 07 904, truls.gulowsen@greenpeace.org
    Gaute Eitejord spokesperson, Nature and Youth + 47 468 92 288, gautee@nu.no

    Erik Martiniussen, communications manager, Greenpeace Norway: + 47  90 67 65 98

    erik.martiniussen@greenpeace.org

     


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    February 7, 2018: The Australian community are more opposed to fossil fuels at any time in history and the government must recognise concerns and cancel the release of new oil and gas exploration exploration areas, particularly that crossing into a protected marine park in the Great Australian Bight.

    The 21 plots open for consultation as part of the Australian Government's proposed annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release are in Bass Strait, off Port Fairy, with a number of plots off Western Australia and in the Great Australian Bight (GAB) overlapping a protected marine park.

    “Since the consultation period began more than 3200 people, including workers from local tourism and fishing industries, have made submissions expressing their concerns and opposition to the new oil plot releases in the GAB,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle, said.

    “There is massive community opposition to oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, from everyone from fishermen and environmentalists to federal politicians and local council mayors. And it is only continuing to grow.

    “The GAB is a pristine area home to one of the most significant whale nurseries in the world and thousands of unique species, including more than 250 species discovered in 2017 and previously unknown to science.

    “We cannot afford to gamble away one of Australia’s hidden treasures with high-risk oil drilling.”

    Pelle said it was irresponsible of the government to be releasing new acreage plots at a time when Australia is already on track to miss its commitments under the Paris agreement and petroleum cars are being phased out all over the world.

    “Oil giant ExxonMobil last week declared that oil demand would need to decline by 20 per cent by 2040 in order to meet the two degrees limit agreed to by Australia as part of the Paris Agreement. The UBS global autos survey released in November predicted that almost every sixth car sold in the world will be electric by 2025,” Pelle said.

    “Drilling in the Bight is not only gambling with irreplaceable marine life and fishing industries,  with cities such as Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, and Athens already committing to removing petrol vehicles from their roads by 2030, it’s also a bad bet against a future in which the end of the oil age is inevitable.

    “The offshore oil industry, like the coal industry, is in a state of decline with job cuts and project cancellations occuring on a regular basis. Oil companies have admitted that oil-related job prospects in South Australia would be ‘negligible’. Backing electric cars and renewable technology on the other hand will ensure jobs for the future.

    “It seems like Australian governments have missed the memo.”

    For interviews contact:

    Simon Black

    Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Media Campaigner

    0418 219 086 / simon.black@greenpeace.org


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    SYDNEY, February 9 , 2018 - Rail operator Aurizon’s withdrawal of a request for federal funding of its proposed rail line to the Galilee Basin is yet another demonstration of the economic unviability of the Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine.

    The rail operator said today that it had withdrawn its loan application to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) after failing to secure contracts with proposed coal mines in the region.

    “Aurizon has joined a long list of banks and services companies walking away from the Adani project,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner Nikola Casule said.

    “This is a huge win for the movement of people all across Australia that has stood up to stop Adani’s destructive plans.”

    “Bill Shorten said last week that Labor would oppose the Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine if it was found to be either economically or environmentally unviable. There is no question that this mine would be an environmental disaster and Aurizon’s announcement is another clear demonstration of the economic unviability of the project.

    “If Bill Shorten is standing by the criteria he set only a week ago he must commit to blocking the project should he lead a future Labor government.”

    Aurizon’s announcement marks another setback for the Adani Group’s proposed coal mine after the newly re-elected Queensland Government said it would veto any NAIF loan to the company.

    That blow came after almost thirty global banks ruled out financing the project, including Australia’s Big Four.

    “Aurizon’s decision reflects the wider public sentiment, which has become increasingly hostile amid revelations of the Adani Group’s tainted environmental and corporate record,” Casule said.

    “While this news is welcome, the battle is not over. Greenpeace Australia Pacific and the Stop Adani movement will continue to take the fight to Adani and its enablers until this nightmare of a project is dead and buried.”

     

    Media contacts:

    Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner

    0424 295 422 martin.zavan@greenpeace.org


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    Sydney, 9 February 2018 – 'Stranger Things' star David Harbour and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ star Alison Sudol are on board a Greenpeace ship heading for Antarctic waters. They will help make the case for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary backed by campaigners, scientists, over 40 international celebrities and 800,000 people around the world.

    Following a Twitter challenge, resulting in more than 200,000 retweets in five hours, David Harbour secured a place on the Greenpeace ship alongside singer-songwriter and actress Alison Sudol. They have joined an expedition to gather scientific evidence of the need for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to safeguard species like whales and penguins.

    More than 40 international celebrities have joined David and Alison as ambassadors for the ‘Protect the Antarctic’ campaign. From countries ranging from Argentina to China, Spain to Israel, the ambassadors include actors, presenters, explorers, musicians, chefs and fashion designers:

    Gillian Anderson, Carlos Bardem, Javier Bardem, Sir Quentin Blake, Tanya Burr, Jim Chapman, Gwendoline Christie, Lily Cole, Fearne Cotton, Dame Judi Dench, Tracey Emin, Lena Endre, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Ralph Fiennes, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Ben Fogle, Stephen Fry, Roie Galitz, David Gandy, Terry Gilliam, Philip Hoare, Vanessa Kirby, Annie Lennox, Alvaro Longoria, Joanna Lumley, Les Luthiers, Dame Helen Mirren, Thandie Newton, Simon O’Brien, Chris Packham, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Redgrave, David de Rothschild, Jack Rowan, Sir Mark Rylance, Alexander Skarsgård, Alison Steadman, Michaela Strachan, Laura Wells, Vivienne Westwood, Wang Yuheng.

    David Harbour, who plays Police Chief Jim Hopper in ‘Stranger Things’, and is on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, said:

    “Well, Greenpeace says the Weddell Sea and its surroundings are home to a precious ecosystem, vital to sustaining our future. And that there’s penguins there. And that I’ll get to waddle around with them, discuss their parenting techniques with them and yes, yes, dance with them. And that they’ll film it. And that if maybe I get enough support from everybody, they’ll gimme that video, so I can rent it out to you (be kind, rewind please).

    “Those who think I don’t have the sea legs to cross the Drake Passage, nor the cojones to scare away a rogue fur seal in my way, nor the animal magnetism to attract a group of curious penguins… Look it’s not the smart money bet… I mean, I’ve been known to do stranger things (insert canned laughter here).”

    Alison Sudol, who plays Queenie Goldstein in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, and is on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, said:

    “There is a massive movement to protect these waters, which provide invaluable refuge to marine wildlife, and I am thrilled to join Greenpeace as an Antarctic Ambassador! Not only do I get to shout about it everywhere I can, but I also get to put on my life jacket and long johns and go exploring.”

    Wang Yuheng, a nature lover and reality TV star famous for superhuman observation and memory, and who will be joining the expedition in February, said:

    “If the world is an ink painting, Antarctica is the pristine white space that gives it depth. We must protect it, its oceans and its wildlife.”

    Javier Bardem, Oscar-winning actor who joined Greenpeace’s Antarctic expedition in January, said:

    “The benefits of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would be global. Healthy oceans sustain precious wildlife and help limit climate change.”

    Stephen Fry said:“Every year blue whales, the largest animal that has ever lived, migrate thousands of miles to feed in the seas of the Antarctic. Last century we almost hunted these gentle giants to extinction: now we need to get serious about giving them proper protection to recover and flourish by establishing an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.”

    Dame Judi Dench said: "From plastic pollution to overfishing and climate change, our oceans are under threat. Here on land we can all take action to help, by not using throwaway plastic like bags, straws and bottles. But if our seas are going to recover, scientists are telling us we need to create sanctuaries covering at least 30% of the planet's oceans. Sanctuaries encourage vital biodiversity, provide food security for the billions of people that rely on our oceans, and are essential to tackling climate change. We need to protect the world's oceans and it starts right now in the Antarctic!”

    Dame Helen Mirren said: “The Antarctic is a special place, home to so many extraordinary animals, and it needs to be protected from the damage caused by humans to so much of the rest of the planet. I’m delighted to be an Ambassador for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.”  

    Sir Ranulph Fiennes said:“I was the first person, with Charles Burton, to surface travel to both the South and North poles, and, with Dr Mike Stroud, I was the first to cross the Antarctic Continent entirely on foot. The Antarctic is a place of exploration, wonder and wilderness. Let’s keep it that way, by creating an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.”

    Gillian Anderson said: “Sadly we have been all too quick to exploit our global oceans, and all too slow to protect them. Despite scientists agreeing we urgently need massive ocean sanctuaries to protect marine life, progress is glacially slow. That’s why I’m getting behind Greenpeace’s campaign to create a huge Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.”

    Sir Quentin Blake said: “Home to colossal squid, giant sea spiders and enormous blue whales, protecting the Antarctic Ocean is a big job - and that’s why I’m glad to add my voice to the massive movement to protect it.”

    Joanna Lumley said: “The Antarctic has been over hunted and overfished; now it is facing the terrible impacts of global climate change. It’s high time we stop exploiting and start protecting.”

    Alison Steadman said: “Protecting this vital, life-giving ocean is the only way to look after all of the precious animals that call the Antarctic home. They can’t exist without the southern ocean - and frankly, neither can the rest of us!”

    David de Rothschild said: “Wherever you look around the planet our human habits are now undeniably responsible for the devastating impacts and pressures facing nature. The penguins, whales and seals are already facing immense pressures from climate change, pollution and overfishing and if that wasn’t bad enough we’ve added yet another layer of destruction and stress to their habitats. Left unmonitored and to their own devices fishing vessels are sucking up krill for the sake of profit over planet, leaving the marine life to fight for what’s left! This route leads to one result - the collapse of an invaluable ecological system. That’s why we must support an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary that would not only protect wildlife, but would help to keep our oceans healthy which can only be a good thing for everyone! It’s time to stop the war on nature!”

    Terry Gilliam said: “This Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would be the largest place on earth set aside for wildlife to live in peace: an area five times the size of Germany, or the equivalent of 200 Yellowstone National Parks. That’s something worth being an Ambassador for.”

    Lily Cole said: "There is no government for the Antarctic and so no one truly speaking out on its behalf. I am proud to support Greenpeace’s dedication to making the Antarctic the biggest protected area in the planet."

    Alexander Skarsgård said: "Greenpeace are going to the end of the earth and the bottom of the sea to protect our planet. Let’s stand with them to call for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.”

    Ben Fogle said: “Blue Whales can live for up to 100 years, so many lived through decades of whaling that decimated their species. We need to make sure that they also live to see their Antarctic home protected.”

    Chris Packham said: “When you think of the Antarctic you probably think of snow, penguins, whales and drifting icebergs. You probably don't think of fishing vessels hoovering up the essential food source these incredible animals depend on: krill. But that is sadly what is happening right now: vast ships sucking tonnes of these tiny crustaceans out of the ocean, sometimes even under the gaze of nearby penguin colonies. We need to create a protected space for Antarctic wildlife free from human exploitation. Penguins have lived in these waters for millions of years. We must let them have an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "I’ve had the amazing opportunity to visit the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia, where I experienced sights, sounds and smells that I will remember as long as I live. Everything there, from penguins, seals and whales, to krill, jellyfish and plankton, depends on a healthy Antarctic ocean. This is one part of our blue planet we can take immediate action to protect. So let’s do it.”

    Jack Rowan said: "I’m extremelyproud to become an ambassador for Greenpeace’s incredible efforts around the world, and particularly the protected ocean sanctuary they’re looking to create in the Antarctic. We’ve all seen the devastation created by human pollution in oceans around the world, and we need to come together to help protect these as yet untouched parts of our planet. I for one will do anything I can to help retain these natural habitats for the animals that live and thrive there.”

    - ENDS -

     

    Notes to editors:

    Photos of David Harbour and Alison Sudol on board the ship, some of the other Antarctic ambassadors, and the Greenpeace Antarctic expedition so far, are available here:

    http://act.gp/2En6yoC

    Further information about Greenpeace’s three-month Antarctic expedition is available here: http://act.gp/2G74Vtr

    The proposal for the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has been submitted by the EU and will be considered when the Antarctic Ocean Commission next convenes, in October 2018.

    Media contacts:

    Alex Sedgwick, Antarctic Global Communications, Greenpeace UK, alexandra.sedgwick@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7773 043 386  

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