Press release – 23 April, 2013Coral Sea, off Australia coast, 24 April 2013: As six Greenpeace volunteers remain on a coal export ship they boarded just outside the Great Barrier Reef this morning, support from prominent Australians is gathering pace.Leading Australian climate scientist, Professor Matthew England said: “This action by Greenpeace draws attention to the role of our coal exports in contributing to ongoing global warming. It’s vital that the world moves away from coal-based energy to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.  This means Australia has to urgently rethink any expansion in our coal exports.”
Author and Professor Robert Manne said:
"By far the gravest problem facing the world in our times is the threat of catastrophic global warming. Australia’s greatest contribution to this problem are our coal exports. It is not too late for humankind to take action. For these reasons, I support the peaceful actions of those who have boarded the vessel taking our coal to South Korea. And I salute their civic courage."
Professor Clive Hamilton of Charles Sturt University today published an article in The Conversation: "The kind of action taken by the activists from the Rainbow Warrior shines a light on the hypocrisy of authorities who use smooth words to persuade us that they accept the danger yet vigorously promote the activities that are making it worse.
The six activists from Australia, New Zealand, China, the United States and India have now been stationed on the bow of the MV Meister for eight hours and are not planning to leave any time soon. Amid rising seas, they have been conducting interviews with the global media, calling for a halt to the expansion of Australia’s coal exports, due to the contribution they would make to climate change.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Climate Campaigner Georgina Woods said, “We are yet to hear from any of Australia’s political leadership that they will respond to the threat posed by the coal export industry. For as long as they are silent, Greenpeace will continue to act.”
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is following the coal tanker at a safe distance, and the Captain has been in contact with Queensland police and other authorities.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokespeople available are:
Dr Georgina Woods, senior climate campaigner on the Rainbow Warrior
Ben Pearson, Program Director, in Sydney
Louise Mattheisson, Queensland community campaigner, in Brisbane
For all interview requests contact:
Elsa Evers 0438 204 041
Cindy Baxter: 0402 588 170
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