— Greenpeace Aus Pac (@GreenpeaceAP) December 1, 2016
By Neeraj Nanda
Melbourne, 4 May : Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has in an off-the-cuff remark said he will not waste taxpayer money on the Adani-owned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland. The PM was answering to a question from Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s Nemo in Brisbane. The proposed mine covers 28,000 hectares and has been under flak from environmental groups. Mr. Adani is a prominent Indian businessman and is considered close to PM Modi and accompanied him during his Australia visit.
In a media statement while welcoming Mr. Malcolm Turnbull’s commitment Greenpeace Pacific reef campaigner Shani Tager said: “While this off-the-cuff comment is welcome, the prime minister still needs to announce a credible environmental policy to protect the reef from the dangers of coal for future generations.”
“The Carmichael mine would mean more dredging in the Great Barrier Reef, more ships through its waters and more carbon emissions at a time when the reef is suffering from its worst ever bleaching.
The prime minister joins 14 international and Australian banks that have ruled out funding the project. Queensland’s treasury department has described the project as ‘unbankable’ and no other investors are prepared to get behind a project that needs $16.5bn.”
- SAT News Service
Sydney, 27 April 2016: The ALP’s climate policy, announced today, does not go far enough to protect our environment from the rapid and unpredictable damage of global warming, Greenpeace Australia Pacific warned today.
“Now is not the time for half-measures on climate change,” said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Čašule. “The Great Barrier Reef is dying before our eyes. We are experiencing record temperatures, month after month.”
Greenpeace last week released its Exporting climate change, killing the Reef report, which found that Australia’s carbon emissions exports, via the coal mining industry, are almost double its domestic emissions.
“The ALP has differentiated itself from the Coalition with encouraging policy positions on renewables and domestic energy, but it has failed to address Australia’s biggest contribution to dangerous global warming: our expanding coal exports. To meet the ambition of the Paris climate agreement, over 90 per cent of Australia’s coal will need to stay in the ground. The time for weak policies, written under the shadow of the fossil fuel industry, is over,” Dr. Čašule said.
“While a clear improvement on the status quo, Labor’s domestic emissions target itself remains insufficient to prevent dangerous levels of warming. The ALP has also missed the opportunity to deliver a bold, powerful policy to end taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels once and for all.”
Greenpeace is calling on Australians to vote for a sustainable, Coal Free future in the upcoming federal election.
“Elections are always about power,” said Dr. Čašule. “This election will be about what kind of power Australians want, now and into the future. It’s time to leave dirty 19th-century coal behind, and embrace the 21st century’s clean, renewable energy. It’s time for a Coal Free Australia that will protect our environment, our climate, and the Great Barrier Reef.”
- SAT News Service
In a major relief to Greenpeace India, the Madras High Court has stayed a government order canceling the top environmental NGO’s registration. Staying the order, the High Court observed that the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS) did not follow principles of natural justice.
The NGO was represented in the High Court by senior advocate PS Raman, supported by Vineet Subramani. Raman, represented Greenpeace India Society pro bono (without fee), said that he was “happy” that the court had granted an “unconditional stay of the cancellation of registration.”
Welcoming the stay, Greenpeace said, “This is the sixth time in the last year and a half that Greenpeace and its activists have succeeded against multiple attempts to restrict its operations and funding, as well as to shut it down. The courts have consistently found to be in favour of Greenpeace India.”
“We were confident the courts would agree that Greenpeace is on sound legal footing and has done nothing wrong, notwithstanding the government’s ridiculous allegations of fraud in this instance. Our accounts are an open book and on our website for all to inspect,” said Priya Pillai of Greenpeace India.
“The MHA’s clumsy tactics, to suppress free speech and dissenting voices, are turning into a major national and international embarrassment for this government,” she added.
Greenpeace India Society early this month received a notice from the Tamil Nadu RoS, summarily announcing cancellation of its registration as a society. The cancellation of registration came at a time when several international leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General, had insisted on upholding the importance of civil society in healthy democracies.
The Tamil Nadu move followed an order, issued on September 2, by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which meant that the NGO would not be able to receive any kind of foreign donations.
The MHA decision came in the wake of “prejudicially affecting the public interest and economic interest of the state which violated the conditions of grant of registration”, said sources.
Vinuta Gopal, interim co-Executive Director of Greenpeace India, described the state has part of the nationwide “crackdown on civil liberties”, adding, the cancellation of the organisation’s FCRA registration was the “government’s latest move in a relentless onslaught against the community’s right to dissent.”
On April 10, the government had suspended Greenpeace India’s licence to receive foreign donations, citing reasons such as “talks” with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), attempts to “delay and place illegal obstructions to India’s energy plans”, “campaigning, protesting and lobbying against government of India’s policies”, an anti-nuclear “full page colour advertisement in The Hindu with a sarcasm-laced header”.
Amidst the crackdown, the NGO worked towards “clean air, clean water and clean energy”, Greenpeace India statement said, adding, one of the important steps was to launch “a free android-based mobile application that alerts citizens to take precaution against dangerous levels of air pollution across the country.”
The NGO, during the period, interestingly, supported the government’s move to reduce greenhouse gas emission by about 35 per cent till 2030. More recently, it supported the campaign for protecting traditional forms of mustard against an imminent threat from genetically modified mustard.
Pillai said, “As a people powered organisation, instead of fighting and winning legal battles, we would much rather continue to contribute to solve India’s serious development challenges – air pollution, disappearing forests, the need for safe food and clean electricity for all.”
Source: Counterview, Nov 20, 2015