In Protest, Climate Activists Board Coal Ship Off Great Barrier Reef

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Common Dreams

In Protest, Climate Activists Board Coal Ship Off Great Barrier Reef

Absent action by political leaders, activists call on public citizens to fight climate change by physically preventing fossil fuel expansion through peaceful civil disobedience

by
Jon Queally, staff writer

Greenpeace activists off the coast of Australia boarded a massive coal ship on Wednesday in a dramatic protest against the ongoing coal mining and export boom in the country.

Six international activists, using a speed boat, pulled alongside the the Korean-owned MV Meister and subsequently boarded the coal-laden vessel.

In a statement, the group said:

We did this because Australia's coal exports are the nation’s greatest contribution to climate change and plans are underway to roughly double the volume of coal we export. A development that flies in the face of Australia’s commitment to take action to limit global warming to below 2 degrees.

We’ve all seen what climate change is doing to this country and the places we love. That’s why over ten thousand Australians - including the country’s most respected climate scientists and academics and over forty non-government organisations from around the country - have called for the expansion of our biggest contribution to it to stop.

Right now there is no political solution to this problem because all the major political parties have committed to doubling and trebling our coal exports. So, in the absence of any action being taken by our political leaders, Greenpeace is calling on all Australians to join it in physically preventing the expansion of coal, through peaceful civil disobedience.

Video:

And the Guardian reports:

According to research commissioned by Greenpeace, Australia's coal export expansion is the second-largest of 14 proposed fossil fuel enterprises. "We cannot pretend Australia is playing its part to avoid dangerous climate change if these shipments continue," said Greenpeace senior climate campaigner Dr Georgina Woods.

Greenpeace say the coal export expansion planned in Queensland will further threaten the Great Barrier Reef through dredging, coastal construction and increased shipping.

A Queensland customs and border protection spokeman said: "Border Protection Command has deployed aerial surveillance aircraft to the area and is liasing with Queensland state police in response to this incident."

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