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For Immediate Release

Contact

Amy Gordon, Media Coordinator, Essential Media, on board the Rainbow Warrior: +61 (0) 410 631 404 (mobile) or +31 (0) 207122675 (Ship phone)

Sara Holden, Media Coordinator, Greenpeace International in Sydney: +61 (0) 417 329 504

Press Release

Rainbow Warrior marks 30th anniversary of bombing with action to save the Great Barrier Reef

Sydney, Australia -

Greenpeace activists from the flagship Rainbow Warrior today took action against the mass of coal ships in Australian waters, waiting to export climate change worldwide.

Activists held up banners in front of the waiting vessels saying “This is a bush fire”, “This is a flood”, and “This is a heat wave” to highlight the devastating impact of coal-fired climate change. One crew member from Vanuatu, whose island was devastated by Cyclone Pam tagged one of the dozens of waiting vessels “This is a cyclone”.

Coal ships, sometimes in their hundreds, are anchored in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which the Australian government’s own scientists have warned is most at risk from climate change. This morning one coal ship was labeled “This is coral bleaching”.

The action comes on the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the original Rainbow Warrior by French secret service agents in Auckland, which killed the Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

“Thirty years ago the Rainbow Warrior was campaigning to stop the global threat from nuclear weapons. Today the Warrior is taking action to stop the greatest threat to our planet now – climate change,” said Pete Willcox, the captain of the current Rainbow Warrior, who was also the captain of the original ship when it was bombed.

“We take courage and inspiration from the past and our friend, Fernando, whom we miss to this day – but we look to the future. And the future is not coal.

“The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living thing and in the past 30 years half the coral cover has gone, so it is fitting that the Rainbow Warrior is here on this day, as part of the global campaign to save the Reef and halt climate change.” Willcox added.

“Our oceans and lands are being destroyed by climate change because governments like Australia push the agenda of their fossil-fuel friends, but we will not let that be the legacy for our children,” Willcox said. “Millions of people from all over the world had the courage to stand up against the nuclear threat and millions are doing so against climate change now. Together we can make a difference.”

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Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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