Greenpeace activists occupy Italian power stations
by David Masters
July 9, 2009
Greenpeace activists occupied four coal-fired power stations in Italy this week to coincide with the G8 meeting in the country, at which world leaders met to discuss climate change and the global economy.
Over 100 Greenpeace activists from 18 countries joined the protests, calling on world leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Protesters scaled the plants at Brindisi, Marghera, Porto Tolle, and Vado Ligure, occupying conveyor belts, cranes, and chimneys.
All four power stations continued to operate despite the protesters’ efforts to stop production.
G8 leaders must put the climate before the interests of polluting industries such as coal, Greenpeace said.
Greenpeace protester Julien Vincent said current plans by world leaders involve building more coal-fired power stations rather than closing current power plants.
British activist Ben Stewart said: “Politicians talk, but leaders act.
“The G8 leaders must stop putting the interests of big coal and other climate-polluting industries ahead of the planet and take strong, decisive leadership on climate change.
“That means deep cuts in emissions by 2020, investing in adaption and mitigation in the developing world and halting tropical deforestation.”
Greenpeace has set out urgent criteria that G8 leaders must agree to if climate disaster is to be avoided.
These include agreeing to keep temperature rises as far as possible below a 2°C increase compared to pre-industrial levels, investing $106 billion per year in helping developing countries combat climate change, and reducing carbon emissions to close to zero by 2050.
“If the rest of the G8 descends to President Obama’s stated goal of returning emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, then our children will inherit a world of droughts, famines and the climate catastrophe that scientists are warning us about,” says Phil Radford, Greenpeace USA executive director.
A spokesperson for Italy’s coal-operators association said the protest was ‘unjustified’ as Italy gets just 12% of its energy from coal compared to the European average of 33%.
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