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Greenpeace Extremely Disappointed By The Vote To Allow Fracking In UK’s Protected Areas

Greenpeace Extremely Disappointed By The Vote To Allow Fracking In UK’s Protected Areas

Greenpeace says it is very bad news that UK MP’s have voted to allow fracking to take place under British national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The vote was contentious and did face opposition however those in favour won by a margin of 37 votes. This means if just 5 per cent of MP’s had decided against the motion things could have been very different.

Protected areas will be polluted

What the vote essentially means is that previously protected areas such as national parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), World Heritage Sites and Groundwater Protection Zones could end up becoming surrounded by drilling rigs as companies seek to extract gas from underneath by drilling horizontally.

There should be more protection not less

Some of the areas at risk include the Bowland Forest, the South Downs, the Peak District and the North Yorkshire Moors. Fracking poses a number of risks that have been well documented but there are extremely good reasons why previously protected areas deserve more protection not less. In many cases they are the homes of endangered wildlife or consist of an ecosystem that is extremely fragile. When people visit these areas they don’t expect to hear noise from compressors or see lots of heavy goods vehicles driving by. The activity takes place 24 hours a day 7 days a week and will make industrial scale noise.

Fracking incompatible with fighting against climate change

The result of the vote is even more surprising given the fact it comes not long after a historic climate agreement was reached in Paris. The agreement was celebrated globally and is seen as a clear signal that the fossil fuel era is going to come to an end sooner rather later. If the UK holds up its end of the climate agreement then the idea of supporting fracking in the UK is completely incompatible.

End of the fossil fuel era

Greenpeace is shocked that the conservative government wants to introduce fracking in the UK instead of focusing on safe, cheap and clean energy. It is incredibly distressing that the government is prepared to water down existing regulation that currently protects some of the most ecologically important areas in the country. There is however some hope because there is a ground swell of anti fracking support which is growing stronger than ever. There are hundreds of groups across the UK working to oppose the vote.

It is important to maintain the fight

Whilst the vote is indeed a blow, it is increasingly obvious that the fossil fuel industry days are numbered. We cannot be quite sure how many years we will continue to depend on fossil fuels, however it is critical that people stay determined and groups such as Greenpeace maintain the pressure.

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Greenpeace Optimistic A Climate Change Agreement Will Be Reached

Greenpeace Extremely Disappointed By The Vote To Allow Fracking In UK’s Protected Areas

The most important meeting to address climate change COP21 is finally taking place. Leaders from all over the world converged in Pairs where they have the opportunity to come together and devise a plan that will help us mitigate the worst effects of climate change. If you turned your televisions on at the end of November you would most certainly have heard news reporters mention COP21. The reason for that is hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have demonstrated to leaders and the media that we cannot afford to ignore the climate any more.

Important consequences

What is happening in Paris will have important ramifications for the Arctic, our oceans and forests. All species and humans the world over will feel the consequences. This is not the first time world leaders have had the opportunity to take firm action for our planet and its people. For many communities all over the world, the consequences of climate change are a daily reality and not some far off nightmare. Our failure to act has already led to lives being lost.

The message hopefully has been received

It is with those people that are already been suffering from the effects of climate change that many of us including Greenpeace marched in the hopes that a solid agreement would be reached. Something extraordinary happened at the end of November; the largest ever climate change march ever took place. As many as 720,000 people participated from 175 countries and it is hoped that world leaders received the message loud and clear. The time for doing nothing has finished, the world is watching and a deal is a necessary.

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Join Greenpeace In Its March For Strong Climate Change Action

Greenpeace Extremely Disappointed By The Vote To Allow Fracking In UK’s Protected Areas

World leaders will be gathering in Paris this December for COP 21 which is a UN sponsored conference to address climate change. As political leaders begin to negotiate how best to deal with climate change, ordinary people will also be gathering around the world to make their voices are heard on this important issue. You can join Greenpeace on Sunday the 29th November in London for a march to express your views.

Show David Cameron we care

The conference will see leaders from nearly 200 countries come together to hopefully produce a significant agreement to tackle climate change. While not everyone can make it to Paris, demonstrations will be taking place all over the world, including in the UK. Greenpeace will be showing its solidarity with other organisations and individuals across the UK to express to Prime Minister David Cameron that we all want strong action on climate change.

Many organisations joining the march

The idea is to ensure that when Mr. Cameron does sit down to negotiate in Paris he has the image of thousands of people marching through London’s streets for the climate. Greenpeace will be participating in the People’s March for Climate Justice and Jobs in London along with a variety of organisations and is inviting your to come along too.

Save the polar bear

Regardless of whether this is your first demonstration or 100th, this is an opportunity to come together with fellow supporters of Greenpeace and take a stand for strong and effective climate change action. Greenpeace will be taking part in the main event with the ‘March of the Polar Bears’ which will include a carnival filled with puppets music and paw prints. The polar bear is the symbol of climate change and a species we would all love to protect.

This year is important

In 2014 hundreds of thousands of people took part in marches across major cities as part of the People’s Climate March. This year there is added significance because the demonstration takes place on the eve of crucial climate change talks so Greenpeace needs as many people as possible to come together and tell political leaders we care.

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Greenpeace Says UK Can Completely Depend On Renewable Energy By 2030

Greenpeace Extremely Disappointed By The Vote To Allow Fracking In UK’s Protected Areas

The question often asked is whether the UK has the ability to run on renewable energy and how long it would take to achieve that goal. Greenpeace is often asked those questions and has now gone a long way towards answering them.

No need for nuclear energy

The NGO has just released an new independent report from energy systems analysts Demand Energy Equality which suggests that by the year 2030 the UK will have the ability to mainly use clean renewable power. This means it will be possible to keep the lights on without the need for new nuclear power plants. The research was commissioned by Greenpeace and makes use of 11 years of real weather data for the first time to model electricity demand and supply from renewable energy on an hour by hour basis.

New technology makes the goal achievable

Whilst the plan maybe ambitious, it is achievable. The model proposed is viable on an economic basis if the government decides it will support a major expansion of onshore and offshore wind and solar farms. The plan also envisages the introduction of new technology such as ‘smart fridges’ which will use less energy during peak hours. There will be better technology with regards to storage of electricity, electric cars, tidal power and in general energy efficiency.

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Greenpeace Urges People To Help Stop Fracking Now

Recently the UK government said that nearly two thirds of the country could be opened up for fracking. Unsurprisingly many people got angry and there were a ton of protests that sprung up all over the country.

Clearly there is a lot of anxiety around the new technology which seeks to find hydrocarbons through hydraulic fracturing aka fracking. People want to tell energy companies that injecting chemical cocktails and horizontal drilling underneath their homes is not wanted and any attempt at fracking is trespass and violation of the law.

According to the Not for Shale legal block, without either a statutory provision or permission, fracking companies who drill underneath homes would be breaking the law. According to the group, common law explicitly states that homeowners rights extend to underneath the property and if you are someone who rents the same rights also apply as tenant unless the lease agreement says otherwise.

Whilst there are no specific laws which prohibit fracking underneath people’s homes, the energy industry has been lobbying hard for the government to introduce one. What the industry wants is for the government to supersede the rights of individuals so that companies need not seek permission to dill under homes.

Since the government may well end up changing the law it is crucial for people to act now. That is why the more people who join the legal block the harder it becomes for companies to drill under houses and ignore the law. Join the Not for Shale Legal Block

Image Courtesy Of Greenpeace

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Greenpeace Praise Valentino Fashion House

Greenpeace has been asking 15 luxury European fashion houses a series of questions about their supply chains, in an effort to Clean Up Fashion. These have helped to  find out whether they are using dangerous business practices to source their materials to make their goods. The scheme, called ‘The Fashion Duel’, showed that many of the world leading brands such as Chanel and Prada are failing to commit to taking urgent steps to halt the use and release of hazardous chemicals.

The only major fashion label that were transparent with how they are sourcing their materials and toxic waste disposal were Valentino, so it may be time for the other houses to take note. Their designs show that high fashion can be created without the need for pollution or the destruction of rainforests.

Valentino have made a commitment that by 2020 they will have eliminated the use of any hazardous chemicals from their supply chain. They have also pledged to reinforce their and policies on the how they source their leather, pulp and paper to ensure they can help protect rainforests.

So if Valentino are up to the task, why not everyone else? Notable mega brands that failed the Fashion Duel included –

  • Alberta Ferretti
  • Chanel
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Prada
  • Trussardi

Here’s hoping that the other big brands take a note out from the Valentino fashion house’s books and realise that the beauty of the planet is far more important than profit. If you would like to learn more about the work of Greenpeace and would like to support their cause, check out our dedicated charity page to find out how you can help them change the world for the better.

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Greenpeace Finally Breakthrough with Paper Company

Great news filtering through that a long term Greenpeace campaign has been successful in helping to protect the world’s rainforests. Greenpeace has been campaigning for an astounding ten years to ask A.P.P. (Asia Pulp & Paper) to stop destroying vast areas of Indonesian forest, and now they have finally set the wheels in motion to stop.

The company, which is one of the largest producers of paper in the world, has now published a new policy for rainforest conservation. This should hopefully see the end of the destruction of this vital  habitat. Not only the endangered Sumatran tigers that live there, but also the many forest communities who call this place home.

Greenpeace put pressure on the people that use A.P.P. for their packaging, showing that being associated with a company that destroys rainforests is not good for business. Mattel, National Geographic and Xerox all seemed to agree with the Greenpeace stance and dropped their contracts with Asia Pulp & Paper, with KFC looking to do the same.

This fall from grace saw A.P.P. sit down to negotiate with Greenpeace in Jakarta, and have finally agreed to end their destruction of the rainforests for profit. This agreement has only been put down on paper, so let’s hope these permanent changes are fulfilled. Just goes to show you how perseverance really can pay off. If it wasn’t for Greenpeace’s work over the last decade, this agreement would never have seen the light of day.

If you would like to learn more about the work of this amazing environmental charity, or help provide funds through their Greenpeace Giving initiative, check out our dedicated page for more information.

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Greenpeace ask Waitrose to Drop Shell

Greenpeace is looking for your support to ask Waitrose to drop their planned partnership with Shell, seen by many as one of the world’s most destructive companies. Waitrose are planning to add Shell petrol stations to their stores across the country, but as we know, Shell are intent on the destruction of the Arctic with their drilling.

Waitrose have built up a very ecological and environmental profile over the years, helping to protect vulnerable fish stock for example. You even receive a token with each shop where you can choose a charity to support as you leave by dropping it in a slot. So why have them teamed up with Shell then?! After making such an effort previously to save the world’s fish stocks, surely they should be choosing the environment over Shell?

Shell recently broke American law when their Arctic Challenger vessel was found to be making four illegal fluid discharges. There plans for Arctic drilling is sure to cause massive problems for the eco system in one of the few untouched natural areas left on the planet. ‘Safe drilling’ is a fantasy in an area of like this, and there is no technology that can clean up the oil spills that are inevitable if Shell continue with their plans.

Greenpeace is asking you to add your voice to there’s to make Waitrose see sense and abandon their partnership with Shell. Simply click on the link below to send a message to Waitrose’s managing director and help save the Arctic before it’s too late.

Together, we can start to make a real difference to the world around us if we all pull together.

> > Click here to sign petition

If you would like to learn more about the groundbreaking work that Greenpeace do around the world, or would like to provide funds to help their cause, check out our dedicated charity page for more information.

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Join the Greenpeace Rebellion

Everybody loves the Star Wars based Volkswagen adverts, right? Or maybe it’s just me, having been an avid collector of the figures back in the day, these ads were the perfect homage to my early years trying to ‘use the force’. It never really paid off for me, as even though the pen is my current weapon of choice, I reckon I would have been a dab hand with a lightsaber!

Well, Greenpeace has taken a lead from the Volkswagen idea and produced their own Star Wars related advert in an attempt to put a stop to VW’s opposition to key environmental laws. Volkswagen are currently spending millions of Euros every year to fund lobby groups to try and stop Europe increasing its commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses.

With being the biggest car company in Europe, comes great responsibility, and VW must make a change and support the planned reductions in greenhouse gasses from 20% to 30% by 2020.

If you would like to join the Greenpeace ‘rebel alliance’, simply click on the link below to add your voice in the call to turn Volkswagen away from the dark side. I just did and it literally takes 30 seconds.

It’s never too late to help lead the universe to a brighter future. If Darth Vader can change, so can VW…

> > Click here to join the Greenpeace rebellion

Help Greenpeace with a Charity Gift

Greenpeace Giving virtual gifts are a great way to show someone you care for them and the environment. Each gift idea is unique and purveys a positive message and provides much needed funds to aid Greenpeace’s worldwide campaigning.

The recipient will receive –

  • a cool animated e-card that can be scheduled for a specific date
  • an exciting new way to support Greenpeace

> > Click here to order with Greenpeace Giving

 

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World Rushes To Help Japan After Country Rocked By Earthquake and Tsunami

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the 8.9 magnitude earthquake which ripped through Japan on Friday, generating a tsunami some say was 15 meters high, is the worst crisis Japan has faced since the end of World War 2. The effects have been devastated the north east section of the country and produced fears of a nuclear meltdown at a power station

Currently the confirmed death toll stands at 1,596 people according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, however that figure is likely to increase substantially over the coming days, with police warning that the death toll in the Miyagi region alone will exceed 10,000.

Large numbers of survivors are gathered in emergency shelters, and many are without fresh running water, heat and power.

The situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a day after an explosion at the nuclear power plant. The cooling systems of two of the nuclear reactors at the power plant have failed following the earthquake, and there are serious fears that both are in danger of melting down, which could have potentially serious consequences for the environment.

On Saturday, a hydrogen explosion blew apart the building housing reactor 1, where technicians had been releasing radioactive steam as part of their attempts to cool the reactor.

The Japanese government says it is likely that the two reactors have already suffered at least a partial meltdown, but since the explosion took place on Saturday there has been no confirmation over the extent of the damage, largely because the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power has been unable to view the state of the reactors.

Sea water is being injected into reactors 1 and 3 in an attempt to cool them a last-ditch move that will render the reactors unusable.

The authorities say that radiation levels around the damaged plant have exceeded legal safety limits and tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from within a 20km (12.4-mile) radius. “The current situation of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plants is in a way the most severe crisis in the past 65 years since World War II. Whether we Japanese can overcome this crisis depends on each of us. I strongly believe that we can get over this great earthquake and tsunami by joining together.” Mr. Kan said.

The earthquake has been both heart breaking and devastating for the Japanese people, and the world has responded with the The United States, the United Kingdom, China, and South Korea among 69 governments that have offered to provide assistance. A number of rescue teams from around the world arrived Sunday in Japan and are helping lead a broad international effort to bring relief to areas ravaged by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.

Aid groups such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have sent teams to some of the worst-hit areas, including Sendai, Narita, Asahi and Tokyo. Mercy Corps International teamed with Peace Winds Japan to rush aid to affected regions.
The UK has sent a search and rescue team made up of 63 fire service search and rescue specialists. The team also includes medical support staff and two dogs, all of whom are already in Japan, the UK foreign office has said.

Despite the devastation there have been some remarkable tales of survival with the Kyodo News Agency reporting of a dramatic rescue of a 60 year old man that had been swept 15 kilometers out to sea off Fukushima prefecture.

The man, identified as Hiromitsu Shinkawa of Minami Soma, was swept away with his house. Mr. Shinkawa was later spotted floating in the sea, waving a self-made red flag while standing on a piece of his house’s roof.

After being rescued Mr. Shinkaqwa said that he and his wife had been swept away by the tsunami whilst returning home to gather some possessions following the earthquake, with his wife unlikely to have survived.

“I was saved by holding onto the roof,” he said, “but my wife was swept away. No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me, I thought today was the last day of my life.”

When a member of Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force handed him something to drink on the rescue boat, Shinkawa drank it and burst into tears, Kyodo reported.

How You Can Help Those in Need In Japan

If you would like to help with the disaster relief effort in Japan there are a number of charities you can support with a charity donation. The terrible natural disaster will have a long lasting affect on the country of Japan so please donate whatever you can.

  • British Red Cross The Japanese Red Cross has been working on the ground since the disaster began, mobilising 86 teams, made up of around 600 doctors, nurses and support staff, to provide first aid and healthcare and assess the damage and needs of the communities affected.
  • Global Giving This fund will support organizations providing relief and aid to victims.
  • Save the Children have launched a £1 million appeal to help families affected by the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami. They have a team in Japan and are responding to the needs of children affected by the disaster.
  • World Vision is bringing immediate relief supplies to those left homeless. They are also sending teams to provide help for children who have been traumatised by the double disaster.

>> Read More