Gladstone, Queensland Tuesday May 8, 2001: As the CSIRO launches its most devastating report on climate change impact in Australia, Greenpeace is attempting to halt the first shipment from Australia’s worst new source of greenhouse pollution – shale oil.
Eight people - swimmers and divers - have been arrested trying to stop the oil carrier Probo Emu from loading the first shipment of oil from the experimental Stuart Oil Shale Project, at Gladstone, next to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Greens senator Bob Brown has joined the protest. He says, “Climate change threatens us all. Our scientists are telling us we need to act, yet the Howard government is wasting $240 million of taxpayers money to prop up the shale oil industry. If we want to save the climate we need to shut this industry down and switch to clean energy.”
Greenpeace climate campaigner Shane Rattenbury says “If we want to protect Australia from the devastating floods, droughts and rising temperatures that the CSIRO has predicted, this dirty fossil fuel industry must be stopped.”
“The CSIRO is predicting up to 6 degree
average temperature rise if we keep depending on fossil
fuels. Clean renewable fuels such as bio- diesel for cars
and trucks and solar or wind for electricity can give us
the energy we need, without adding to climate change.
There’s no future in the shale oil industry. It’s not
sustainable environmentally or financially.”
Last month its joint venture partner, Suncor, pulled out amid concerns about the plant’s technical breakdowns, financial and environmental problems. The plant is now solely operated by Australian twin mining companies Southern Pacific Petroleum and Central Pacific Minerals.
Rattenbury says “Experienced business players, CSIRO
scientists, local residents and the Australian public
are alarmed by the deadly consequences of climate change. Greenpeace urges the government and investors to act on climate change by getting out of the Stuart Project immediately.”
The Stuart Shale Oil Project is more than 1 year behind schedule and is $50m over budget.
Financial Analysts Innovest project greenhouse abatement could cost $50m to $200m a year at commercial production levels.
Greenpeace poll last month found that 80% of Australians
surveyed support ratification of the Kyoto protocol even
without the US