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Greenpeace shuts down Europe's largest coal port

Greenpeace shuts down Europe's largest coal port

Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 8 September 2005 - The Greenpeace ship "Argus" today protested at Europe's largest coal import harbour in Rotterdam blocking cranes from unloading imported coal from South Africa, Indonesia, US and Australia. The international organisation urges European governments to immediately stop using coal to avoid climate change and to switch to renewable energy and move to a clean energy economy. In addition, teams of activists unfurled a banner reading 'coal fuels climate change' on a coal stockpile and occupied coal loaders.

"Climate change is now the single biggest threat facing our planet. Coal is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, producing more carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. Greenpeace is here today to expose Europe's dangerous addiction to coal. This port currently imports 24.7 million tonnes of coal from all over the world each year, and every tonne returns to us as climate change," said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International renewable energy expert.
Europe's power sector will decide how the new energy capacity will be built during the next ten years. Half of Europe's working coal power plants are over twenty years old. "The choice will be whether Europe's power supply will be dirty fossil fuels like coal or efficient and clean renewable energy. Every euro invested in clean energy is a step away from dependency on imported fuels, world market prices and climate disruption. Renewable energy is the best way to meet needs for clean electricity," Teske said.

Greenpeace demands that the development of renewable energy in Europe must achieve 300,000 MW -by 2020-, equivalent to one third of total EU electricity capacity and it can be reached by setting legally binding targets as part of a review of the renewable energy electricity directive for European countries. This major policy shift is required to provide crucial investor confidence in the clean energy sector.

"A combination of legally binding targets, support mechanisms for renewable energies and phase-out of subsidies for fossil energy will make an uptake of renewables real," said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International energy expert, on board the ship.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.

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