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Greenpeace Protestors Call Out Fonterra

Banner over Fonterra opencast mine.

Greenpeace shut down a portion of a lignite coal mine used by dairy processing and export company Fonterra in Southland this morning, covering the mine with a 40 by 40 metre banner with the words "Fonterra Climate Crime".

Fonterra is using lignite coal to help power a new milk dehydrator in nearby Edendale. The new dehydrator is the world's largest, and is estimated to produce 250,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the coming year, an amount comparable to the emissions made by 87, 000 cars in the same amount of time.

Greenpeace activists chained themselves to excavating machinery and blocked the entrance to the mine with a large tripod. Several have been arrested in correlation with their involvement in this morning's protest.

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Greenpeace tripod blocking mine entrance.

Arrested Greenpeace activist.

Greenpeace has pressed Fonterra to take responsibility and revise their environmental discourses, calling attention to the company's role in harvesting palm oil from the rainforest to subsidise animal feed just this past September.

“The Government needs to bring Fonterra under control." Says Greenpeace climate campaigner Simon Boxer in a statement on the Geenpeace website this morning. "Fonterra always goes for the cheapest alternative like dirty lignite coal for energy or unsustainable palm kernel, grown at the expense of Indonesian rainforests, for animal feed."

To view Boxer's full statement please see the following link to the Greenpeace website: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/press/releases/greenpeace-activists-shut-down.

Fonterra currently processes 95 per cent of milk from New Zealand's dairy farms.

Fonterra's lignite mine near Gore.

With the Copenhagen international summit on climate change just weeks away, the continuing environmental offences of Fonterra have the ability to cloud New Zealand's "green" credibility. In a Greenpeace press release Boxer asserts that Fonterra, is the country's "biggest block to New Zealand doing its bit on climate change." (To read the full press release please see thr following link: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0911/S00158.htm).

“Fonterra should take responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Says Boxer. "It could start by changing to alternative fuels, stop imports of palm kernel animal feed and encouraging lower intensity farming practices to provide a secure base for our industry, our economy and our environment.”


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