Greenpeace holds global protest telling Australian government: Act on climate, phase-out coal

Sydney, Australia — Greenpeace organisations are holding peaceful protests at Australian embassies and consulates around the world today asking people to tell Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take immediate action to phase-out coal and stop fueling the climate crisis.

Protests are expected in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and Israel.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said:

“Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s failure to lead on climate ensures a future of worsening wildfire devastation for his country. While Australians courageously pull together in this climate emergency, Mr Morrison is negligently pursuing the coal industry’s agenda, which will only make things worse.

“The impacts of climate breakdown, from fires to floods, dying forests and overheating oceans, are hurting Australians and people across the planet. Mr Morrison’s government and all governments must phase out polluting fossil fuels and cut emissions. Instead, his policies are digging us deeper into climate emergency.”

Australia ranks last on climate policy out of 57 countries responsible for 90% of greenhouse gas emissions, and is one of the world’s largest coal exporters.[1] Projected global heating, based on current global plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, shows a catastrophic future with temperatures set to rise between 2.9C and 3.4C by 2100.[2]

CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific David Ritter said:

“Australians are now on the frontlines of severe climate damage – and coal is the number one driver of the crisis. This summer we’ve seen nearly thirty people killed, hundreds of thousands evacuated or directly threatened by fires, and millions suffering through days of thick hazardous smoke. The people of Australia are deeply worried about an uncertain and dangerous future.

“Since this government was elected in 2013, there have been at least 18 expert warnings of rising emissions leading to catastrophic fire conditions. What will it take for Morrison to act to protect Australian families from the climate emergency? Delaying action on reducing emissions is costing Australian lives now and in the future. Morrison must move to shutdown polluting fossil fuel industries like coal as fast as possible.” 

The Australian fires in recent months have killed 30 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and left tens of millions of people breathing unsafe air, as well as killing over 1 billion animals.[3] The alarming spate of destruction has spurred an outpouring of solidarity worldwide.

Last week, Greenpeace USA delivered a petition with 20,000 signatures to the Australian Consulate in San Francisco, asking for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “stop his love affair with coal and immediately address the climate crisis that’s driving the catastrophic bushfires in Australia.”[4]

Greenpeace is asking people to sign the petition to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ask him to act immediately on the climate crisis, and to leave messages of support or koalas at Australian embassies. 


Photo and video: 
New unpublished images of fire affected communities in Australia available here
Global protest images (updated throughout the day), and general images available here 




[3] At least 30 lives have been lost across this fire season, including four volunteer firefighters. SOURCE. More than 2100 homes have been lost across Australia and over 2,500 buildings are gone. SOURCE 1, SOURCE 2. Air pollution in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra recently ranked among the most harmful in the world. SOURCE


[5] Global CO2 emissions must be halved by 2030 before falling to net zero by mid century at the latest. To meet the 1.5 degree target, coal consumption would need to be cut by at least two thirds by 2030 and fall to almost zero in electricity production by 2050. SOURCE


Martin Zavan, Media Advisor Greenpeace Australia Pacific, [email protected], +61 (0) 424 295 422

Marie Bout, Media Advisor Greenpeace International, [email protected], +61 (0) 405 399 164

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected],
+31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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