Greenpeace Blog

Injunction and arrests: over to you, Gordon

Posted by bex — 9 October 2007 at 10:57am - Comments

At the top of the chimney

See all Kingsnorth updates.

After spending a full day locked onto conveyor belts inside Kingsnorth coal fired power station - potentially the site of the first new coal plant in the UK for over 30 years - most of our volunteers in the conveyor belt team were arrested last night, after E.ON served an injunction.

The small team at the top of the chimney (above) spent the night 200-odd metres above safe ground. They’re still up there but, having placed the ball firmly in Gordon Brown’s court on whether the UK faces a new coal rush, they’ll be starting the long climb down soon. It sounds as though spirits are high, if a little exhausted.

Fight the power

Posted by jossg — 9 October 2007 at 10:07am - Comments

See all Kingsnorth updates.

By Joss Garman, writing for Comment is Free yesterday from the conveyor belt.

Britain's biggest greenhouse gas polluter plans to build a new coal-fired power station, which is why I've been chained to a conveyor belt today.

Al Gore recently expressed surprise that there weren't thousands of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from building new coal-fired power stations; this morning, I was part of team of 60 trying to do just that - shutting down a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent where the owners want to build a brand new station. I'm with one team stopping the conveyor belts by pressing the emergency stop buttons and chaining ourselves to the mechanism while at the same time another group are scaling the smokestack and painting "Gordon Bin It" in 10ft-high letters down the side. The Kingsnorth station has enough coal in its boilers to function for a few hours. After that is used up, sometime this afternoon it will cease to emit the estimated 20,000 tonnes of CO2 that it emits every day.

Going over the edge at Kingsnorth - and the arrests begin

Posted by bex — 8 October 2007 at 6:58pm - Comments

Going over the edge at Kingsnorth

See all Kingsnorth updates.

Anyone with vertigo, look away now. This was taken a couple of hours ago, as climbers at the top of the chimney at Kingsnorth coal fired power plant finally went over the edge of the 200-odd metre high chimney. There's a knee-wobbling video of this moment on Moblog.

As I write, the climbers are still painting the side of the 200-odd metre high chimney. By first light, there'll be a message urging Gordon Brown not to give the green light to the first new coal fired power station to be built in the UK in over 30 years.

So far, two people - from the conveyor belt team - have been arrested, with the rest of the team likely to follow one by one (it's a slow business).

More updates to follow in the morning - in the meantime, here are a few of my favourite images from today:

Update from Kingsnorth

Posted by bex — 8 October 2007 at 12:48pm - Comments

The view from Kingsnorth

See all Kingsnorth updates.

I've just spoken to Jamie, our intrepid webbie inside Kingsnorth power plant, which we shut down in the early hours of this morning.

While the team scaling the chimney just keeps on climbing (several hours and counting), the team down at the conveyor belt are coal-covered but comfortable - even finding time to wind down after a pre-dawn start this morning.

The police have arrived, assessed the situation and put up a cordon around the plant, and there's some speculation that they may bring cutting equipment soon. We'll see - it's a waiting game now for the conveyor belt team now.

Greenpeace shuts down coal fired power station

Posted by bex — 8 October 2007 at 6:32am - Comments

On the conveyor belt

See all Kingsnorth updates.

We've taken over Kingsnorth coal fired power station in Kent to send a message to Gordon Brown: don't bottle it on climate change by giving the green light to the first new coal plant in the UK for over 30 years.

Just after 5am this morning, 50 Greenpeace volunteers took over the plant. One group immobilised the huge conveyor belts carrying coal into the plant then chained themselves to the machinery. As I write, a second group is climbing a 200 metre ladder up the chimney, with supplies to hold it for several days and force it off the National Grid.

Why are we there?

Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels; it just isn’t fit for purpose in the 21st century. No new coal fired power station has been built in the UK in over 30 years but now Gordon Brown may be giving the green light to a new coal rush.

Good energy in Manchester: hope, revelation and 'Grid 2.0'

Posted by bex — 5 October 2007 at 2:24pm - Comments

Update (15/10/2007): Our video interview with Pete Bradshaw of Man City FC is now included:

And there's a podcast from the event on

I've been an avid (my friends might say evangelical) fan of decentralised energy ever since I first got my head around it. When I started working for Greenpeace, the organisation was in full swing on a decentralised energy campaign and part of my job was to communicate what it is and why it can do so much more than nuclear to combat climate change.

There have followed 20 months (for me) of virtual shouting from the rooftops. Films have been produced; countless blogs have been written; submissions have been made to energy reviews and audit committees; our campaigners and policy boffins have met with government representatives; dozens of volunteers have visited MPs; many thousands more have written to theirs.

Why blond isn't green

Posted by John — 5 October 2007 at 11:54am - Comments

John SauvenOur executive director John on why Boris Johnson will have to work much harder on his climate change agenda if he is to have any hope of running the capital.

Boris Johnson claimed, at the launch of his campaign to run London, that he "will be the greenest mayor, far greener than Ken". His ambition is to be congratulated, but his claim invites scrutiny.

We all know that Boris is a keen cyclist - the sight of his unhelmeted blond locks blowing around the street corners of London is an iconic image. But a lesser-known passion is his professed "love affair with the car" which "will never conk out". As the motoring correspondent of GQ magazine, he tells us, "I have sometimes attained velocities which are incompatible with my new status as a tribune of the people". And in many ways he is right to highlight this apparent incompatibility - between his racy, energetic and spontaneous persona and a newly professed concern for slowing the progress of global warming. To win the mayoralty of a city like London, a candidate should be able to display a deep understanding and commitment to environmental issues, a serious appreciation of the threat that climate change poses to all of us and a coherent plan for implementing some solutions.

China gives inefficient bulbs the boot

Posted by jamie — 4 October 2007 at 3:43pm - Comments

I had one of those meetings this morning where I was doodling on my notebook rather than listening as attentively as perhaps I should have been, but the words 'China', 'light' and 'bulbs' caught my attention. I started paying even more attention when I realised it related to the news that China will be phasing out incandescent bulbs in the next 10 years.

Seven years to save the Amazon

Posted by jamie — 3 October 2007 at 6:29pm - Comments

An area of burnt forest inside a protected area of the Amazon rainforest

A burnt area of the Amazon rainforest in Itaituba 2, a protected area (Photo: Daniel Beltra)

Seven years? It's a tall order but we have a cunning plan. Together with eight other national campaigning organisations, our Brazilian team have launched an ambitious proposal with a goal of zero deforestation by 2015.

The plan sets out specific targets that could see deforestation drop gradually over the next seven years, pushing for a cut of 25 per cent in the first year compared to figures for 2005/6. It's thinking on a massive scale, but we believe it can be done - with deforestation rates already falling and with a concerted effort it really could happen.

The award-winning light bulb that certainly isn't dim

Posted by jamie — 3 October 2007 at 2:50pm - Comments

Louise Molloy, Tony Doyle and Jason Bruges holding the award

Greenpeace campaigner Louise Molloy, light bulb inventor Tony Doyle and designer Jason Bruges, proud owners of an award for innovation (Photo: Philip Vile)

One more (slightly belated) piece of news from the 100% Design exhibition comes in the form of an award. The light bulb used in Jason Bruges' installation has been given the inaugural award for innovative lighting design by the event's organisers, recognising the fact that it is the world's first fully dimmable energy efficient bulb.

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