Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace legendary ship, arrives in Romania from May 29 to June 2 to signal the link between how we currently produce energy and how the planet’s climate changes. Constanta is the first stop in a 5-month European tour that promotes clean energy solutions and calls for higher ambitions and decisive action to protect the climate from European leaders.
Scientists have come to a consensus and have named the extreme meteorological phenomena that affect the planet more and more climate change. Politicians and the business sector must stop any support for fossil fuels, the main climate aggressors, and pave the way for renewable energy. The speed of implementing climate-friendly measures must be increased in order not to warm the planet by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, the changes will be catastrophic and irreparable. The future generation will not have a future!
The arrival of the Rainbow Warrior in Romania is an extremely powerful message. The ship travels to the oceans and seas of the Earth for scientific projects or to protest against the big polluters. It’s a platform to connect those who think they can and want to help the planet. Rainbow Warrior is also one of the „greenest” ships in the world: it mainly uses sails to travel, does not discharge waste into the sea, and the materials used to build it have been chosen carefully to meet Greenpeace’s ethical standards.
Romania is still tributary to coal energy. Although it has major potential for using renewable energy (sun, wind), Romanian politicians have continued to support, even at the price of the European Commission’s penalization, coal production that is extremely damaging to the environment and the health of the people. Europe is heading towards decarbonisation, so that by 2050 the Union will no longer produce climate-damaging emissions.
„We want a courageous plan from the Romanian state to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Several EU countries have already set up a plan to eliminate coal in the energy sector. Romania, on the contrary, supports this highly polluting sector for the planet and human health, allowing non-compliant thermal power plants to still operate. Our firm demand is to shut down coal energy production by 2030”, says Alin Tanase, Greenpeace Romania Campaign Coordinator.
Removing coal from the energy mix is a priority. This should start with a strategy for the gradual closure of the polluting and inefficient coal mines and power plants, combined with clear measures to help areas dependent on this declining industry migrate to other economic opportunities. Also, Romania should really use its renewable energy potential and encourage its citizens to become clean energy producers (prosumers) by creating a favorable environment for investment.
The arrival of the ship in Constanta coincides with the last tour for Captain Pete Willcox, a Greenpeace legend. He was captain aboard the first Rainbow Warrior, sank by detonation by the French intelligence services (DGSE) in New Zealand in 1985, an event that triggered an international diplomatic scandal. In 2013, on board another Greenpeace vessel – Arctic Sunrise – Pete Willcox was arrested and detained for 2 months by the Russian army, along with 30 other activists.
In 2014, Captain Pete was awarded by The Guardian for an environmental life work. Captain Pete Willcox sailed over 400,000 miles throughout his career.