Rainbow Warrior, the pennant ship of Greenpeace, comes to Romania from May 29 to June 2, to signal the connection between how we are currently producing energy and the climate change of the planet. Constanta is the first stop of a European tour that lasts 5 months, promoting clean energy solutions and requesting higher ambitions and decisive actions for protecting climate by the European leaders.
The arrival of the Rainbow Warrior ship in Romania is an extremely strong message. The ship travels on the Earth’s oceans and seas for scientific projects or to protest against big polluters. It is a platform that connects those who believe they can and who want to help the planet. Rainbow Warrior is also one of the “greenest” ships in the world: it mainly uses sails to move, it doesn’t discharges waste into the sea, and the materials used for its construction were chosen only from sources that comply with the Greenpeace ethical standards.
Scientists reached a consensus and gave a name to the extreme meteorological phenomena affecting the planet the most: climate change. Politicians and the business sector must stop supporting in any manner the fossil fuels, the main climate aggressors, and start opening the path to the renewable energy. The speed of implementing beneficial steps to the climate must increase in order to prevent the planet from getting warmer by more than 1.5 Celsius degrees. Otherwise, the change will be catastrophic and irreparable. The future generation will not have a future!
Rainbow Warrior’s message to Romania: stop coal, use clean energy!
Romania is still tributary to coal energy. Although it has a major potential to use renewable energy (sun, wind), Romanian politicians continued to support coal production, which is extremely harmful for the environment and health, even at the cost of being sanctioned by the European Commission. Europe is going in the direction of decarbonization, so that the Union will not produce emissions that affect climate by 2050.
“We want a courageous plan of the Romanian state in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels. There are several EU countries who have already established some steps to eliminate coal from the energy sector. On the contrary, Romania supports this highly polluting sector for the planet and for the health of the people, allowing thermal plants that do not comply with the European standards to operate. The firm term requested by us in order to stop producing coal energy is 2030”, stated Alin Tanase, Greenpeace Romania Campaign Coordinator.
Eliminating coal of the energy mix is a priority. It must begin with a plan to gradually close the coal mines and thermal plants, which are polluting and ineffective, as well as with establishing clear actions to support the regions that are depending on this industry on the decline, to migrate to other economic opportunities. Also, Romania needs to really use the renewable energy potential it has, and encourage its citizens become energy producers (prosumators), by creating proper conditions for investments.
The captain of the ship, a legend
The ship’s arrival in Constanta coincides with the last tour for Captain Pete Willcox, a legend of Greenpeace. He was the captain of the first Rainbow Warrior, sank by detonation by the French intelligence services (DGSE) in New Zeeland, in 1985, an event that caused an international diplomatic scandal. In 2013, while he was on another Greenpeace ship – Arctic Sunrise -, Pete Willcox was arrested and detained for 2 months by the Russian Army, along with other 30 activists.
In 2014, Captain Pete was awarded by the British publication The Guardian for his lifetime work dedicated to the environment. Captain Pete Willcox sailed over 400,000 miles in his entire career.