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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Extinction Rebellion plans Newcastle port blockade

Global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) is calling on Hunter residents to take part in the People’s 9th Blockade of the World’s Largest Coal Port at Newcastle this weekend.

The local branch of the organisation will play host to the annual event at Horseshoe Beach on Saturday 12 December between 9am and 5pm.

It continues the legacy of a community-led harbour barricade, bringing awareness to the realities of climate and coal.

Organiser Jessica Ledgerwood said XR was inviting participation in a colourful flotilla of water craft and kayaks; to stop shipments from the world’s largest exporter of “coal and climate chaos”.

“As local people and XR rebels we are organising the ninth people’s blockade because we are deeply concerned about the accelerating impacts of climate change and the ‘business as usual’ approach that so many of our leaders are taking,” she explained.

“We are in solidarity with all those experiencing or yet to experience the adverse impacts of climate change, from job insecurity to displacement from traditional lands, intense drought, bushfires, floods and loss of biodiversity.”

XR blockade organisers point to the urgency and rationale of a planned exit from coal, as the world’s three biggest coal consuming countries including China, Japan and South Korea have all committed to net-zero emissions.

Climate scientists estimate that global temperate rise could pass 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 10 years, too.

“For decades, the science has warned that fossil fuels have to end and there is still no plan to support coal industry workers through the coming transition,” Ms Ledgerwood said.

“We demand a transition plan to guide a managed decline of the Hunter Valley coal industry, and to embrace the clean energy of the future, such as solar, wind, waves and battery storage.

“The plan must be urgent and fair for all people.”

Another member of the Extinction Rebellion organising team, James Langley, said responsible nations “do not gather wealth from the export of coal” in 2020.

“Australia’s current climate policies align us with emissions target rogue states like Russia and Saudi Arabia,” he explained.

“We invite participation in the flotilla to show that we will continue to resist the negligence of our nations federal leaders until they commit to necessary and bold climate action.

“Simply put, the discussion on the climate crisis must move away from profits and extraction towards conservation and preservation of life.”

This is a COVID-safe event and any rebels wanting to participate will need to be registered for the action.

Register at https://takethepledge.earth/event/newcastle-port-blockade/