Australia climate protest: Rising Tide activists shovel coal off train
About 50 climate activists have been arrested in the Australian state of New South Wales after protesters climbed on a train carrying coal and began shovelling its cargo out of the wagons.
The train was stopped near Newcastle, a major coal export terminal.
Protest group Rising Tide said it was demanding the cancellation of all new coal projects.
Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter, and climate change is a hugely divisive issue there.
The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.
The group posted an image on Twitter showing protesters on and around the halted train.
“We have halted coal into the world’s biggest coal port, demanding the ALP [ruling Australian Labor Party] heed UN warnings and immediately cancel all new coal projects,” it said in the tweet.
Rising Tide said in a statement that 20 of the group had climbed onto the train to unload the coal with shovels, while another 30 provided support.
Police said 47 activists were charged with “rail corridor offences” and released after being issued with court attendance notices.
However, two were charged with malicious damage and one with assaulting a security guard.
A really simple guide to climate change
Newcastle is described as the world’s largest coal export terminal and the largest bulk shipping port on Australia’s east coast.
Australia’s Labor government has pledged to cut the country’s carbon emissions by 43% by 2030, but it has not ruled out new fossil fuel projects.
It sees a carbon emissions trading scheme known as the “safeguard mechanism” as its main means to reach its target.
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