Greenpeace Blocks Coal Delivery Twice at Port of Gdansk

Courtesy Greenpeace Poland

Published Sep 11, 2019 5:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, the Greenpeace sailing vessel Rainbow Warrior failed to prevent the bulker Indian Goodwill from docking at a coal terminal at Gdansk, Poland, where the Goodwill is due to unload a consignment from Mozambique. Polish customs agents boarded the Rainbow Warrior that evening, broke into her wheelhouse and detained her master on suspicion of violating maritime safety regulations. 

However, the Goodwill's delivery was held up again Wednesday by activists who scaled two unloading cranes at the terminal, stringing up banners and blocking the equipment's operation. Gdansk police spokesperson Joanna Kowalik-Kosi?ska said that it considers the activity to be criminal, and that unauthorized intrusion into a port area is punishable by up to a year in prison. As of midday local time, the activists remained on the cranes and no arrests had been made, according to local media. 

Separately, the Rainbow Warrior's master was released from custody on Wednesday afternoon, Greenpeace Poland said in a statement. 

Poland derives about 80 percent of its power from coal, and about 25 percent of its supply is imported. Greenpeace is campaigning to end the use of coal, the most carbon-intensive fuel source presently available on the market, and seeks to phase it out in the EU by the year 2030 at the latest. 

“The Polish government has no clear plan to move away from coal by 2030, and in June, Prime Minister Morawiecki blocked the EU’s strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Europe’s goal of climate neutrality is not only critical in the fight against the climate crisis, but would also secure Poland independence from the import of coal, gas and oil," said Pawe? Szypulski, program director of Greenpeace Poland.