Huge iceberg breaks off Antarctic Peninsula Larsen C ice shelf - Greenpeace reaction

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Press release - 12 July, 2017

Amsterdam, 12 July 2017 - Responding to news that one of the largest icebergs ever recorded has broken off the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf, Paul Johnston, head of Greenpeace International’s Science Unit, said:

“The melting ice of Antarctica has always been recognised as a 'canary in the coal-mine' warning the world of the dangers of climate change. The collapse of this ice-shelf, the third collapse in this region in recent years, is possibly yet another signal of the global impact of climate change — and the imperative of implementing the Paris climate agreement, shifting to 100% renewable energy sources and leaving fossil fuels in the ground.”

“No one knows for sure if climate change played a definitive role in the break of the Larsen C ice shelf, but given the relatively recent breakup of other shelves, and the contribution thought to have been made to erosion of the ice by warmer waters around the Antarctic Peninsula in those cases, it seems likely that human activities are a factor.

“We’re still in the safe zone for avoiding catastrophic climate change. But we must act fast. Decisions taken now by governments and industry will decide whether billions of people have safe, prosperous lives in the future.”

“It is the ultimate irony that this happens soon after Trump has taken the US, the world's biggest carbon polluter in history, out of the Paris climate agreement. Rather like the ice-shelf, Trump has detached the US and left it isolated to drift alone. The rest of the world will move ahead taking advantage of the opportunities for clean, renewable energy and the benefits that the low carbon economy brings.”

END

Notes to editors:

For more on the science and climate signals behind Larsen C ice shelf calving and retreat: http://www.climatesignals.org/headlines/events/larsen-c-ice-shelf-calving-and-retreat-2017  

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