Oscar-nominated actress and Greenpeace Ambassador, Keisha Castle-Hughes (pictured), has boarded the Greenpeace ship Esperanza to speak up for a strong global climate treaty. The New Zealand based star of the film ‘Whale Rider’ and mother of 2 year old Felicity-Amore, joined the MV Esperanza in the Cook Island’s capital, Rarotonga, and spent two days in port with the Greenpeace crew, talking to locals affected by climate change and meeting with local environmental activists and the Cook Islands Prime Minister.
The Australian-born Keisha Castle-Hughes, rose to prominence in 2004 when at just 13 years of age, she became the youngest ever nominee for an Oscar in the Best Leading Actress category, for her role as Paikea in the film ‘Whale Rider’. 19 year old Keisha is keeping in touch with her fans while on board the Greenpeace ship through hourly tweets, and daily Facebook and blog updates, where she tells of her desire to make sure her daughter and future generations are left with a healthy planet.
You can follow Keisha’s tweets at http://twitter.com/gpnz and her blog at www.signon.org.nz/news
Greenpeace is in Aitutaki to document the stories of local people whose lives are being affected by rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, changing weather patterns, and threats to food security caused by climate change.
“I get really upset over situations that are morally unjust,” Castle-Hughes said. “Pacific Islanders have hardly contributed to climate change, and yet are bearing the brunt of the problem.”
Aitutaki is one of many small islands in the Pacific already bearing the brunt of climate change. Impacts include rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, changing weather patterns, and threats to food security due to ocean acidification and salination of soil.
Warmer temperatures are also bleaching Aitutaki’s coral reefs, a prime tourist attraction. Castle-Hughes will meet with tourism officials in Aitutaki to discuss what needs to be done to ensure climate impacts don’t destroy this crucial industry.
“The cavalier attitude of the Australian Government in blocking international moves towards climate justice will deny our Pacific neighbours their livelihoods, homes and cultures. Developed nations need to choose between propping up massive international polluters or supporting our Pacific neighbours,” said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner, Trish Harrup.
Earlier this year the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), which includes 19 Pacific island countries, called on industrialised nations as a group to commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% over the next decade.
Greenpeace is urging Australian and New Zealand Governments not to derail the AOSIS demands at the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum in Cairns, and to agree to a fair, legally binding climate change treaty at the Copenhagen meeting in December.
For more information visit Greenpeace on the web at www.greenpeace.org and/or the Greenpeace Australia Pacific website at www.greenpeace.org.au