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Greenpeace builds Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat

Ship on the biblical mountain to warn of impending climate disaster

Feature story - May 25, 2007
Work has already begun on constructing a new Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat at an elevation of 2,500 meters. Measuring 10 by four by four meters, the ship being built by Greenpeace, will remind leaders of all nations that there's not much time left to mitigate a climate disaster with devastating consequences for all.

Greenpeace builds Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat

As is now beyond doubt, climate change the coming decades will cause floods, droughts, food crises and disease to a degree untold and unheard of in the history of man since the time of Noah. The planet’s natural conditions will alter irreversibly and will force at least 1 billion people to abandon their land and homes for lack of water and food. Political leaders have an unprecedented responsibility to act now.

Recently, the highly respected UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after years of scientific study confirmed this impending catastrophy and outlined how governments should respond. Global emissions must be halved by 2050. In the G8 states greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by an average 30 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by the middle of the century. Greenpeace in a study “The energy revolution” shows how these IPCC changes can be realized without hurting economic growth, if governments act decisively now.

Countries are irresponsibly wasting time, waiting until others act. At the upcoming G8 summit in Heiligendamm again, many announcements will be made on climate protection. But substantial targets must be adopted and implemented. We need real action. If the G8 summit will pay only lip service to climate change a historic opportunity will be lost. Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to assume a special role as the host of the G8 summit and Germany should be an example by adopting 40% reduction targets by 2020.

Turkey, unfortunately, is a perfect example of a country that doesn't take climate change seriously. Within OECD countries, Turkey has the fastest rising emissions. Turkey should start stabilise greenhouse gas emissions and sign Kyoto now. Turkey must now massively invest in renewable energy sources and efficiency. In stead, ironically, the current political leaders subsidize deadly and dirty energies like coal and nuclear.

To vividly express the urgency of the situation, Greenpeace is building a replica of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. The boat reminds us, how one man once took responsibility for rescuing himself, his loved ones and the world's animals to preserve them all from destruction in face of an impending climate disaster.

A caravan of 40 horses hauled twelve cubicmeters of prefabricated wooden sections to an elevation of 2,500 meters, where work has now begun on constructing supports as well as the keel and ribs of the boat. During the coming weeks, 20 German and Turkish carpenters will complete the construction of the boat, which can later serve as a mountain hut. It will be turned over to the public in an official ceremony on 31 May 2007. One day before, a group of climbers at the 5,137-meter summit of Mount Ararat will call on the leaders of all nations to make climate protection a reality.