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letzte Aktualisierung: 19.02.2017 11:12:26
  • Time for Europe to stand up for peace - and renewables

    Every year, the Munich Security Conference brings together the most senior decision-makers to debate critical issues in international security.

    This year, I will join them. And while I am sure I will disagree with most of the participants on many things - and make it clear that Greenpeace does not support the notion of security defined by military might - I am also sure of one thing: The majority of participants will agree that climate change is a key threat to international security.

    For all its faults, the military and intelligence community have been vocal on the threats of climate change and one of the first to prepare for it. For over a decade now, the U.S. military in particular has recognised climate change as a major threat to security. The latest National Security Strategy elevated climate change to a top-level strategic risk, alongside terrorism, economic crises and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

    Climate March in Copenhagen, 12 Dec, 2009. © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

    Senior representatives of the new US administration are expected to attend the Munich conference, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defence James Mattis. They will be urging the European Union (EU) to take more responsibility for its own security. I agree Europe should. But not - as US President Donald Trump and his administration demand - through investing more money in the military or by erecting higher walls or stronger fences. Quite the opposite.

    Europe needs to respond to the American call for increased responsibility with an ambitious peace and security project that brings meaning and hope to its own citizens and people around the world.

    “People Power, Climate Solutions” Action in Brussels, 18 Sep, 2015. © Lode Saidane / Greenpeace

    The EU remains a crucial player in the international arena. It´s time to use this position to promote peace and urgently address climate change through a clean energy economy globally. The EU must demonstrate leadership by forcing the US to live in the real world and address climate change as a major security threat. And the EU needs to become a leading example of a new type of prosperity that does not come at a cost to the environment or the world’s poor.

    Indeed, the EU must promote peace by addressing the root causes of conflicts. Conflicts are always complex and "resource wars" are not new. But looking at the current conflicts from Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan, the South China Sea to Nigeria it is obvious that the access, the transport and thus the dependence on fossil fuels play a critical role.

    In 2003 Mattis called on Department of Defence planners to ‘unleash us from the tether of fuel.” He was right on that - and his call is now more urgent than ever. Our governments must unleash us from the tether of fossil fuels. And deliver true security. We have a long way to go. If you search for "security policy" in Google Images, the images you get are of men in uniforms, combat aircraft, fences and endless pipelines. What you don't find are wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, insulation materials or double glazed windows. But these are the "weapons" we must deploy if we want to create a safer world order.

    The stakes have never been higher. Donald Trump is promising to keep the US in the fossil fuel age by doubling down on oil, gas and coal production. Although he will fail to stop the global energy revolution underway, former ExxonMobil boss Tillerson as the US Secretary of State, still brings a real risk of ‘oil (friendly) diplomacy’, which could accelerate global conflict and catastrophic climate change.

    Action during Rex Tillerson's Senate Confirmation Hearing, 11 Jan, 2017. © Ken Cedeno / Greenpeace

    Europe must not allow this to happen. European leaders attending the conference - whether Chancellor Merkel, EU Council President Tusk, EU High Representative Mogherini, or Foreign Ministers Gabriel, Ayrault or Johnson - all must tell Pence and Mattis in Munich that transatlantic security discussions need to always include the fight against climate change. And they must be clear that the EU will build peace and security through a new clean energy economy.

    Planet Earth First Banner at G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, 16 Feb, 2017. © Ludolf Dahmen / GreenpeacePlanet Earth First Banner at G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, 16 Feb, 2017.

    In Munich, European leaders should tell their American visitors that European foreign and development policies will drive a 100% renewable, zero carbon economy globally by 2050 at the latest. Such an efficient, decentralized renewables-based economy would not only bring stability to Europe, but have a stabilising effect worldwide. In Munich, the EU needs to take a stand and show true leadership and global responsibility. I will be there, I will be watching and I will call out leaders if they fail this test of responsibility.

    First published on the Huffington Post online

  • We are going to court!

    It's time we hold governments accountable for their climate promises; we must protect the pristine Arctic - it's critical for the preservation of our planet for future generations.

    That’s why we’re taking Arctic oil to court.

    Statoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 © Matthew Kemp / GreenpeaceStatoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 

    Our legal case against the Norwegian government, which granted new oil drilling licenses in the Arctic ocean, finally has a court date. On November 13th we are going to court!

    My name is Michelle. As one of the attorneys behind this groundbreaking case I'll be updating you as it moves ahead.

    When I think of future generations, I think of my niece Blythe. At five months, she has every right to a full and healthy life - free from the catastrophic effects of climate change we are already seeing around the world. THIS - tackling climate change - should be the main priority of governments. It seems however, that they need a little push in guaranteeing these rights. Civil society and youth around the world are doing just that, through the courts. We can be the generation that ends oil. 

    The People vs Arctic Oil: Historic lawsuit filed against Arctic Oil in Oslo, 18 Oct 2016. © Christian Åslund / GreenpeaceThe People vs Arctic Oil: Historic lawsuit filed against Arctic Oil in Oslo, 18 Oct 2016.

    Let me take you through some legal stuff.

    Norway was among the first countries in the world to sign the Paris Agreement and promise to help limit global warming. But, right after they signed on, they started handing out vast areas of Norwegian seas to oil companies. New oil drilling. In the Arctic! That is madness. The Arctic is vital in regulating the earth's temperature! We will show the Court that the government must take action, not only to keep the Paris climate agreement on track, but also to uphold the Norwegian Constitution:

    You see, the licenses violate Norwegian’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. This is what is written in Article 112 of the Constitution:

    Every person has the right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained. Natural resources shall be managed on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations which will safeguard this right for future generations as well... The authorities of the state shall take measures for the implementation of these principles”.

    It is clear that drilling for more fossil fuels in the Arctic is against the rights enshrined in Article 112. We are demanding that the government upholds these constitutional guarantees.

    This is not just about Norway. This is about climate justice for us, our nieces and nephews, all children - every person and future generations.

    What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay there. Around the world, communities are already battling the effects of climate change. People have been made homeless by storms, killed by floods and suffered starvation from terrible droughts. Unless we act now, climate change will cause more dangerous and more frequent extreme weather events and sea levels will rise. Lives, livelihoods, homes, and our environment are all at risk.

    An unprecedented legal case is filed against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. The plaintiffs, Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, argue that Norway thereby violates the Paris Agreement and the people's constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations. The lawsuit has the support of a wide group of scientists, indigenous leaders, activists and public figures.  © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

    But this case is now part of a wave of people stepping up for climate all over the world, from Norway to the Philippines. If millions of us come together and take this battle to court, we build a movement to take back our future. So far, more than 150 000 people have joined this global movement. If you haven’t already, add your name and be part of the generation that ends oil.

    It is time to end the oil age. If you're a government, and you're accelerating climate change, there is a good chance we'll see you in court. Stay tuned.

    Michelle Jonker-Argueta is an attorney with Greenpeace International.

  • Live long and protest: the power of mass action is alive in Romania

    At the beginning of this month, the biggest mass protest in Romania since the fall of communism in 1989 unfolded across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people in the capital, Bucharest, and every major city in Romania took to the streets against a decree that would have decriminalised abuses of public office. After a week of peaceful protests, the government withdrew the controversial law.

    Huge crowds assembled in Bucharest. 03/02/2017 © Mihai Stoica / GreenpeaceHuge crowds assembled in Bucharest

    You don’t see mobilisation like this every day, but it happens when the stakes are high - and it can be extremely powerful. Previous mass demonstrations highlighted cyanide open-pit mining in Rosia Montana (2013), forest protection (2015) and again corruption, after a horrible fire in a nightclub that could have been prevented if the people responsible had applied the law (Colectiv, autumn 2015).

    Greenpeace Romania joins protests against changes in the Romanian Forest Code in 2015. © Greenpeace / Andrada RaduGreenpeace Romania joins protests against changes in the Romanian Forest Code in 2015.

    Greenpeace Romania joined protesters because we believe the consequences of the emergency ordinance decree would have affected our work to protect the environment. It would have indirectly allowed companies to choose less costly and environmentally-damaging alternatives for their projects without fear of legal repercussions. The recently-passed executive order also threatened the already limited checks and balances against environmental crimes.

    The reasons that hundreds of thousands of people so vocally rejected this decree may vary in tone from one to the next, but we knew the country needed to stand together against corruption: in a country that decriminalises corruption, there is no protection against environmental crimes.

     Democracy is the cleanest environment. 03/02/2017 © Ionut Brigle / GreenpeaceNon-violence, creativity and solidarity – keywords of the unprecedented protests in Romania

    Crowds all over Romania braved a bitter winter chill to protest. With creativity and humour on the banners displayed they inspired many more to join in and add their own - or even fly in from other countries where they now live - to show solidarity. Because of the pressure exerted by the large number of people that took to the streets to protect democracy, the Government repealed the ordinance.

    'Bear with us'. 03/02/2017 © Mihai Anghel / Greenpeace'Bear with us'

    'Live long and protest'. 03/02/2017 © Mihai Anghel / Greenpeace

    It is the beginning of a victory for democracy

    Each time people demonstrate for something is a reminder that we must act together to protect our fundamental rights and that we have the power to change unjust actions. We are experiencing challenging times and the clock is ticking on the health of the planet. Now, more than ever, we need to unite in the fight to protect our planet from the threats posed by climate change.

    Protests are going on, all over the world. If you are reading this and you feel that all might be lost, remember that someone, somewhere is just now realising that it’s time to act and is not giving up hope. There’s simply too much to lose now. We resist and insist on the fact that holding political office does not give anyone the right to exploit it to legitimise environmental, or any other kind of abuse. We are used to hard fights and improbable victories. We are stronger together. Take action now and get involved in a local active group to make your voice heard.

    Irina Bandrabur is a press officer in Greenpeace CEE’s Romania office

  • I've seen the forest fires HSBC is helping to fund

    The elderly gentleman approached me as our morning protest yesterday unfolded in front of HSBC’s Indonesian head office in Jakarta’s World Trade Centre building. Refusing the campaign postcard that I offered, his brow furrowed, he berated me for the action and bombarded me with questions. The gist was: Why on earth are you complaining about HSBC, and what does a bank have to do with forests?

    Adi Prabowo (left) and Larasati Mido Matovani (right) carrying banner during a protest at HSBC headquarter in Jakarta 

    It wasn’t hard for me to explain. I’ve been living in Pontianak, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) for 22 years, and for these past ten years I’ve lived through annual forest fires and smoke haze. The crisis culminated in 2015. My city, along with dozens of others across Kalimantan and Sumatra, were blanketed in thick smoke. Anyone going outside was forced to inhale the toxic fumes, and in fact most people were exposed even in their own homes, made as they are with breezy open construction. We lived and worked under darkened skies for weeks.

    So why was I in Jakarta on a weekday morning, standing in front of the HSBC building? Sharing postcards telling the story about these fires and the damaged forest and peat landscapes that they feed on?

    Police debates with Greenpeace forest campaigners Yuyun Indradi (2nd left) and Annisa Rahmawati (2nd right) during a protest at HSBC headquarter in Jakarta

    It’s quite simple: because HSBC has been funding palm oil companies that cause deforestation and fuel forest fires. The bank, Europe’s largest, has opened its coffers to some of the worst palm oil companies who rely on draining peat swamps and clearing forests, creating the flammable landscape which every year catches ablaze and chokes our lungs. The fires are eating up the last precious habitat for orangutans and Sumatran tigers, and in 2015 are calculated to have caused a hundred thousand premature deaths from smoke illness across South-East Asia.

    I explained all this to the gentleman who demanded to know what I was doing on HSBC’s doorstep. I told him of my concern for the future of Indonesia’s forests in the future. And that more than two hundred thousand other people worldwide – people like you –  had signed a petition to HSBC showing they shared my concern. For me, they are not just names on a page, they are my family in Kalimantan, my friends in Sumatra, and thousands more from Hong Kong, France, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Czech Republic and Great Britain. All of us hope that HSBC will take a leadership role, implement its policy and stop funding the relentless destruction of Indonesia’s forests.

    Securities escort Greenpeace activist wears orangutan costume during a protest at HSBC headquarter in Jakarta 

    Our action that morning was eventually shut down by police and security guards, and together with my fellow activists I was pushed out of the HSBC office precinct. Before I stepped out, I turned back to make sure that our petition package would be given to HSBC’s management. I looked up at the windows of the tower where I imagined the staff were peering down at the commotion, hesitant to meet us. I hope they will read the names on the petition and understand it’s not a meaningless list. That it is an important message for HSBC and other banks to stop funding the companies which are destroying our remaining forests. 

    Here’s hoping our message will be understood. 

    Adi Prabowo is a trainee firefighter with Greenpeace Indonesia

    Want to tell HSBC to stop funding deforestation? Click here.

  • Missing the Target

    The urgency to solve our climate crisis feels something like a ship heading off course: The longer you delay, the more you have to turn the wheel.  

    Consider these numbers: 2, 350, 1990. These were the original climate goals. In 1975, at the time of the first Greenpeace whale campaign, environmental economist William Nordhaus proposed that the danger threshold for a temperature increase above Earth’s preindustrial average would be 2°C. This goal was not considered entirely safe, but beyond this target we risked severe climate disruption and likely runaway heating.

    James Hansen from the US, Climate Scientist and professor, outside the Norwegian courthouse in Oslo while an unprecedented legal case is filed against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. The plaintiffs, Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, argue that Norway thereby violates the Paris Agreement and the people's constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations. The lawsuit has the support of a wide group of scientists, indigenous leaders, activists and public figures.  © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
    Dr James Hansen, 2016

    The 350 figure came from several climate scientists, including Dr James Hansen, who co-authored the first NASA global temperature analysis in 1981. Hansen proposed that to remain below the 2°C target, we would have to hold the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere below 350 parts-per-million (ppm). In 2007, Bill McKibben adopted Hansen’s target for the name of the climate activist group, “if we want to stabilise climate”, Hansen said in 2012, “we must reduce CO2 … back to 350ppm.”

    To achieve this, we must reduce human carbon emissions. In 1990, the Stockholm Environment Institute confirmed the 2°C maximum and, in 1991, the first climate COP met in Berlin with the goal of returning carbon emissions to the 1990 level. Achieving the 1990 carbon emissions, about six billion tons per year, only represents a good start. Ultimately, we have to reduce human carbon emissions from our current 10 billion tons to about 2-billion tons per year. That will require an 80% reduction in the use of fossil fuels.


    Some European nations have retained the 1990 emissions targets, although none have achieved this. Most other nations have abandoned the 1990 emissions date in their recent 2015 Paris “pledges”. The US and Canada move the target forward 15 years, to 2005 and only pledge to reduce emissions 17% below those levels. Neither nation has done anything significant to achieve even this pathetic goal. Claims in North America and Europe of “reducing” carbon emissions reflect, primarily, exporting those emissions, the dirtiest industries, to nations such as China, India and Mexico. If we look at emissions-per-capita, the US and Canada still lead the pack and the European Union remains well above the world average and above a pace that would lead to 1990 emission levels.

    Other nations — such as Mexico, Israel and Brazil — have only pledged to hold emissions below a “business as usual” future projection, which is almost meaningless. Likewise, China will only commit to “reducing carbon intensity”, which is a similar measure of emissions versus economic growth, also meaningless in the effort to actually reduce carbon emissions. As a atmospheric scientist, Tim Garrett, said in a recent email: “The bathtub only stops filling when the tap is turned off, not when we stop cranking it open.”

    Since the first COP conference in 1990, carbon emissions have increased by about 67%. In any practical sense, we can consider the original 1990 emissions target abandoned by the politicians. 


    By 1930, primarily from burning coal, humans had pushed Earth’s CO2 content above 300ppm for the first time in over 500,000 years: through four glaciation-warming cycles, most of the fire-making history of Homo erectus and the entire history of Homo sapiens

    Jim Bohlen and Bob Comings transfer the Greenpeace flag from the Phyllis Cormack to the Greenpeace II, the minesweeper Edgewater Fortune. Discovery Passage, coast of BC.  © GreenpeaceJim Bohlens and Bob Cummings in Canada, 1971

    When Greenpeace began in 1971, atmospheric CO2 stood at 325ppm. We learned of the climate threat in the mid-70s, when a colleague of James Lovelock sent us a hand-drawn graph. By 1991, atmospheric CO2 had increased to 355 ppm. A recent January 2017 reading, after 25 years of climate conferences reached 406.47ppm, and in April 2016 a Mauna Loa reading registered over 409ppm.

    Serious ecologists still cling to the 350ppm goal and scientists know that this is what it will take to have a chance of stabilising Earth’s climate, but national policies, international conferences and some environmental groups have abandoned it in favour of promises to establish carbon taxes, improve carbon intensity or improve “business as usual” projections. While we fiddle, Earth burns.


    Nevertheless, the ultimate question is whether or not we can keep the human-industrial average Earth temperature increase below 2°C. Paleoclimate data tells us that there is a simple relationship between CO2 content and Earth’s average temperature. There are multiple factors and feedbacks, such as methane releases and forest decline, but the CO2-to-temperature relationship remains consistent: for every doubling of CO2 measured in parts-per-million, Earth will experience approximately a 3°C temperature increase (2.2°C to 4.8°C, depending on the feedbacks that are triggered, and recent feedbacks suggest the higher range). We will reach a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 when we reach 560ppm. 

    During the 141 years between 1850 and 1991, human industry increased atmospheric CO2 content by about 0.5 ppm per year. However, during the last twenty years of that stretch, we were increasing CO2 content by about 1.5ppm per year. In the ten years between 2006 and the latest readings from 2017, we were increasing CO2 by about 2.5ppm/year, and in the three years between 2014-17, we have been increasing CO2 by over 3.5ppm/year. 

    If we continue at this business-as-usual rate, increasing the atmospheric carbon at 3.5ppm/year, we will reach 560ppm by 2060. If we reduce the rate from 3.5ppm to 2.5ppm/year, we buy a couple of decades and reach that unhappy milestone in about 2078. In either case, this means a +3°C temperature increase at least, and the risk of runaway heating — due to methane releases, forest loss and other feedback factors.

    If we begin immediately to phase out fossil fuels and achieve a 50% reduction by 2100, we still reach 560ppm, a +3°C temperature increase and runaway heating by about 2075. That represents an epic fail.

    So, if we are serious, we require a much faster and immediate reduction in fossil fuel consumption, which honest climate scientists have been suggesting for decades. We need to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 80%, and quickly, over the next 30 years, before 2050. This means cutting carbon emissions from 10 billion tons per year, to two billion tons/year by 2050.

    Starting now, we need to slash global carbon emission by about about 4.5% per year for the next 30 years. That means a 450 million ton decrease this year. 

    We can no longer be satisfied with flying around the world to conferences to talk about it or dither about future technologies. We can no longer pretend that we can continually grow our global economic footprint and solve the climate crisis with electric cars and windmills. The “carbon capture” technologies promised by industry for decades have failed to materialise, with no sign of success for the future. The only way to actually reduce emissions is to reduce fossil fuel use. Windmills and solar panels might help, but they haven’t helped so far because we’ve remained delusional about their carbon-costs (for steel, cement, mining, and so forth) and because these energy technologies have only added to our energy supply, not actually reduced fossil fuel consumption. 

    Representatives of several NGO's and hundreds of supporters demonstrate in Groningen against the Essent/RWE coal plant in the Eemshaven. With this action, they urge the government to take concrete steps to phase out fossil fuels. Like many scientists and politicians, Greenpeace pleads for closure of all coal plants in the Netherlands and with the outcomes of the COP21 climate conference in Paris this should be a reasonable decision.  © Greenpeace / Joris van GennipEemshaven coal plant protest in Groingen, Netherlands, 2016

    In isolated regions, some politicians claim we have reduced fossil consumption, but keep in mind: those regions that have significantly reduced fossil fuel use, have exported their dirty fossil fuel sectors to China, India, and elsewhere. Earth’s atmosphere does not care if the carbon molecules rise from Europe, China or India. Total global emissions is the only factor that matters. 

    If every nation signing the Paris agreement met its goal, we would still be headed to 3°C or more. The Paris pledges are not remotely enough and do not represent any sort of “victory.”

    Why do our societies have such a difficult time making this change? “The efforts are not commensurate with the goal,” says Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, because “the inertia in the system (oceans, economies, technologies, people) is substantial.” In physics, inertia is the resistance to changes in motion or direction. In human society, inertia includes the addition of 80-million new people every year, the unrelenting growth of consumption, a growing industrial economy and particularly the wasteful extravagance of the rich. The wealthiest 10% of the global population create 50% of the carbon emissions. 

    In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church forbade certain scientists from publishing their discoveries about the natural world. Ironically, after the 2015 Paris conference, Pope Francis was the only world leader clearly articulating the implications of the scientific data. ”Even to limit warming below 3°C”, he warned, “a radical transformation of capitalism will be necessary.” Today, the deniers of truth represent the Church of Money. The solutions to the climate crisis are simple but unthinkable for the devotees of profit. This has to change if we are to succeed in our climate goals.

    Rex Weyler is an author, journalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International.


    Sources and links:

    “Carbon Dioxide Emission-Intensity in Climate Projections: Comparing the Observational Record to Socio-Economic Scenarios.”  Felix Pretis, Max Roser, Oxford University Dept. of Economics.

    “No way out? The double-bind in seeking global prosperity alongside mitigated climate change,” T. J. Garrett, Univ. of Utah: Earth Systems Dynamics.

    “Why we’re losing the battle to keep global warming below 2C” The Guardian  

    “Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim? J. Hansen, M. Sato, P. Kharecha, et. al. (NASA, Columbia Univ., Univ. Sheffield, Yale Univ., LSCE/IPSL, Boston Univ., Wesleyan Univ., UC Santa Cruz): Cornell University Library

    Daily CO2 readings: CO2 Earth  

    Climate Sensitivity to doubling CO2 = 2.2 - 4.8°C: Nature; summary in The Guardian

  • You did it! We’re Detoxing the Great Outdoors!

    When we launched the Detox Outdoor campaign in late 2015 our goal was simple: Together with you, the outdoor community and Greenpeace supporters, we wanted to eliminate hazardous PFCs (chemicals used in weatherproofing outdoor gear).

    Today, we are sooooo happy to announce that the PFC revolution in the outdoor sector has begun!

    Gore Fabrics, the maker of GORE-TEX® products and a major supplier of membranes and coatings to outdoor brands like The North Face and Mammut, has committed to eliminate hazardous PFCs from their product lines!

    Happy family

    Gore Fabrics will eliminate hazardous PFCs from its general outdoor weatherproofing laminates by end of 2020 and from its specialised weatherproofing laminates by end of 2023.

    This campaign victory belongs to YOU.

    Detox Outdoor Haglöfs Clothing Action in Stockholm. © Greenpeace 22/02/2016Volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts in Stockholm take it all off to protect the outdoors.

    Hundreds of thousands of you took action online, questioned which of the major brands are using PFCs and voted for which of your favorite products should be tested.

    Hikers, runners, campers, climbers, and skiers co-created activities for the Detox Outdoor week of action! The brands were really feeling the pressure, and some early industry leaders emerged as Paramo, Rotauf and Vaude signed Detox commitments to go PFC free!

    The PD Lisca Mountaineering Society in Slovenia joined Greenpeace Volunteers to call for a hazardous PFC-free outdoors. © GreenpeaceThe PD Lisca Mountaineering Society in Slovenia joined Greenpeace volunteers to call for a PFC-free outdoors.

    You then organised over 150 amazing activities around the world to demand that The North Face, Mammut, Hagläff, Black Yak, and other major brands eliminate hazardous PFCs too.

    And many of these brands pressured Gore Fabrics, their main supplier for membranes, to remove hazardous PFCs from their products.

    You are AMAZING! When we come together as outdoor lovers, Greenpeace supporters, donors, and volunteers, we can accomplish anything.

    Thank you for all your efforts and support, this campaign victory belongs to you!

    Edyta Sitko is the engagement lead for the Detox Outdoor Project with Greenpeace East Asia.

    Stefan Durrenberger is the online mobilisation lead for the Detox Outdoor Project with Greenpeace Switzerland.

  • Why Trump’s Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline plans don’t add up

    Stop Dakota Access Pipeline Rally in Washington D.C. 13 Sep, 2016  © Robert Meyers / Greenpeace

    Last week, Donald Trump signed a set of presidential memoranda aimed at boosting the United States’ most infamous and flailing oil pipeline projects: the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the Keystone XL pipeline (KXL).

    Trump wants to speed the approval and construction of the oil pipelines by canceling environmental reviews — a blatant attempt to circumvent US law to benefit fossil fuel companies.

    But the pipelines have already been stalled by Indigenous water protectors and a massive global resistance ignited by the threat these projects pose to sacred sites, drinking water and the climate. That resistance isn’t going anywhere.

     Protest at Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline in the USA phalanx of National Guard and police advance toward a water protector holding an eagle feather at a camp near the Standing Rock Reservation in the direct path of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) where 117 people were arrested.DATE:27 Oct, 2016  © Richard Bluecloud Castaneda / Greenpeace

    Trump’s actions do not make the pipelines inevitable.

    In the United States, presidential memorandum — like Executive Orders— carry the weight of law and guide the actions of the government. However, the orders can’t overturn existing laws. From a legal perspective, no one really knows how effective these orders will be. They appear to have been written without consulting the agencies they affect.

    Both the DAPL and KXL memos attempt to skip environmental review processes mandated by federal law in the United States.

    The KXL memo invited TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, to reapply for a crucial permit that was denied by the Obama administration. TransCanada accepted that invite last week. Called the “Presidential Permit” – it is actually granted by the Secretary of State. The permit is needed because KXL crosses the border between Canada and the US.

    In an interesting twist, this may not go the way Trump’s team hopes. 

    The likely Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil. As a condition of his appointment, Tillerson has promised to recuse himself from any decision involving Exxon for one year. Keystone XL, which would bring tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Exxon has massive tar sands holdings and it is entirely possible Exxon’s tar sands would flow through the KXL pipeline. If that is the case, Tillerson may have to recuse himself from the KXL decision, leaving no clear process for approving the permit. 

    Environmental organisation NRDC points out that the Keystone XL faces a slew of other legal, economic and permit hurdles.

    • Tar sand oil is expensive to mine and exploit, making the pipeline much less financially attractive than it was when it was proposed.
    • The company behind the pipe still needs Clean Water Act permits.
    • The state of Nebraska still needs to approve a route and permit for the pipeline. And the state has seen very wide ranging and well organised opposition.
    • The pipeline’s permit in the state of South Dakota is also being challenged.

     People gather in support of the Standing Rock Nation at the City Center Plaza of San Francisco.  15 Nov, 2016  © Michael Short / Greenpeace

    Trump’s orders are equal part brazen crony capitalism and a confusing morass of legal conflicts.

    Trump also has significant financial ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, whose CEO contributed hundreds of thousands of US dollars to Trump’s campaign for president. Trump might also be personally invested in two major companies building DAPL: Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66. Trump spokespeople have claimed he sold these shares but have provided no evidence.

    The DAPL memo orders the Secretary of the Army (a Trump political appointee named Robert Speer) to ignore the National Environmental Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act “to the extent permitted by law.” The document also attempts to cancel a review of the environmental and social impacts of the pipeline’s proposed route, called an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), currently underway. But legal experts believe that the law will not permit Trump to skip environmental reviews completely.

    And ironically, Trump has ordered a hiring and funding freeze at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has the crucial role of approving the the final EIS for these pipelines, which means Trump’s attack on EPA science might slow the pipeline approval down.

    People power can still stop these pipelines.

    The Standing Rock Sioux, whose water and sacred lands are threatened by DAPL, have already filed a legal challenge and will be taking Trump’s to memo to court.

    And a growing mass movement is standing with Indigenous leadership to stop these zombie projects for good. People across the world are not only taking on the government permits the pipelines need, they are also challenging the banks financing construction.

    One of the biggest underwriters of the Dakota Access Pipeline is Citibank. Citibank actually has rules governing what kinds of projects the bank can fund. Projects that trample Indigenous treaties and rights, while endangering the lives and drinking sources of hundreds of thousands of people, are clear violations of Citibank’s own policies. Cutting off funds for these projects can stop the pipeline cold — regardless of the Trump team’s hamfisted attempt to undermine the laws of the US.

    Send Citibank a message right now: tell it to stand by its principles and cut off funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    Jesse Coleman is a researcher with the Greenpeace Investigations team at Greenpeace USA.

    A version of this blog was originally published by Greenpeace USA. 

  • Why we need Netflix to join the race towards a green internet

    This month Greenpeace released our latest analysis (fifth and counting) of which major internet companies are leading the charge to build a renewably powered internet - and which ones are lagging behind.

    The good news: we see a real race emerging to build an internet that is 100% renewably powered by a range of companies. Previous laggards, like Facebook and Apple, are now scoring near the top of the class, with Facebook executives and Apple's Tim Cook alerting the internet about their good grades.

    The bad news: many of the companies that are now among biggest drivers of internet traffic – video streaming platforms – have not even approached the starting line.

    While it may seem that watching a video online has no physical footprint, powering our online world requires a considerable amount of energy, and is rapidly increasing with the explosion of video. The higher definition a video, the larger the amount of energy needed to deliver it. HD is three to four times more data than standard video, and Super HD is nearly ten times larger.

    Some of the best-known tech brands did better than others in the Click Clean Clean Energy Index

    Streaming video is already responsible for over 60% of internet traffic, and is expected to grow to 80% in some regions by 2020. More than half of the top ten sites in downstream internet traffic in North America are video streaming sites, with Netflix alone commanding over 35% of total downstream internet traffic. Data demand from video streaming is also rapidly expanding in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

    YouTube (Google), iTunes (Apple) and Amazon Video (AWS) – along with increasingly video-heavy Facebook – have all made commitments to be 100% renewably powered. Google, Apple and Facebook have also signed sizable renewable energy deals to bring their reliance on clean energy to more than 50%.

    Netflix (along with Hulu) has done neither. And with over 90 million subscribers already, Netflix is expected to continue to grow as it expands its service to more than 190 countries. Netflix's lack of commitment means its rapid growth is increasing demand for coal and other dirty sources of energy that are a threat to human health and the climate.

    Our latest analysis showed that Netflix's reliance on clean energy is just 17%, with over 80% of its energy coming from dirty and dangerous sources like coal, gas and nuclear. Netflix is not very transparent about its energy use, so we calculated these figures by assessing the energy footprint of Netflix's data center provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

    While AWS is now one of the IT companies committed to 100% RE (since December 2014), it has grown rapidly in the last year in regions like Virginia in the US that have only 2-3% renewable electricity. Its clean energy score fell from 23% to 17% since our last assessment in 2015. Netflix is a customer of AWS for its core data center services, but it should make commitments to use renewables independently, and push AWS and its other digital hosts around the world to shift their operations to renewable energy as rapidly as possible.

    You can make a difference to help Netflix go green!

    When Greenpeace began challenging major internet companies in 2010 to build a green internet, zero companies were willing to commit to be 100% renewably powered. Fast forward six years, and after pressure from customers wanting their cloud to be renewably powered, nearly 20 major internet companies have committed to be 100% renewably powered. These commitments have already translated into a whopping 6GW of renewable energy onto the grid globally, or enough to power more than four million homes for a year!

    Sometimes companies need a push from their customers to get motivated and do the right thing. Just as Apple, Facebook and other IT leaders have shown, Netflix can be a leader in building a renewably-powered internet.

    Join us and tell Netflix you want your movies and favourite programmes to be powered with renewable energy!

    Gary Cook is a Senior IT Campaigner for Greenpeace USA

  • The Amazon Reef: Brazil’s newly discovered and already threatened treasure

    We’ve launched a new campaign to defend the Amazon Reef, a unique and largely unknown biome that may be soon threatened by oil exploration

    The Greenpeace Esperanza on the Amazon river

    In the far north of Brazil, where the Amazon River meets the sea, there is a newly-discovered natural treasure – a hidden coral reef in a region where no one thought possible. Because muddy water from the Amazon River clouds the sea surface, almost no light reaches the reef making finding a reef with a complex marine life there unlikely.

    But that is where the Amazon reef was found – a unique and very special discovery. And it is huge! We are talking about 9,500 square kilometers of formations including giant sponges (which are longer than 2 meters/6.5 feet) and calcareous algae, called rhodolith.

    Amazon River Mouth map

    The discovery of this reef was announced in April 2016 when a group of scientists published an article about it. They believe that the Amazon reef, which spans from from Brazil to the border with French Guiana, could be a new marine biome . They continue to study the reef and the new species found there.

    However, this uniqu