Introducing Kumi Naidoo as new Greenpeace International Executive Director

Posted by jossc - 16 November 2009 at 3:25pm - Comments

"After several years in the anti-poverty movement I came to see how the struggles against poverty and climate change are two sides of the same coin. All our different struggles are linked together."
Kumi Naidoo

Today Kumi Naidoo takes over as the new executive director for Greenpeace International. Kumi is a well-known activist, involved with the anti-apartheid struggle from the age of 15. His strong involvement in South African politics led to his arrest there in 1986. He was forced into exile in the UK in 1989.

In this video he outlines why we must have the courage to push for an energy revolution and create a green economy while there is still time.

He is a Rhodes Scholar and earned a doctorate in political sociology at Magdalen College Oxford. For the last ten years he has been the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and has also sat on the board of Greenpeace Africa.

Kumi has also written a comment piece for BBC News's Green Room column.

web editor
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I've just read the article on the BBC website 'Greenpeace to take poverty focus' and the new head of Greenpeace's refocusing of the organisation toward impacts on the world's human poor. I feel that while his concerns are personally laudable, nevertheless the focus of Greenpeace as I understood it was to move beyond the anthropocentric concerns of mankind and address holistic issues of eco-system sustainability and the intrinsic value of all life irrespective of its aesthetic qualities or its uses to man.

There are already organisations (ones which the new head is already associated with) that deal with human poverty. Therefore after supporting the organisation for over 20 years I am now inclined to cancel my standing order/membership and redirect my money to an organisation that supports the ideals that Greenpeace used to represent.

You may have taken the theme of this story a little too literally. We're not going to become a development organization!

Were we refocusing its aims and values I would share your concern that we would lose our uniqueness as an organization. But we still basically want a green and peaceful world.

What Kumi has said is that ‘Justice is applicable to all of life: human, plant and animal'. The key message that he brings is for Greenpeace to achieve our goals we need to focus on equality and justice as well.

This issue is currently being played out in the negotiations for Copenhagen. Unless we apply compassion and justice to the way we respond to the climate crisis, we stand very little chance of gaining the deal that we need from these debates.

Kumi has also written a comment piece for BBC News's Green Room column. web editor gpuk

I've just read the article on the BBC website 'Greenpeace to take poverty focus' and the new head of Greenpeace's refocusing of the organisation toward impacts on the world's human poor. I feel that while his concerns are personally laudable, nevertheless the focus of Greenpeace as I understood it was to move beyond the anthropocentric concerns of mankind and address holistic issues of eco-system sustainability and the intrinsic value of all life irrespective of its aesthetic qualities or its uses to man. There are already organisations (ones which the new head is already associated with) that deal with human poverty. Therefore after supporting the organisation for over 20 years I am now inclined to cancel my standing order/membership and redirect my money to an organisation that supports the ideals that Greenpeace used to represent.

You may have taken the theme of this story a little too literally. We're not going to become a development organization!

Were we refocusing its aims and values I would share your concern that we would lose our uniqueness as an organization. But we still basically want a green and peaceful world.

What Kumi has said is that ‘Justice is applicable to all of life: human, plant and animal'. The key message that he brings is for Greenpeace to achieve our goals we need to focus on equality and justice as well.

This issue is currently being played out in the negotiations for Copenhagen. Unless we apply compassion and justice to the way we respond to the climate crisis, we stand very little chance of gaining the deal that we need from these debates.

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