Greenpeace Blog

France ups the stakes with a green "revolution"

Posted by bex — 30 October 2007 at 11:49am - Comments

A tad belated but I just couldn't let this one pass. Last week, these words emerged from France's environmental policymaking forum:

"From now on, every major public project, every public decision will be judged on its effect on climate, and on its carbon cost. Each public decision will be judged on how it affects bio-diversity. The onus won't be on ecological decisions to prove their merit, but on non-ecological projects to prove they can't be done any other way. Non-ecological decisions must be taken as a last resort. It's a total revolution in the way we govern our country."

Ministers that "get it" and those that don't

Posted by benet — 29 October 2007 at 7:13pm - Comments

It's easy to talk about the government as if it were a single, all-powerful, bureaucratic machine, with tentacles stretching out from Downing Street into every aspect of our daily lives. Of course, it simply isn't like that.

Governments are a collection of individuals: from the 22 who sit round the Cabinet table, through the hundred or so ministers in various government departments, their political special advisers and civil servants. Throw in the external pressures of the media, business, and organisations like Greenpeace, and you see that far from being a single machine, it is a complicated alliance of individuals who come together to form the body politic. And as the Environment Minister Hilary Benn said today, it's important that they all "get it" on climate change.

Nuclear power: an ailing industry

Posted by John Sauven — 25 October 2007 at 6:13pm - Comments

By John Sauven, Greenpeace UK executive director. This first appeared on Comment is Free.

It really comes as no surprise to see the Financial Times has today reported that Gordon Brown's plans for more nuclear power stations appear to be in total disarray. Government rhetoric has long masked the fact that the ailing, subsidy-gobbling nuclear industry should have been put out of its misery years ago.

Biofuels: A small group makes a big, bad decision

Posted by benet — 25 October 2007 at 1:47pm - Comments

On Tuesday afternoon, a small group of MPs met in committee room 11 at the House of Commons to vote on the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO). It was a "delegated legislation" committee; which means they vote on things that would take up too much time on the floor of the House of Commons.

However, this time it was no small legal technicality being decided. Instead they voted to allow a measure which could lead to further trashing of the rainforests.

Indonesia gets its own climate change camp

Posted by jamie — 24 October 2007 at 1:42pm - Comments

The Forest Defenders Camp in Sumatra, Indonesia

Climate change and deforestation are inextricably linked. Forest destruction contributes around one-fifth of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transport sector, and the problem is so severe that Indonesia and Brazil are ranked third and fourth respectively in the list of top emitting countries, mainly because of deforestation.

It's against this background that our latest Forest Defenders Camp opened a couple of weeks ago on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, located on the frontline where the peatland forest is being cleared for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is used in hundreds of food and cosmetic products, as well as biofuels.

It's rip-off Britain, even when it comes to climate change

Posted by John Sauven — 23 October 2007 at 3:54pm - Comments

North Hoyle offshore wind farm

John Sauven, our executive director,writing in The Guardian on why Gordon Brown's reluctance to embrace the economic and environmental potential of renewable energy technology is costing us time, money and could eventually cost us the climate.

At the centre of Britain's efforts to tackle climate change are targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency and ultra-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

Yet as warnings about the impact of global warming grow more severe, every single one of those targets is projected to be missed or has already been abandoned.

Why you should act on climate change (whether or not you believe it's real)

Posted by bex — 23 October 2007 at 2:28pm - Comments

Thanks to a few of our Facebook friends for this one - why it makes sense to act on climate change, whether or not you believe it's real:



Brown's plans to scupper Europe's climate deal

Posted by bex — 23 October 2007 at 11:55am - Comments

Gordon Brown
Update: our executive director John Sauven has written on why Gordon Brown's reluctance to embrace the economic and environmental potential of renewable energy technology is costing us time, money and could eventually cost us the climate here.


British prime ministers have a longstanding tradition of taking on the less savoury characteristics of their US counterparts pretty soon after coming to office. For Blair, it was a propensity towards using weapons of mass destruction. For Brown, it's trying to scupper vital climate change deals.

On the same day that scientists have shown that carbon emissions are accumulating far more quickly than predicted, leaked documents reveal that Labour wants to work with the nuclear-obsessed French and the climate-sceptic Polish presidents to undermine a vital European deal on renewable energy. The deal - to generate 20 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020 - was only finalised by European leaders including Tony Blair earlier this year.

Policy meltdown

Posted by John Sauven — 19 October 2007 at 9:52am - Comments

This claim to Antarctic land epitomises the government's lack of a coherent approach to tackling climate change.

In April, the British foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, took climate change to the UN security council for the first time. Of major concern of the government, she said, were the expected "major changes to the world's physical landmass during this century," that would result from unabated climate change. It is a bitter irony, therefore, that it should now be that same British Foreign Office that is trying to profit from the melting ice of Antarctica and exploit precisely the changes to the world's landmasses that Beckett warned us about.

Greenpeace activists held captive in the Amazon

Posted by jamie — 18 October 2007 at 11:26am - Comments

A mob led by loggers prevents Greenpeace activists from leaving Brazilian government offices

A mob led by loggers prevents Greenpeace activists from leaving Brazilian government offices ©Greenpeace/Rodrigo Baleia

There's been further friction in the Amazon between Greenpeace staff and angry loggers and townspeople. It's all ended peacefully but the situation was tense and they were holed up overnight under police protection. This from Reuters:

Police escorted a group of Greenpeace activists from a remote town in the Brazilian Amazon on Wednesday after hundreds of loggers and townspeople besieged them overnight in protest against an anti-global warming campaign, the environmental organization said.

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