Greenpeace Blog

Threats and intimidation down Amazon way

Posted by jamie — 30 August 2007 at 2:48pm - Comments

As the narrator of this startling video states, "working in the Amazon forest is not for the faint of heart." In the past, people from campaigning organisations have been bullied by land owners and workers, facing intimidation, violence, death threats and even murder.

How the World Bank and HSBC are investing in deforestation

Posted by jamie — 29 August 2007 at 1:53pm - Comments

Timber being sawn up in Bandundu province, DRC

Back in April, at the World Bank's spring meeting, there was much talk about the plight of the Congo rainforest. We'd just published a big report detailing how in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) logging titles were being granted in breach of a moratorium that the bank had been instrumental in establishing. The report launch was so high profile, we were able to force DRC's rainforest high onto the agenda of the World Bank meeting and have also managed to secure another session at the upcoming autumn meeting.

Update: Amazon land settlements suspended

Posted by jamie — 29 August 2007 at 9:39am - Comments

There have been further developments in the Amazon. As we reported last week, Greenpeace Brazil published its investigation into deals between a Brazilian government agency and logging companies over areas of rainforest under the guise of a land settlement programme.

Halting the Arctic 'goldrush'

Posted by jossc — 28 August 2007 at 1:01pm - Comments

Polar bears: running out of time and space?

Lights go on at Sainsbury's

Posted by jamie — 28 August 2007 at 11:37am - Comments

Volunteers in Blackburn with Seize the Light flags signed by Woolworths customersSomething that happened a few weeks ago but has slipped through the net is that Sainsbury's has announced an improved policy on light bulbs. By committing to phasing out those wasteful incandescent bulbs by 2010, they join Asda and Morrisons (who also recently shifted their stance) further up our league table. That still only gives them a D, but it leaves three supermarkets lower down - Tesco and the Co-op at E and Somerfield a disappointing F.

Meanwhile, there's been no further word from wooden spoon winners Woolworths since their CEO's response to our day of action, but we're still working on them. You may have been invited to sign a 'Seize the Light' flag outside you local branch, as groups of Greenpeace volunteers (like the Blackburn group pictured) have been collecting signatures to show Woolworths that their customers want them to help everyone improve their energy efficiency by getting rid of out-dated, inefficient light bulbs.

If you haven't emailed Woolworth CEO Trevor Bish-Jones, now's the time - everyone who's done so has received a personal response, and you could be one of those lucky people. Or if you fancy a bit of flag-signing, contact your local Greenpeace volunteer group and find out how you can help everyone make the switch.

Iceland ends commercial whale hunt

Posted by jossc — 24 August 2007 at 4:28pm - Comments

Iceland's senseless resumption of commercial whaling has now been suspended

In a setback to the whaling industry worldwide, Iceland's fisheries minister has just announced he will not issue further commercial whale-hunting quotas.

Iceland announced last year a return to commercial whaling and a quota of 30 minke whales and nine fins. But with virtually no market in Iceland and fears of contamination making Japan unwilling to purchase North Atlantic whale meat, the hunt has been a disaster. Since its introduction last year, Icelandic whalers have killed only seven minkes and seven fin whales, haven't made public the results of contamination testing on the whale meat, and can't seem to convince anyone to buy their product.

Brazilian government to investigate land reform scandal

Posted by jamie — 23 August 2007 at 3:13pm - Comments

A girl from a landless community in Para State, BrazilOur exposé earlier this week about how a Brazilian government agency is handing out areas of the Amazon rainforest to logging companies under the guise of a land settlement programme has set the proverbial cat among the pigeons. The government, has been stressing that deforestation levels are falling but has also said it will launch a full investigation into the situation.

Andre Muggiati, one of our Amazon campaigners, has been doing a slew of interviews for the Brazilian and international media, including the main national radio station in Brazil where he was followed by Guilherme Kassel, the Minister for Rural Development who is responsible for the National Institute of Colonisation and Land Reform (Incra). An impromptu debate ensued during which Muggiati invited the minister to join him on a visit to Santarém to see for himself the impact these underhand deals are having on the rainforest.

20% renewables by 2020? Not without a new energy policy...

Posted by jossc — 22 August 2007 at 12:59pm - Comments
Bad energy: inefficient centralised energy generation is a major contributor to global warming

Bad energy: inefficient centralised energy generation is a major contributor to global warming

Over the next decade, Britain needs to invest tens of billions on renewing its dilapidated energy infrastructure. Many of our current nuclear, coal and gas power stations will close, and the electricity transmission and distribution grids themselves will need replacement.

Which provides us with a once-in-a-generation chance for the government to redesign our energy market. We have the perfect opportunity to go for maximum environmental efficiency, whilst ensuring energy security and reliability of supply.

Amazon forest carved up in resettlement scam

Posted by jamie — 21 August 2007 at 9:18am - Comments

A settlement on the banks of the Amazon

It was almost too good to be true. When the Brazilian government announced last week that deforestation rates in the Amazon had dropped for the third year running, it was certainly a cause for celebration. But it now transpires that one of the government's own agencies is colluding with logging companies so they can gain access to areas of high-value timber that would otherwise be off limits.