Also by John Sauven

Britain's chronic dependence on oil

Posted by John Sauven — 7 March 2011 at 4:16pm - Comments
Melting icebergs in the path of rigs in the Arctic, the latest oil frontier
All rights reserved. Credit: Will Rose / Greenpeace
Melting icebergs in the path of rigs in the Arctic, the latest oil frontier

Disquiet around fuel prices always makes ministers sit up and take notice. This is the fourth time in a decade that spiraling oil prices have left politicians facing angry motorists demanding ministers do something about petrol prices.

Negotiators face a steep climb to rescue climate agreement

Posted by John Sauven — 29 November 2010 at 1:22pm - Comments

It isn't making the big headlines we saw last year, but the need for a global climate agreement is more obvious than ever as climate impacts accelerate.

Business and government can make swift changes when they want... or are forced to

Posted by John Sauven — 18 October 2010 at 12:22pm - Comments

Jeff Swartz, CEO of Timberland wrote recently in the Harvard Business Review, 'You can tell a lot about how your day is going to unfold by the number of e-mails that are waiting for you ...  On June 1, 2009, they kept coming, and coming, and coming.'

The emails flooding Jeff Swartz's inbox were coming in response to a newly released Greenpeace report about deforestation in the Amazon. The gist of the report was that (a) Brazilian cattle farmers are illegally clear-cutting Amazon rainforests to create pastures, and (b) the leather from their cows might be winding up in shoes - including Timberland's.

Reverse the decline in green taxes

Posted by John Sauven — 28 October 2009 at 1:07pm - Comments

Originally published on Comment is Free, John sets out how we could use the levers of the economy to shape a greener future.

Talk is cheap, and valued accordingly. At some point ministers will need to translate their climate rhetoric into the language of real change – money. Since 1997 the proportion of government revenues derived from green taxes has actually fallen. The cost of motoring (despite the tabloid headlines) has fallen by 13 per cent in real terms since 1997, while bus and coach fares have increased by 17 per cent above inflation.

For most of us, political speeches are a dull drone in the background while the message that always comes through loud and clear is spelt out in pounds and pence. If we're serious about confronting climate change – and everyone actively involved in the debate claims to be – then some taxes are going to have to rise.

An open letter to political leaders calling for climate action

Posted by John Sauven — 11 October 2009 at 11:33pm - Comments

Dear Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg,

Dozens of Greenpeace volunteers scaled the walls of the Palace of Westminster yesterday and spent the night on the roof to welcome you back from your summer break. The threat of climate change is so grave that it requires radical action and we believe that what we are doing here today is necessary to send a clear message to the country's politicians. If we don't change the politics and take real action here and internationally we will lose our chance to save the climate.

12 policies to save the climate and our planet

Posted by John Sauven — 11 October 2009 at 4:21pm - Comments

With parliament coming back, a general election looming and the Copenhagen climate summit just weeks away, this is the time for rhetoric to stop and action to start. That’s why we’ve written this manifesto. The policies show that we can protect the environment while also protecting our economy. We want all politicans to steal our policies.

By using the big economic levers we can have sustainable recovery, create green jobs and cut emissions. But for this to happen politicans need to set aside short term party politics and work together to tackle the really important issues. And frankly, if any political party doesn’t adopt these policies, we should be asking them why not?

Surveillance or harassment?

Posted by John Sauven — 14 April 2009 at 1:25pm - Comments

This blog by Greenpeace UK exective director John Sauven first appeared on the Guardian's Comment Is Free

Today reports have begun to circulate that police have carried out what according to the Guardian "is thought to be the biggest pre-emptive raid on environmental campaigners in UK history, arresting 114 people believed to be planning direct action at a coal-fired power station". The arrests don't really come as a huge surprise to me. What we are witnessing today is a massive increase in police surveillance of environmental campaigners and an increasing number of environmental groups being infiltrated by informers.

How deep are the shifts in politics?

Posted by John Sauven — 2 March 2009 at 3:47pm - Comments

Our executive director John Sauven is writing today about green investment and starting the office off on a spring blog relay. Over the next couple months we'll be asking different Greenpeace staff and volunteers to write for our blog each day so that you can find out a bit more about the many different people, ideas and roles behind our campaigns.

Since the 'big crunch', world leaders have been forced to think the unthinkable.

Even Peter Mandelson, who once said he was "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich", now questions New Labour's unbridled, unregulated capitalism.

He recently explained: "Partly through our need to reassure that we were no longer the 1980s Labour party, partly because there was a new economic orthodoxy prevailing in the economy, we emphasised or played up our belief in markets, profits, even privatisation as a model."

We need a rescue package for the planet

Posted by John Sauven — 24 February 2009 at 4:56pm - Comments

Tar Sands

Tar sands excavation in northern Canada is a devastating display of the consuming passions of our economy.

Although the global extent, length and depth may be in dispute, everyone agrees the world is suffering a serious financial and economic crisis.

The financial sector in a number of countries, including the US, is close to being technically bankrupt. Beyond the financial sector a number of industries in the UK and elsewhere are teetering on the edge. These include sectors responsible for infrastructure such as transport and telecommunications.

The debts being ratcheted up by some countries will take generations to pay off and in the coming decade will lead to both tax rises and heavy cuts in public expenditure. It's a dramatically changed landscape that will impact hugely on Greenpeace's work along with many other organisations and companies.

EU climate deal: 'We're still way, way off the mark'

Posted by John Sauven — 12 December 2008 at 6:42pm - Comments

This blog by Greenpeace UK exective director John Sauven first appeared on the Guardian's Comment Is Free.

As the science of climate change gets increasingly urgent, the will of Europe's political leaders to act on the climate crisis seems to be weakening by the day.

The EU climate package was meant to herald a new and unprecedented level of ambition in tackling climate change. Compared to what the science dictates, we're still way, way off the mark. The deal suffered from destructive forces within the EU representing their own country's self interests at the expense of an EU-wide deal.

Follow Greenpeace UK