Successes http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/about/successes en A sustainable fishing industry is a fair fishing industry http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/oceans/sustainable-fishing-industry-fair-fishing-industry-20170329 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><div class="field field-image-noderef"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="image"> <img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STOWYT_Web_size.jpg" alt="Greenpeace&#039;s boat the Rising Tide arrives in Shoreham Harbour on its national to" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-blog_landscape" width="620" height="414" /> <div class="image-info"> <div class="license"><a href="/help/copyright" class="node-link">All rights reserved</a>. Credit: Ciaran McCrickard / Greenpeace</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em style="font-weight: normal;">“We will defend our hard-won Common Fisheries Policy reforms. We will continue to devolve management...and rebalance the UK’s inland water quotas to smaller, specific locally-based fishing communities”</em></p><p>- 2015 Conservative Party manifesto</p><p>Greenpeace has a long history of working with small scale and low impact fishers to ensure their voice is heard and government decisions reflect their needs as well as the ocean’s. As the Prime Minister triggers Article 50, the question on many people’s lips is what does this mean for UK fishing communities?</p><p>Conservative fisheries ministers worked very hard to reform the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy, and the reforms mean that actually many of the changes that local fishing communities and NGOs like Greenpeace want to see have been possible without needing to leave the EU. </p><p>Now, as we leave the EU and that policy may no longer be relevant to UK waters, politicians need to work hard to ensure something fair and sustainable takes its place.</p><p>There is no doubt that fishing is complicated. It intersects with issues like devolution, trade negotiations, promises made in the run up to the Brexit vote and a long history of disappointment in the UK fishing industry that has meant that fishing communities, often amongst the most deprived in the UK, are tired of broken promises.</p><p>However, there are three key things that this government needs to remember as they enter into Brexit negotiations and reimagine what a new UK fisheries policy will include: </p><p><strong>1. Fish do not respect borders!&nbsp;</strong>Whatever fisheries policy they come up with, it needs to remember that national borders don’t mean a thing to the fish, and that UK fishers are often fishing from the same group of fish as our neighbours. We don’t fully understand how and when fish stocks move, and climate change is making things even more unpredictable than before, so it’s important for the future security of the fishing industry (as well as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) that we cooperate with our neighbouring countries in our fisheries policies.</p><p><strong>2. Manifesto commitments still stand strong.&nbsp;</strong>In the run up to the 2015 general election, Greenpeace and small scale fishermen made its way around more than 50 coastal communities in a bright yellow fishing boat (pics/ links) to get potential MPs to commit to our action plan for a fishing industry that is both fair and sustainable (link). The campaign was successful! All major political parties committed to put local fishers and the health of our oceans first. This government was elected on promises such as these and post Brexit, they still hold water. A recent Greenpeace investigation revealed just how little progress the government has made so far on this promise with nearly two thirds of fishing quota owned by just three companies!</p><p><strong>3. Any new fisheries policy for the UK can and must have sustainability at its heart.&nbsp;</strong>The number of overfished stocks in the northeast Atlantic has dropped by a quarter in the last 10 years, but the latest data show close to half of all assessed stocks are still being overfished. If there is to be any fish left for future generations and healthy seas, the government must uphold its commitments to set sustainable, evidence-based fishing limits and properly implement the discards ban, as well as incentivise sustainable fishing. Greenpeace is working as part of the Greener UK coalition to call for even more progress to be made in making sure our oceans stay healthy.</p><p>As the UK leaves the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy, this presents a once in a generation moment to reimagine the future of the UK’s marine environment for generations of fishers to come. Politicians are uniquely placed right now to put the health of our oceans and the interests of coastal communities at the forefront of their policy making, making sure that fishing is done sustainably and has the interests of the local community at heart. We, and the fishing communities that depend on these decisions, will be watching.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Oceans Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:20:43 +0000 Rosie Rogers 375989 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk In pictures: Fantastic Forests, celebrate Terrific Trees on International Day of Forests http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/pictures-fantastic-forests-celebrate-terrific-trees-international-day-forests-20170316 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><div class="field field-image-noderef"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="image"> <img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/ForestTitle.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-blog_landscape" width="620" height="465" /> <div class="image-info"> <div class="license"><a href="/help/copyright" class="node-link">All rights reserved</a>. Credit: Greenpeace</div> <div class="caption">Old-growth spruce-dominated forest in Russia</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-image-noderef-caption"> <div class="field-label">Image caption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Old-growth spruce-dominated forest in Russia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This year's global celebration's theme is "Forests and Climate Change". The International Day of Forests raises awareness about the alarming rate of deforestation, which not only accounts for 12 to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through forest fires, but also threatens the livelihood of Indigenous Peoples.</p> <p><img title="&lt;--break-- />" src="/sites/default/modules/Editing/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" alt="&lt;--break->">We have been campaigning against deforestation for decades, most recently we have been <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/hsbc-promises-cut-ties-forest-trashing-palm-oil-companies-20170221">putting pressure on banks like HSBC</a> to stop funding Indonesia's rainforest destruction.</p><p>Together with the <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/heart-amazon-destroyed-20160630-2">Munduruku Indigenous people</a>, Greenpeace also fights against the construction of mega hydrodams in the Amazon.</p><p> These pictures illustrate the wonderful biodiversity of forests worldwide, as well as the threats they face.</p><p><img title="24707==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/Forest1.jpg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Two baby orangutans Madara and Syahrini playing on the ground at Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation in Indonesia. Madara was saved by a civil servant from a trader on November 2, 2014, in Madara village, South Barito. Syahrini was born on October, 31, 2013, in Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation center from a mother orangutan Suja that was repatriated from Thailand.</p><p>© Bjorn Vaugn / BOSF / Greenpeace 2013</p><p><img title="24708==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/Forest2.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Ancient forest in Papua. Greenpeace is calling for an immediate moratorium on all forest conversion in Indonesia to help curb the country's greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard the wealth of tropical biodiversity and protect the livelihood of forest dependent communities. Papua is the last frontier of intact ancient forest in Indonesia.</p><p>© Ardiles Rante / Greenpeace 2008</p><p><img title="24718==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQ9RJ_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Volunteers from the Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Fire Prevention team extinguish fires in October 2016. The team was deployed for the first time in Riau to extinguish and prevent fire in peatland area.</p><p>© Afriadi Hikmal / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24730==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQL6S_Medium_res.jpg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>People take a bath at "Blue River" at South Sorong, West Papua. After struggling for nearly a decade, the people of Manggroholo and Sira villages in Sorong, West Papua managed to obtain permission of village forest management.</p><p>© Jurnasyanto Sukarno / Greenpeace 2017</p><p><img title="24710==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/Forest4.jpg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Scarlet ibis birds fill the sky above flooded lowlands, approximately 20 miles southwest of Bom Amigo along the coast of Brazil.</p><p>© Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace 2017</p><p><img title="24726==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STPP3Z_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>A girl from the Munduruku Indigenous people. Greenpeace has joined forces with Munduruku Indigenous leaders to protest the Brazilian government's plans to build a mega dam complex in the Tapajós River, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.</p><p>© Rogério Assis / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24725==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQFKJ_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>A jaguar in the Brazilian Amazon.</p><p>© Valdemir Cunha 2016</p><p><img title="24715==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/Forest9.jpg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Activists joined the Munduruku on a sacred section of the Tapajós River in Sawré Muybu Indigenous Land&nbsp;to send a clear message to the world: "Damn the dam. Keep the Tapajós River alive". The protest coincided with International Day of Forests, celebrated globally on 21 March.</p><p>© Fábio Nascimento / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24734==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STPOEA_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Forest next to the Tapajós river, in Sawré Muybu Indigenous Land, home to the Munduruku people, Pará state, Brazil.&nbsp;</p><p>© Valdemir Cunha / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24714==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/Forest8.jpg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Cleared rainforest land for a mine outside of Munguba, along the Rio Jari in the Brazilian Amazon.</p><p>© Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace 2017</p><p><img title="24722==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQ8JM_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Whooper swans on a forest lake in Russia. Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) in Russia are huge forest areas (more than 500 km2 or 50,000 hectares) without settlements, transport infrastructure and economic activities. Forest lands have degraded due to forest fires, logging, and extensive forestry, and the timber industry is now turning its attention to IFL. Proper management of forestry in Russia could protect virgin forests.</p><p>© Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24724==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQ8ZF_Medium_res.jpg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Fiby Urskog is a nature reserve located by Lake Fiby, about 16 kilometers west of Uppsala in Sweden. The area spans 87 hectares, of which most is land with unspoiled forest and hiking paths. The area is characterised by its uprooted and fallen trees and moss-rich ground.</p><p>© Christian Åslund / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24723==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQI7O_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Raccoons in the Boreal Forest in Canada.</p><p>© Dave Taylor / Greenpeace 2016</p><p><img title="24728==blog_landscape==none==self==null" src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQ1R4_Medium_res.jpeg" alt="IB Image" /></p><p>Greenpeace protest against forest destruction in Buenos Aires, using one of the city's iconic bridges to make an artistic statement that brought the forest to the city and exposed the situation facing the native forest in the country. According to a recent report by the United Nations, Argentina is among the 10 countries that has destroyed most forest over the past 25 years.</p><p>© Martin Katz / Greenpeace 2016</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Forests forests slideshow slideshows Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:17:06 +0000 Angela Glienicke 375935 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Why it's time to clean up the car industry http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/time-to-clean-up-car-industry-20170321 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><div class="field field-image-noderef"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="image"> <img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STQFE0.jpg" alt="Cars in traffic in London" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-blog_landscape" width="620" height="390" /> <div class="image-info"> <div class="license"><a href="/help/copyright" class="node-link">All rights reserved</a>. Credit: Greenpeace</div> <div class="caption">Traffic in Putney, London</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-image-noderef-caption"> <div class="field-label">Image caption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Traffic in Putney, London </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When Greenpeace kicked off the campaign to phase-out diesel engines last year, my brother Sam was one of the first ones to look concerned. He’d just bought a diesel car second-hand. They’re supposed to be more fuel-efficient than petrol and therefore pump out less CO2 so it had seemed like the greener choice.<!--break--></p> <p>That was inherited wisdom once – but now we know how much more toxic fumes diesel engines put into our air, and how much harm that air pollution causes to our health. Diesel and petrol are like a rock and a hard place with air pollution on one side and climate change on the other.</p> <p>Drivers like my brother Sam aren’t to blame for these terrible options. He cycles to work when he can, but he works for the NHS and sometimes that means he has to drive. Car companies should never have promoted diesel over petrol in the first place, and what’s worse, they’ve now been found to cheat lab tests. We now know they have misled us about how much their cars pollute and that they <a href="http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2015/09/25/power-of-brussels-car-lobby-revealed/">watered down the very standards</a> put in place supposedly to limit pollution.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong style="font-style: normal;">Car makers have lied and misled us for too long. <a href="https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/carmakers-ditch-diesel?source=wb&amp;subsource=20170321apwb01&amp;tysource=9E092" target="_blank">Today we’re launching a campaign to call on the top ten car brands in the UK to immediately stop making diesel cars and commit to going 100% electric</a>.</strong></p> <p>VW used ‘defeat devices’ to cheat the tests on how much toxic fumes their cars were spewing out, and now they are facing a <a href="http://www.vwemissionsaction.com/">class action from UK customers</a> that is <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/20/thousands-join-uk-legal-case-against-vw-over-emissions-scandal">growing by 500 claimants per day</a>. Renault is facing allegations that it used a range of techniques to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/13/renault-diesel-emissions-cheating-france-us-fiat-chrysler">cheat the tests for over 25 years</a>, and many in the industry say cheating is endemic. All the top ten car brands in the UK have models that <a href="https://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/dieselgate-who-what-how">pollute well over the standard</a>, meaning two thirds of the diesel cars on our roads pollute more than they’re supposed to.</p> <p>So when someone like Sam goes to buy a diesel car it might say in the specs that the air pollution (Nitrogen Oxide, or NOx) is limited to a certain number of milligrams per kilometre, when in fact, these cars are polluting much more – up to 15 times as much. All the air pollution in the UK is attributable to <a href="http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2017/03/06/air-pollution-cause-40000-deaths-every-year-fact-check-linked/">40,000 early deaths a year</a> and is linked to all manner of <a href="https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelong-impact-air-pollution">lung and heart conditions and diseases</a>. If we took diesel cars off our roads, we could cut air pollution from NOx by 40% - and that would make a real difference to the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2009/aug/18/percentage-population-living-cities">8 out of 10 people</a> in the UK who live in cities and towns.</p> <p>Car companies made this problem, and its finally time for them to come cleaner – and make our air cleaner too. Drivers have a hugely important role in this campaign, because as consumers the car manufacturers want our approval. And we’re all <a href="https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/stop-air-pollution-now" target="_blank">continuing to push the government to bring the car industry in line as well</a>, because both government and industry are responsible for the problem and both must be made to act.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have to get diesel off our roads as fast as possible because it’s harming our health but of course that doesn’t mean switching back to petrol because both diesel and petrol contribute to climate change. There’s a better option: a mix of electric cars, better public transport and a more pleasant urban environment that’s suited to walking and cycling for shorter journeys. Most of the top ten car brands make at least one electric model in comparable cost and specs to similar sized cars, and as they become more popular the cost will come down. With renewably powered charging networks and sustainably produced batteries, we could transform transport and energy together to create a cleaner, greener future.</p> <p>Cities from <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/02/four-of-worlds-biggest-cities-to-ban-diesel-cars-from-their-centres">Paris to Madrid</a> are banning diesel because of its health impact and <a href="http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/diesel-vehicles-could-banned-entering-12686222">Liverpool</a> is considering following suit. The car companies have gotten away with it for too long – and our healthy air is more important than their profits. Let’s call on the car industry to change and stop this problem at its source.</p><p><strong><a href="https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/carmakers-ditch-diesel?source=wb&amp;subsource=20170321apwb01&amp;tysource=9E092" target="_blank"> Join the campaign today, sign the petition.&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Climate Air Pollution diesel electric cars Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:38:44 +0000 Mel Evans 375966 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Get your voice heard – top five tips for writing to politicians http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/effective-letter-writing <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><div class="field field-image-noderef"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="image"> <img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP0STOI2R_Web_size_with_credit_line.jpg" alt="Greenpeace volunteer lobbying council with Fracking placard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-blog_landscape" width="620" height="413" /> <div class="image-info"> <div class="license"><a href="/help/copyright" class="node-link">All rights reserved</a>. Credit: Steve Morgan | Greenpeace UK</div> <div class="caption">Greenpeace volunteer lobbies local council</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-image-noderef-caption"> <div class="field-label">Image caption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Greenpeace volunteer lobbies local council </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In the era of emails and texts, receiving a letter in the post is rare. But that just makes it even more powerful, says our political adviser Rosie Rogers.<!--break--></p> <p>Whether we voted for them or not, the people elected to represent us in local councils, national assemblies, and Parliaments in Westminster, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are accountable to us as their constituents. People like you and me have given them their power, and they have a duty to represent our views.</p> <p>Building a relationship with a local politician, so you can talk to them about the issues that matter most to you, is a powerful way to help shape political debate. But, how do get your voice heard? Politicians get hundreds of emails every day, so when a handwritten letter arrives at their constituency office it can really stand out and there is much more of a chance that they will read it themselves and respond. </p> <p>Here are my top five letter writing tips and see below for a good example letter: </p><ol> <li><a href="https://www.theyworkforyou.com/"><img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/block_250/images/MP%20finder.jpg" alt="" title="" class="ibimage ibimage_right" width="250" height="167" /></a><a></a>Do your research. Type your postcode into <a href="https://www.theyworkforyou.com/" target="_blank" title="MP finder on They Work for You">www.theyworkforyou.com</a> to find out who your local politician is, their voting record, and what kinds of issues they're interested in. If you use Twitter, start following them online and get to know them. The more engaged you are with their work, the easier it will be to find common ground and develop a positive relationship.</li> <li>Know your ask (and put it at the top of the letter!). Make sure you know your ask- whether it’s to write the Minister who is making the decision you want to influence or asking them to an event- know your ask and make sure to put it at the top and bottom of the letter so it’s really clear what you are asking. </li> <li>Keep it local. Politicians want to hear how issues are affecting your community, and most respond to emotions more than statistics. Even if the issue you want them to address is national, or international, try to make it relevant to daily life in the place where you live.</li> <li><img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/block_250/images/GP0STPAUV_Web_size_with_credit_line.jpg" alt="" title="" class="ibimage ibimage_right" width="250" height="167" />The personal touch. You want to stand out from the crowd, and grab your politician's attention. A hand written letter is one effective way. You could type it, then add your signature by hand, but the personal touch really does make all the difference. Once in a letter to my MP about protecting the Arctic I included a drawing of a polar bear that my cousin did- the MP responded and remarked on the drawing- so getting creative can help you stand out too. Remember -being friendly and polite is completely essential.</li> <li>Send it by post. If you're writing to a UK Member of Parliament, send your letter to their constituency office address, rather than their parliamentary one. You'll find it listed on www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/. And don't forget to request a reply. Good luck!</li> </ol> <p><strong>Watch the video: Rosie Rogers offers advice on how to lobby your MP</strong></p><p> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GB0RnXmdEV0" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Below is an example of the letter that someone in our Political Lobby Network sent their local MP about fracking last year. </p> <p><em>Dear {your local politician},</em></p> <p><em>Firstly, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to meet me and other constituents at the mass climate lobby last month. (always nice to start with a positive and a thank you if you can!) You showed a sincere belief in human-made climate change and a genuine appreciation for our position. I’m sure we will take up your invitation to meet again on this issue in the future. </em></p><p><em>During the lobby we discussed fracking; you outlined your support for the process and noted the strong regulatory framework in the UK. This framework included the “outright ban” on fracking activity in National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). I was shocked to see the recent proposals by DECC, the Department for Energy and Climate Change to weaken protection for these vital areas. </em></p><p><em>As my MP, I’d like you to write to Amber Rudd to ask her to scrap the proposed fracking regulation changes to the Infrastructure act. Please do provide me with her response. The proposed regulations will bring in a raft of worrying changes but most concerning to me is the removal of provisions excluding fracking from SSSI. Only last week I enjoyed a day in the Woldingham &amp; Oxted SSSI just south of our town. These areas are crucial not only for the wide range of rare species that live there but also as green, natural space for the public to enjoy. As you noted in one of your recent campaigns, our green spaces really are precious and so I hope you’ll join me in calling for the upmost protection for these areas. </em></p> <p><em>I look forward to hearing from you and seeing the response you get from the Minister.</em></p> <p><em>Yours Sincerely,</em> </p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> What you can do Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:56:30 +0000 Rosie Rogers 375949 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk Who still banks on destroying Indonesia's forests? http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/who-still-banks-destroying-indonesias-forests-20170314 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-content"><div class="field field-image-noderef"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="image"> <img src="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/sites/files/gpuk/imagecache/blog_landscape/images/GP04WK2_Web_size.jpg" alt="Forest clearance in land owned by a subsidiary of Bumitama Gunajaya Agro, West K" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-blog_landscape" width="620" height="413" /> <div class="image-info"> <div class="license"><a href="/help/copyright" class="node-link">All rights reserved</a>. Credit: Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace</div> <div class="caption">Many major banks need to act and refuse funding to palm oil companies that destroy forests</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-image-noderef-caption"> <div class="field-label">Image caption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Many major banks need to act and refuse funding to palm oil companies that destroy forests </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">A few weeks ago, <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/hsbc-promises-cut-ties-forest-trashing-palm-oil-companies-20170221">HSBC took a big step forward</a> in cutting its links with the destruction of Indonesia's forests by pledging to end funding for destructive palm oil companies. But HSBC is not the only bank lending money to palm oil companies pushing further and further into the forest, and the others now have a lot of catching up to do.<!--break--></p><p dir="ltr">HSBC brought in a new policy after we showed how it had been involved in providing loans to some of the most destructive palm oil companies and hundreds of thousands of people around the world demanded tougher action. We still need to see how good HSBC is at putting this new policy into practice, but if done right it could put significant pressure on palm oil companies to stop destroying forests.</p><p dir="ltr">Other banks, however, are lagging way behind. When we threw the spotlight on HSBC's role in deforestation earlier this year, we <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Forests-Reports/Dirty-Bankers/">also highlighted 17 other banks</a> from around the world that are also shelling out for less-than-responsible palm oil companies.</p><p dir="ltr">Take Standard Chartered, for instance - it's based in the UK but does most of its business in Africa and Asia. At least it has a <a href="https://www.sc.com/en/resources/global-en/pdf/sustainabilty/Palm_Oil_Position_Statement.pdf">palm oil policy on its website</a> - many of the banks we surveyed didn't even go that far. However, the policy is weak. Only certain types of forest are mentioned as no-go areas, and it says nothing about protecting peatlands other than that it might generally be a good idea. That’s despite the fact that clearing peatlands for palm oil is a cause of forest fires in Southeast Asia, fires which cause a huge health crisis in this area.</p><p dir="ltr">Like many other banks, Standard Chartered refuses to talk about its palm oil customers, claiming legal restrictions prevent it from doing so, which makes it very hard for anyone else to judge how well it keeps any commitment to protecting forests.. But as HSBC demonstrated, there is a way round this - its palm oil customers are now required to give permission to be named, otherwise they'll be refused business. HSBC still hasn't said what (if anything) it will do with this information, but it does show there's an easy way to make sure lending to palm oil companies is transparent, if only banks have the will to do it.</p><p dir="ltr">You may remember Standard Chartered as the bank that, following another Greenpeace campaign, <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/big-win-reef-standard-chartered-choses-coral-over-coal-20150811">pulled out of the giant Carmichael coal mine in Australia</a> that threatened the Great Barrier Reef. So we know Standard Chartered changed direction in the past when faced with a damaging situation and a public outcry.</p><p dir="ltr">Other banks have even lower standards and often their policies will reference things like protecting forests or human rights, but these lack a clear indication that funding will be refused if customers are found to be in breach.</p><p dir="ltr">ANZ is one of those that doesn't have a published policy, despite being a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Bank of America does <a href="http://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/Environmental-and-Social-Risk-Policy-Framework.pdf">have a policy</a> that covers labour standards, but fails to set strong benchmarks on deforestation and peatland clearance. <a href="https://www.db.com/cr/en/docs/DB-ES-Policy-Framework-English.pdf">Deutsche Bank fares even worse</a>, with only human rights concerns like forced or child labour covered. There are mentions of forest and peatland protection, but only in that customers are expected - not required - to have plans to address these issues.</p><p dir="ltr">BNP Paribas <a href="https://group.bnpparibas/uploads/file/csr_sector_policy_palm_oil.pdf">fares better</a> with peatland clearance and human rights abuses listed as prohibited, although it too only requires customers to protect certain types of forest, those identified in surveys as high conservation value. This leaves the door wide open to continued forest clearance, although BNP Paribas has said it is working on a new policy.</p><p dir="ltr">Will it and other banks take the hint and follow HSBC's lead? When you see what some of the palm oil companies are up to, it's hard to think otherwise.</p><p dir="ltr">Recent satellite images have shown that the a palm oil company controlled by of one of these companies - South Korean conglomerate POSCO Daewoo - is preparing to clear a colossal area of forest in Papua. We flagged this palm oil concession in our evidence to HSBC as one of great concern, and since the end of December a network of roads have appeared in what was intact forest. It's a clear sign that this area - about the size of Luton - is about to be cleared.</p><p dir="ltr">Those banks funding POSCO Daewoo - ANZ, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered, amongst others - should be using their influence to prevent this destruction, and this is just one example. Our investigations have linked global banks with other notorious companies that have destroyed forests and violated the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.</p><p dir="ltr">We're waiting to see what action Standard Chartered and other banks will take to halt the flow of cash to companies that continue to cause environmental and social havoc. To make sure the message is getting though, we've placed a full-page advert in today's Financial Times - generously paid for by over 3,500 Greenpeace supporters.</p><p>Banks funding palm oil companies need to take a hard look at their involvement in the ongoing devastation of Indonesia. HSBC has shown it's possible to have far stronger commitments on protecting forests, so now there's no excuse.</p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Forests anz bank of america BNP Paribas deforestation deutsche bank forests HSBC indonesia palm oil standard chartered Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:07:24 +0000 jamie 375924 at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk