Posts Tagged 'Greenpeace'

SERIOUS MONDAY: GREENPEACE SAYS GIVE COAL THE BOOT

 

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NASA environmental expert, James Hansen, has warned that we must phase out coal within the next 20 years – or the climate might never recover.

His comments provide extra ammunition – if any is needed – for the current Greenpeace campaign to prevent the building of more coal-fired power stations in Britain.

Greenpeace is asking the public to get behind its protest by signing up to its Give Coal the Boot campaign.

You can add your signature – or rather your footprint – to its map of the UK here and leave your own personal message.

There’s also an animated Greenpeace video, CoalFinger, which spells out the dangers of our continued use of coal. You can view it at www.coalfinger.com

Susan

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SERIOUS MONDAY: AT LAST – A DEPARTMENT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Environmentalists across the UK have welcomed the creation of a new government department for climate change and energy.

MP, Ed Milliband will head up the new department which brings together for the first time energy and climate responsibilities. Previously they were split between two different departments.

The move has been welcomed by those keen to see the government do more about climate change and energy use – and it has been described as “fantastic news” by Greenpeace.

Susan

SERIOUS MONDAY: WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR TUNA?

 

We eat a lot of tuna in our house – and invariably opt for market leader, John West, so I was pretty upset to read the latest report on tuna fishing from Greenpeace.

John West has come out  bottom of the league when it comes to using sustainable fishing, according to Greenpeace and it wants people to join its campaign for better tuna fishing. 

After the USA, Britain is the world’s largest consumer of tuna but Greenpeace says major companies are contributing to the decline of sea turtles, sharks, rays and other sea creatures. 

Most tuna sold in the UK is now “dolphin friendly” and most of us look for that on the tin but Greenpeace says a lot of our tuna is caught in nets and this leads to heavy by-catch of other species.

And as if that wasn’t enough, apparently tuna has been over-fished to such an extent that most of the 23 commercial stocks are now in danger of being wiped out completely.

So, until companies like John West get their act together, we’ll be buying Sainsbury’s – which came top of the Greenpeace league because ALL of its tuna is now pole and line caught – rather than with nets which threaten other species of marine life.

You can check on your brand of tuna – and sign up to the Greenpeace campaign here 

Susan

SERIOUS MONDAY: NEW BLOW FOR HEATHROW PROTESTORS

Supporters of the controversial plan for a third runway at Heathrow Airport claim a new report proves the development is essential.

The report, by York Aviation will come as a blow to the growing number of protest groups set up to fight the plan – which would mean the loss of a village and possibly thousands of homes in other nearby areas.

Greenpeace, which is backing protest groups, held a special climate camp conference over the weekend to discuss what could be done if the government approves the runway plan – and said it would discuss all suggestions, from mass mailings to mass direct action – so clearly, the gloves are coming off !

However, AOL News said today that a report commissioned from York Aviation concludes that the runway is “the obvious solution” to airport congestion and London Chamber of Commerce claims the report proves beyond doubt that the runway is vital for business

The report says an alternative plan, to extend Stansted Airport, would be a less effective answer but concedes that a third runway at Heathrow is likely to have the most significant cost in terms of environmental impact.

Greenpeace says it wants the Heathrow protest to become “the biggest NO the world has ever seen” and is calling on environmentalists to join the campaign against the third runway.

You can find out more about the Greenpeace protest here – and there are also links to other campaign groups involved.

SERIOUS MONDAY: NINTENDO IS BOTTOM OF THE CLASS

Many shoppers now look for good energy ratings when they buy new gadgets or appliances – but that’s not the only thing you need to think about before choosing your brand.

Environmental group, Greenpeace, publishes a green consumer guide covering some of the top manufacturers – and in its latest report, computer giant Microsoft and games supremo, Nintendo come off very badly.

The Greenpeace rating takes into account a variety of factors such as the presence of toxic chemicals in a product, whether the company has a good energy-saving record and its commitment to recycling of discarded products.

The guide is updated every three months and the latest, published a few days ago, puts Sony at the top of the tree (although even the Sony score can hardly be described as brilliant since it gets only 5.1 out of a possible 10 marks.)

Others that fare pretty well are Nokia, Samsung and Dell but Microsoft and Nintendo are currently bottom of the league.

Nintendo in particular has an almost non-existent score – managing just 0.8 out of 10, although it has apparently improved slightly on the use of toxic chemicals and is praised by Greenpeace for its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Sadly, it scored a big fat zero on all e-waste criteria, hence its pitiful overall score – which is even well behind the next worst in the league, Microsoft, which gained a score of 2.15.

So, before you invest in the next new piece of equipment, step one is to ask yourself whether you REALLY need it in the first place. We have become a real throw-away society, often discarding perfectly good gadgets just because we want a newer version.

Then, if you still think it’s a must-have, log onto the Greener Electronics Guide and check the environmental score of the big brand-names.

Greenpeace says the guide is designed to make the electronics industry face up to the problem of e-waste. It is pushing manufacturers to get rid of harmful chemicals in their products and it wants to see an end to the stories of “unprotected child labourers scavenging mountains of cast-off gadgets.”

Clearly, if people start buying more from the more environmentally-aware manufacturers, this will provide a big incentive to the poor performers to clean up their act.

Susan

SERIOUS MONDAY: AN ALTERNATIVE TO NUCLEAR PLANTS


Environmental organisation, Greenpeace, believes it has come up with an excellent solution that could help to meet Britain’s energy needs and reduce C02 emissions.

It has commissioned research into CHP (combined heat and power) which it says shows that industrial sites around the country offer a great opportunity for bulk electricity generation.

According to Greenpeace, power stations in the UK currently waste almost two thirds of the energy they generate – and a massive 20 per cent of our total CO2 emissions come from the fuel which is burned to create this “wasted” heat.

Greenpeace says  the government has so far focused mainly on electricity generation but this accounts for only 17 per cent of our total energy demands whereas almost half of our energy needs are in the form of heat.

It says the government has no heat strategy for the UK and is concentrating on nuclear power which can provide only electricity whereas CHP has the  potential to generate enough power for the annual needs of two thirds of UK households.

The research carried out for Greenpeace by leading energy experts Poyry, claims that this potential could be harnessed by siting combined heat and power plants at existing industrial sites.

And it has identified nine sites around the country where CHP plants could be installed to meet the heat and power needs of local industry and supply electricity back to the national grid.

The proposal also offers substantial cost benefits since an industrial CHP plant is much quicker and cheaper to build than a nuclear power station. (Greenpeace cites the example of a CHP development at Immingham which supplies two refineries in Humberside with heat, steam and power. It is being expanded at the moment and is eventually expected to have the same generating capacity of  Sizewell B power station!)

You can read a summary of the report here

If the statistics stand up, it sounds like the obvious way forward but if it really is that simple then it begs the question – why hasn’t anyone thought about this before now ????

Susan

SERIOUS MONDAY: THREE CHEERS FOR GREENPEACE

Environmental group, Greenpeace, has achieved a major victory in its campaign to protect rainforests from the ravages of the palm oil industry.

Last week, it sent protestors dressed as orang-utans to the London HQ of Unilever which uses palm oil in its Dove product range and dozens of other volunteers protested at a Unilever factory near Liverpool which makes Persil soap powder (which also contains palm oil.)

Initially, Unilever bosses said they wouldn’t be forced into a quick decision on the matter, but within days they appear to have changed their tune, promising support for a moratorium on oil from unsustainable sources.

Greenpeace claims Unilever was buying its palm oil from firms that are destroying valuable rainforest and peatland areas.

As well as affecting millions of people who depend on the area for their way of life and endangered species such as the orang-utan, it was also bad news from a climate change point of view.

The Greenpeace protest followed the release of a new report: How Unilever Palm Oil Suppliers Are Burning Up Borneo  and in the face of huge protests, Unilever is now suggesting that by 2015, all its oil will be from  sustainable sources

The Greenpeace report claimed that Unilever suppliers are actively involved in rainforest destruction, pushing species like the endangered orang-utans to the brink of extinction and speeding up climate change.

Hundreds of thousands of people have since joined the  Stop Dove destroying rainforests campaign and in the space of a week, more than quarter of a million people watched the Greenpeace video about Dove  on YouTube.

Greenpeace says as one of the world’s biggest users of palm oil, Unilever has a huge influence on how suppliers operate.

Greenpeace UK director John Sauven said “Unilever’s commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil will be meaningless unless its suppliers stop trashing Indonesia’s rainforests – this is why the moratorium is so important. Every day that Unilever keeps buying palm oil from these suppliers, orang-utans are pushed closer to extinction.”

Greenpeace wants Unilever to use its position as Chair of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to encourage other member companies to follow suit. (It claims that Unilever has held this infuential position for the past six years – yet during that period not a single drop of sustainable palm oil has actually been produced.)

Currently, according to Greenpeace, Indonesia is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, partly due to the destruction of its forests for palm oil.

And it says that although Unilever’s website suggests it makes all efforts to be environmentally and socially responsible, the reality is very different when it comes to palm oil.

If you’d like to support the Greenpeace protest, you can email Unilever through its website
There’s also information on how to add a picture to the growing Dove protest picture gallery.

Susan