Freitag, 18. Oktober 2013

Greenpeace and corporations - a never ending, complex story

The public image of Greenpeace is one of "corporate bashers". But the full story is much more complicated. Greenpeace indeed challenges power and the status quo because business as usual will deliver nothing but run away climate change, more poverty and a poisoned planet. Challenging the powers that be is therefore essential to achieve real benefits for people and the planet. In a world in which already 44 of the 100 largest economic entities are multinational corporations, the powers that need to be challenge are and will – increasingly often – be corporations. My personal aspiration has always been a world in which governments ensure the rights of all to a decent environment by effectively regulating corporate behavior. I want governments to outlaw destructive practices, from dangerous chemicals to nuclear power. As a step in the right direction, governments should make corporations fully liable for their social and environmental impacts, including the impacts of their supply chains. But while I am proud to occasionally help disrupt destructive business, I am also proud to work for an organization that actively supports the solutions the world needs. Greenpeace never says no without offering an alternative. That´s why Greenpeace has teamed up with the renewables industry, for example, to show that we can deliver clean energy for all and cut climate damaging gases – our energy revolution scenario. That´s why we support communities from Papua New Guinea to Canada managing their forests sustainably, not for short term profits. We are so committed to getting solutions the world needs adopted fast, that we are, at times, even willing to praise corporations that - as a whole - are still part of the problem. We say “well done” to Coca Cola for eliminating climate damaging refrigerants from their cooling equipment, because the benefits for our climate and future generations are significant and real. Though what we aim for remains clean production, globally, enshrined by law. I was happy to shed some light on the complexity of the relationship between corporations and Greenpeace at the FSC In Good Company conference in Copenhagen last week. You can watch the full session here:

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