World leaders will be gathering in Paris this December for COP 21 which is a UN sponsored conference to address climate change. As political leaders begin to negotiate how best to deal with climate change, ordinary people will also be gathering around the world to make their voices are heard on this important issue. You can join Greenpeace on Sunday the 29th November in London for a march to express your views.
Show David Cameron we care
The conference will see leaders from nearly 200 countries come together to hopefully produce a significant agreement to tackle climate change. While not everyone can make it to Paris, demonstrations will be taking place all over the world, including in the UK. Greenpeace will be showing its solidarity with other organisations and individuals across the UK to express to Prime Minister David Cameron that we all want strong action on climate change.
Many organisations joining the march
The idea is to ensure that when Mr. Cameron does sit down to negotiate in Paris he has the image of thousands of people marching through London’s streets for the climate. Greenpeace will be participating in the People’s March for Climate Justice and Jobs in London along with a variety of organisations and is inviting your to come along too.
Save the polar bear
Regardless of whether this is your first demonstration or 100th, this is an opportunity to come together with fellow supporters of Greenpeace and take a stand for strong and effective climate change action. Greenpeace will be taking part in the main event with the ‘March of the Polar Bears’ which will include a carnival filled with puppets music and paw prints. The polar bear is the symbol of climate change and a species we would all love to protect.
This year is important
In 2014 hundreds of thousands of people took part in marches across major cities as part of the People’s Climate March. This year there is added significance because the demonstration takes place on the eve of crucial climate change talks so Greenpeace needs as many people as possible to come together and tell political leaders we care.
The question often asked is whether the UK has the ability to run on renewable energy and how long it would take to achieve that goal. Greenpeace is often asked those questions and has now gone a long way towards answering them.
No need for nuclear energy
The NGO has just released an new independent report from energy systems analysts Demand Energy Equality which suggests that by the year 2030 the UK will have the ability to mainly use clean renewable power. This means it will be possible to keep the lights on without the need for new nuclear power plants. The research was commissioned by Greenpeace and makes use of 11 years of real weather data for the first time to model electricity demand and supply from renewable energy on an hour by hour basis.
New technology makes the goal achievable
Whilst the plan maybe ambitious, it is achievable. The model proposed is viable on an economic basis if the government decides it will support a major expansion of onshore and offshore wind and solar farms. The plan also envisages the introduction of new technology such as ‘smart fridges’ which will use less energy during peak hours. There will be better technology with regards to storage of electricity, electric cars, tidal power and in general energy efficiency.
Recently the UK government said that nearly two thirds of the country could be opened up for fracking. Unsurprisingly many people got angry and there were a ton of protests that sprung up all over the country.
Clearly there is a lot of anxiety around the new technology which seeks to find hydrocarbons through hydraulic fracturing aka fracking. People want to tell energy companies that injecting chemical cocktails and horizontal drilling underneath their homes is not wanted and any attempt at fracking is trespass and violation of the law.
According to the Not for Shale legal block, without either a statutory provision or permission, fracking companies who drill underneath homes would be breaking the law. According to the group, common law explicitly states that homeowners rights extend to underneath the property and if you are someone who rents the same rights also apply as tenant unless the lease agreement says otherwise.
Whilst there are no specific laws which prohibit fracking underneath people’s homes, the energy industry has been lobbying hard for the government to introduce one. What the industry wants is for the government to supersede the rights of individuals so that companies need not seek permission to dill under homes.
Since the government may well end up changing the law it is crucial for people to act now. That is why the more people who join the legal block the harder it becomes for companies to drill under houses and ignore the law. Join the Not for Shale Legal Block
Greenpeace has been asking 15 luxury European fashion houses a series of questions about their supply chains, in an effort to Clean Up Fashion. These have helped to find out whether they are using dangerous business practices to source their materials to make their goods. The scheme, called ‘The Fashion Duel’, showed that many of the world leading brands such as Chanel and Prada are failing to commit to taking urgent steps to halt the use and release of hazardous chemicals.
The only major fashion label that were transparent with how they are sourcing their materials and toxic waste disposal were Valentino, so it may be time for the other houses to take note. Their designs show that high fashion can be created without the need for pollution or the destruction of rainforests.
Valentino have made a commitment that by 2020 they will have eliminated the use of any hazardous chemicals from their supply chain. They have also pledged to reinforce their and policies on the how they source their leather, pulp and paper to ensure they can help protect rainforests.
So if Valentino are up to the task, why not everyone else? Notable mega brands that failed the Fashion Duel included –
Dolce & Gabbana
Here’s hoping that the other big brands take a note out from the Valentino fashion house’s books and realise that the beauty of the planet is far more important than profit. If you would like to learn more about the work of Greenpeace and would like to support their cause, check out our dedicated charity page to find out how you can help them change the world for the better.
Great news filtering through that a long term Greenpeace campaign has been successful in helping to protect the world’s rainforests. Greenpeace has been campaigning for an astounding ten years to ask A.P.P. (Asia Pulp & Paper) to stop destroying vast areas of Indonesian forest, and now they have finally set the wheels in motion to stop.
The company, which is one of the largest producers of paper in the world, has now published a new policy for rainforest conservation. This should hopefully see the end of the destruction of this vital habitat. Not only the endangered Sumatran tigers that live there, but also the many forest communities who call this place home.
Greenpeace put pressure on the people that use A.P.P. for their packaging, showing that being associated with a company that destroys rainforests is not good for business. Mattel, National Geographic and Xerox all seemed to agree with the Greenpeace stance and dropped their contracts with Asia Pulp & Paper, with KFC looking to do the same.
This fall from grace saw A.P.P. sit down to negotiate with Greenpeace in Jakarta, and have finally agreed to end their destruction of the rainforests for profit. This agreement has only been put down on paper, so let’s hope these permanent changes are fulfilled. Just goes to show you how perseverance really can pay off. If it wasn’t for Greenpeace’s work over the last decade, this agreement would never have seen the light of day.
If you would like to learn more about the work of this amazing environmental charity, or help provide funds through their Greenpeace Giving initiative, check out our dedicated page for more information.
Greenpeace is looking for your support to ask Waitrose to drop their planned partnership with Shell, seen by many as one of the world’s most destructive companies. Waitrose are planning to add Shell petrol stations to their stores across the country, but as we know, Shell are intent on the destruction of the Arctic with their drilling.
Waitrose have built up a very ecological and environmental profile over the years, helping to protect vulnerable fish stock for example. You even receive a token with each shop where you can choose a charity to support as you leave by dropping it in a slot. So why have them teamed up with Shell then?! After making such an effort previously to save the world’s fish stocks, surely they should be choosing the environment over Shell?
Shell recently broke American law when their Arctic Challenger vessel was found to be making four illegal fluid discharges. There plans for Arctic drilling is sure to cause massive problems for the eco system in one of the few untouched natural areas left on the planet. ‘Safe drilling’ is a fantasy in an area of like this, and there is no technology that can clean up the oil spills that are inevitable if Shell continue with their plans.
Greenpeace is asking you to add your voice to there’s to make Waitrose see sense and abandon their partnership with Shell. Simply click on the link below to send a message to Waitrose’s managing director and help save the Arctic before it’s too late.
Together, we can start to make a real difference to the world around us if we all pull together.
Everybody loves the Star Wars based Volkswagen adverts, right? Or maybe it’s just me, having been an avid collector of the figures back in the day, these ads were the perfect homage to my early years trying to ‘use the force’. It never really paid off for me, as even though the pen is my current weapon of choice, I reckon I would have been a dab hand with a lightsaber!
Well, Greenpeace has taken a lead from the Volkswagen idea and produced their own Star Wars related advert in an attempt to put a stop to VW’s opposition to key environmental laws. Volkswagen are currently spending millions of Euros every year to fund lobby groups to try and stop Europe increasing its commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses.
With being the biggest car company in Europe, comes great responsibility, and VW must make a change and support the planned reductions in greenhouse gasses from 20% to 30% by 2020.
If you would like to join the Greenpeace ‘rebel alliance’, simply click on the link below to add your voice in the call to turn Volkswagen away from the dark side. I just did and it literally takes 30 seconds.
It’s never too late to help lead the universe to a brighter future. If Darth Vader can change, so can VW…
Greenpeace Giving virtual gifts are a great way to show someone you care for them and the environment. Each gift idea is unique and purveys a positive message and provides much needed funds to aid Greenpeace’s worldwide campaigning.
The recipient will receive –
a cool animated e-card that can be scheduled for a specific date
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the 8.9 magnitude earthquake which ripped through Japan on Friday, generating a tsunami some say was 15 meters high, is the worst crisis Japan has faced since the end of World War 2. The effects have been devastated the north east section of the country and produced fears of a nuclear meltdown at a power station
Currently the confirmed death toll stands at 1,596 people according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, however that figure is likely to increase substantially over the coming days, with police warning that the death toll in the Miyagi region alone will exceed 10,000.
Large numbers of survivors are gathered in emergency shelters, and many are without fresh running water, heat and power.
The situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a day after an explosion at the nuclear power plant. The cooling systems of two of the nuclear reactors at the power plant have failed following the earthquake, and there are serious fears that both are in danger of melting down, which could have potentially serious consequences for the environment.
On Saturday, a hydrogen explosion blew apart the building housing reactor 1, where technicians had been releasing radioactive steam as part of their attempts to cool the reactor.
The Japanese government says it is likely that the two reactors have already suffered at least a partial meltdown, but since the explosion took place on Saturday there has been no confirmation over the extent of the damage, largely because the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power has been unable to view the state of the reactors.
Sea water is being injected into reactors 1 and 3 in an attempt to cool them a last-ditch move that will render the reactors unusable.
The authorities say that radiation levels around the damaged plant have exceeded legal safety limits and tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from within a 20km (12.4-mile) radius. “The current situation of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plants is in a way the most severe crisis in the past 65 years since World War II. Whether we Japanese can overcome this crisis depends on each of us. I strongly believe that we can get over this great earthquake and tsunami by joining together.” Mr. Kan said.
The earthquake has been both heart breaking and devastating for the Japanese people, and the world has responded with the The United States, the United Kingdom, China, and South Korea among 69 governments that have offered to provide assistance. A number of rescue teams from around the world arrived Sunday in Japan and are helping lead a broad international effort to bring relief to areas ravaged by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami.
Aid groups such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have sent teams to some of the worst-hit areas, including Sendai, Narita, Asahi and Tokyo. Mercy Corps International teamed with Peace Winds Japan to rush aid to affected regions.
The UK has sent a search and rescue team made up of 63 fire service search and rescue specialists. The team also includes medical support staff and two dogs, all of whom are already in Japan, the UK foreign office has said.
Despite the devastation there have been some remarkable tales of survival with the Kyodo News Agency reporting of a dramatic rescue of a 60 year old man that had been swept 15 kilometers out to sea off Fukushima prefecture.
The man, identified as Hiromitsu Shinkawa of Minami Soma, was swept away with his house. Mr. Shinkawa was later spotted floating in the sea, waving a self-made red flag while standing on a piece of his house’s roof.
After being rescued Mr. Shinkaqwa said that he and his wife had been swept away by the tsunami whilst returning home to gather some possessions following the earthquake, with his wife unlikely to have survived.
“I was saved by holding onto the roof,” he said, “but my wife was swept away. No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me, I thought today was the last day of my life.”
When a member of Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force handed him something to drink on the rescue boat, Shinkawa drank it and burst into tears, Kyodo reported.
How You Can Help Those in Need In Japan
If you would like to help with the disaster relief effort in Japan there are a number of charities you can support with a charity donation. The terrible natural disaster will have a long lasting affect on the country of Japan so please donate whatever you can.
British Red Cross The Japanese Red Cross has been working on the ground since the disaster began, mobilising 86 teams, made up of around 600 doctors, nurses and support staff, to provide first aid and healthcare and assess the damage and needs of the communities affected.
Global Giving This fund will support organizations providing relief and aid to victims.
Save the Children have launched a £1 million appeal to help families affected by the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami. They have a team in Japan and are responding to the needs of children affected by the disaster.
World Vision is bringing immediate relief supplies to those left homeless. They are also sending teams to provide help for children who have been traumatised by the double disaster.
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake ripped through Christchurch on Tuesday 22nd February at 1 PM leaving many parts of the city which has a population 350,000 in ruins. The city has imposed a curfew in some of the worst stricken areas, with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key declaring a state of emergency.
The earthquake has left an official death toll of 75, with many more expected and at least 300 individuals still unaccounted for. According to the mayor of Christchurch, some 120 people have been rescued since the earthquake struck on Tuesday, and he remains optimistic over the prospects of the 300 still unaccounted.
There have been heartwarming tales of people being saved such as Ms Ann Bodkin, who was pulled from rubble nearly 24 hours after she was trapped in a painstaking rescue effort. Ms. Bodkinwas re-united with her husband just as the sunlight began to stream through the grey darkness that had enveloped Christchurch.
The world and in particular the UK has responded to New Zealand’s hour of need with charity donations, plus rescuers from Britain equipped with cutting edge technology and sniffer dogs joining local rescue teams to sift through the rubble.
The New Zealand Red Cross has so far opened one evacuation centre which has a 2000 person capacity and expects that more temporary accommodation is likely to become necessary. The organisation has started efforts to help people locate missing family and loved ones, through its restoring family links service, having deployed a telecommunications team to Christchurch with the service being operational tomorrow morning.
The town of Swindon is bidding to become the countries most water efficient area. The Save Water Swindon campaign has been launched in conjunction with WWF UK, Waterwise and Thames Water to help ease pressures on the natural environment whilst also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is for Swindon to be used as an example to the rest of the country as they prepare to reduce their water use. Residents of the Wiltshire town will be supported in their efforts to save water for the next 12 months by the Environment Agency who have deemed the area seriously water stressed.
The average person in Swindon uses 164 litres per person per day, which is approximately 16 litres more per person than the national average. The Government’s target is for people to use 130 litres per day, which is made worse in Swindon as the area has a high population density and water is scarcer than anywhere else in England and Wales. The Save Water Swindon campaign estimates that by saving 20 litres of water a day, the average home can reduce not only their energy bills by £100 a year, but also their greenhouse gas emissions.
WWF Ambassador and presenter of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud said –
Save Water Swindon is an ambitious campaign that will set a precedent for how large-scale water efficiency in existing homes can be achieved – with benefits for homeowners and the environment. As we continue moving towards a more holistic sustainable lifestyle, both in our homes and the way we live, water efficiency will play a significant role. Not only will reducing demand for water help reduce the amount we need to take from the environment it can also reduce greenhouse gases and as a result our home energy and water bills.
With up to 6% of the UK’s greenhouse gases resulting from water prep and distribution alone, now is a great time to make a change. To help Swindon reduce its water use, house owners can register online below for a free water saving makeover or have a trained fitter visit their home. Once inside he can give a house a free water audit and then advise on the best water saving products and install them – all for free!
> > Sign up for free water saving makeover
Freshwater Policy and Programme Officer at WWF-UK, Rose Timlett, said –
All the water we use at home comes from the natural environment. People tend not to realise that when they turn on the tap or flush the loo the water could be coming from the local river and when we use too much it’s bad news for the animals and plants that live there. With water use on the up, a growing population and the threat of climate change it’s vital that we all take steps now to reduce the amount of water that’s wasted and help protect some of our most special native species, like the otter, water vole and brown trout. Reducing the amount of water we use is something we can all achieve with minimal effort. We hope that other villages, towns, and cities will follow Swindon’s lead.
Help WWF UK with a Charity Gift
The WWF is a non profit organisation who can only sustain their tireless work in saving the planet and its inhabitants through donations. You can help raise funds through the WWF Adopt an Animal scheme.
From as little as £3 a month you receive a certificate, a print of your animal, a greetings card, and a soft toy that would make a fantastic charity gift for a loved one.