Greenpeace (Global)

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Greenpeace is one of the world’s leading environmental organizations.

Money

Greenpeace has a significant income, primarily from foundation grants. Their most recent Form 990 includes:

  • $5,121,059 in assets
  • $32,791,149 in revenue
  • $32,445,546 in expenses
  • $3,947,775 in liabilities

These are standard numbers for Greenpeace. It is estimated that Greenpeace’s leadership commands a fortune of $360 million worldwide, with operations headquartered mostly in  Europe. In the US, Greenpeace spends an average of $10 million per year on environmental activism.

Power

  • Greenpeace is the world’s single largest individual environmental organization. They have over 3 million individual members and offices in 40 countries.
  • Greenpeace’s primary targets currently include the whaling industry, nuclear energy expansion and deforestation.
  • Greenpeace is present in almost every American home. In the US, Greenpeace has made substantive inroads into federal regulation with a focus on “overfishing.” In 2006, Greenpeace began a “sustainable eating” program for fish, which greatly influences FDA and USDA sustainable consumption guidelines for seafood.

Background & History

As defined by Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Greenpeace states its goal is to “ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity” and focuses its work on world wide issues such as global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and anti-nuclear issues. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals. The global organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties, relying on more than 2.8 million individual supporters and foundation grants.

Greenpeace evolved from the peace movement and anti-nuclear protests in Vancouver, British Columbia in the early 1970s. On September 15, 1971, the newly founded Don’t Make a Wave Committee sent a chartered ship, Phyllis Cormack, renamed Greenpeace for the protest, from Vancouver to oppose United States testing of nuclear devices in Amchitka, Alaska. The Don’t Make a Wave Committee subsequently adopted the name Greenpeace.

In a few years Greenpeace spread to several countries and started to campaign on other environmental issues such as commercial whaling and toxic waste. In the late 1970s the different regional Greenpeace groups formed Greenpeace International to oversee the goals and operations of the regional organizations globally.

Greenpeace received international attention during the 80s when the French intelligence agency bombed the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, one of the most well-known vessels operated by Greenpeace, killing one. In the following years Greenpeace evolved into one of the largest environmental organizations in the world.

Greenpeace is known for its direct actions and has been described as the most visible environmental organization in the world. Greenpeace has raised environmental issues to public knowledge, influenced both the private and the public sector. Greenpeace has also been a source of controversy; its motives and methods have received criticism and the organization’s direct actions have sparked legal actions against Greenpeace activists.

Greenpeace Controversies

Lawsuits have been filed against Greenpeace for lost profits, reputation damage and “sailor mongering”. In 2004 it was revealed that the Australian government was willing to offer a subsidy to Southern Pacific Petroleum on the condition that the oil company would take legal action against Greenpeace, which had campaigned against the Stuart Oil Shale Project.

Some corporations, such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Électricité de France have reacted to Greenpeace campaigns by spying on Greenpeace activities and infiltrating Greenpeace offices. Greenpeace activists have also been targets of phone tapping, death threats, violence and even state terrorism in the case of bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.

Allegations of Internal Misconduct

Early Greenpeace member Canadian Ecologist Patrick Moore left the organization in 1986 when it, according to Moore, decided to support a universal ban on chlorine in drinking water. Moore has argued that Greenpeace today is motivated by politics rather than science and that none of his “fellow directors had any formal science education”. Bruce Cox, Director of Greenpeace Canada, responded that Greenpeace has never demanded a universal chlorine ban and that Greenpeace does not oppose use of chlorine in drinking water or in pharmaceutical uses, adding that “Mr. Moore is alone in his recollection of a fight over chlorine and/or use of science as his reason for leaving Greenpeace.” Paul Watson, an early member of Greenpeace has said that Moore “uses his status as a so-called co-founder of Greenpeace to give credibility to his accusations. I am also a co-founder of Greenpeace and I have known Patrick Moore for 35 years.[…] Moore makes accusations that have no basis in fact”.

A French journalist under the pen name Olivier Vermont wrote in his book La Face cachée de Greenpeace that he had joined Greenpeace France and had worked there as a secretary. According to Vermont he found misconducts, and continued to, from Amsterdam to the international office. Vermont said he found classified documents according to which half of the organization’s € 180 million revenue was used for the organization’s salaries and structure. He also accused Greenpeace of having unofficial agreements with polluting companies where the companies paid Greenpeace to keep them from attacking the company’s image. Animal protection magazine Animal People reported in March 1997 that Greenpeace France and Greenpeace International had sued Olivier Vermont and his publisher Albin Michel for issuing “defamatory statements, untruths, distortions of the facts and absurd allegations”.