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Updated: 18 min 59 sec ago

Making climate risk count

Wed, 2021-09-15 11:11

Companies publish annual financial accounts which are signed off by their auditor – in the vast majority of cases that’s one of the ‘Big 4’ accounting firms: PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), EY, Deloitte, and KPMG. Those accounts set out the financial health of the company and the value of their assets and are used by investors to assess profitability and investment potential. Yet from Enron to Wirecard, Carillion to Patisserie Valerie, workers, suppliers, shareholders, and taxpayers bear the consequences of continuing failures by auditors to identify problems with company accounts. We believe there is another problem brewing in the form of a failure to properly account for climate risk.

If climate risk was properly integrated into companies’ financial statements and auditor’s reports, we believe many of the assumptions propping up the value of high-carbon companies (e.g. assumptions around future oil prices) would change, helping drive a reallocation of corporate and investor capital away from fossil fuels and other climate destroying activities. However, as analysis by Client Earth demonstrated, the overwhelming majority of UK companies and their auditors are failing to meaningfully disclose climate-related risks, impacts and financial implications.

In February we called out Shell’s grotesque ‘climate plan’ because it’s nothing more than a flimsy greenwash-laden cover for a business plan that will see Shell actually expand its fossil fuel activity in the next decade. So, we’re not at all surprised that their rhetoric has not translated into hard numbers in their financial accounts or operating plan. Shell claims that it does not need to include its net-zero targets in its operating plans and pricing assumptions because of uncertainty as to how society will reach net-zero. This should raise red flags about the credibility and feasibility of Shell’s plans, and it also leaves investors in the dark about the impact of such a transition on the value of the company and its assets. Yet, 88.7% of Shell shareholders voted to formally endorse its ‘net zero strategy’.

So far on a global basis, the Big 4 have not responded adequately or consistently to the call by the International Accounting Standards Board – effectively the global accounting standard setter – that they and directors must ensure material climate factors are properly reflected in financial statements.

Shell’s auditor EY seemed incredulous at the idea proposed by some investors that it should have to assess Shell’s accounts against the Paris goals stating: “it is neither possible nor appropriate for EY, as Shell’s auditor, to attempt to provide in our audit opinion Paris-aligned assumptions that are not in our remit to determine”. Deloitte, their competitor and auditor at BP did provide statements in their auditor’s report on the compatibility of key assumptions with Deloitte’s assessment of prices in a ‘2 degree goal scenario’.

Despite some notable exceptions and increasing interest in the issue, shareholders are far from taking the necessary action to tackle the issue of audit and climate change. As of now auditor appointments are waved through by shareholders with very few climate related objections. For example, EY was reappointed Shell’s auditor with 98.43% support and the Chair of the Audit Committee with 98.5%. More encouragingly non-binding shareholder resolutions at Exxon and Chevron calling for audited reports on how key financial assumptions might be impacted in a 1.5 degree world received almost 50% support.

Greenpeace recently joined with groups including Spotlight on Corruption, IPPR, Client Earth, and the Tax Justice Network in calling on the UK government to push ahead with fundamental reform of audit. Companies should be required to disclose how and to what extent their strategy and financial accounts are aligned with the 1.5° goal and, if not, what the implications of doing so would be for the company’s financial statements. Auditors should likewise be required to undertake audits that test accounts against assumptions aligned with the 1.5° goal and flag to shareholders any concerns about the assumptions and estimates used by the company.

Banks and investors now find themselves under a spotlight for their responsibility for climate change. The Big 4 accountancy firms would be naive to think their key role in propping up high-carbon industries will go unnoticed by activists, investors and regulators – or indeed by their pool of prospective employees.

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Categories: Activist News

In pictures: 50 years of making change together

Tue, 2021-09-14 11:38

Together with people like you, Greenpeace has confronted the biggest global environmental threats of the last 50 years. We’ve shown many times that greedy companies and governments are no match for our collective power.

Here are just 6 victories of our victories that changed the world for the better.

 

 

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Categories: Activist News

Fishing communities are at breaking point, and we’re declaring an emergency

Tue, 2021-09-14 11:38

It was worse than we imagined. Operation Ocean Witness launched at the beginning of summer to investigate and confront destructive fishing in Marine Protected Areas. 

We spotted countless industrial fishing boats in the protected areas and learned from local fishers that there are often no fish left for them to catch. It’s almost the end of the road for small-scale fishers along the South and East Coast.

This is an emergency, and politicians should treat it like one. Fishing communities from around the region, along with allied businesses and organisations including Greenpeace UK, are calling on the UK government to take urgent action. You can read our joint statement here.

"Something needs to change, and urgently."@Greenpeace ocean campaigner @fifinicholl says fishermen's livelihoods are being devastated by industrial fishing as a 'State of Emergency" is declared in the Channel and Southern North Sea.#KayBurley: https://t.co/iOm40vn1kt pic.twitter.com/fh6M9gPmna

— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 10, 2021

The changes we’re calling for include permanent bans for supertrawlers, bottom trawlers and fly-shooters in all marine protected areas more than 12 nautical miles from the coast in the English Channel, and a ban on pelagic trawlers over 55m in length, and fly-shooters in the entire English Channel and Southern North Sea. 

These measures would boost catches for local fishers, revive coastal communities and provide space for marine ecosystems and fish populations to recover from years of devastation by industrial fishing. This would also be a vital step towards the UK government delivering its target of protecting 30% of the UK’s and the world’s oceans by 2030.

On Wednesday the 22nd of September, fishing boats and Greenpeace will be sailing up the Thames to Parliament with these demands, to make sure that they are heard by politicians.

Fishing communities are at breaking point

We’ve been at sea all summer bearing witness to the destruction taking place in the English Channel and nearby waters. We’ve worked closely with local fishermen, and when you’re on the water with them, it’s very clear; our fishing communities are at breaking point. They won’t survive much longer without urgent action from the government.

Fishing communities, anglers, charter skippers, fishmongers and environmental groups alike support these measures. We hope that by coming together to fight for the same thing, our government will finally start taking big, urgent, practical steps towards delivering this goal. If these requests are ignored, multinational fishing companies will continue to have free reign to wreck our oceans, threatening the livelihoods of the local fishers who are the backbone of our coastal communities.

Local fishermen speak out

 

The post Fishing communities are at breaking point, and we’re declaring an emergency appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

Great Big Green Week

Mon, 2021-09-13 15:28

There will be over 2000 events taking place across the country for Great Big Green Week, including local Greenpeace group events, where you can get involved in a range of activities to build pressure on the UK government before it hosts world leaders in Glasgow, at the global summit on climate change (also known as COP 26)

At the Greenpeace Local Group stalls, there will be lots of ways that you can make your voice heard at COP 26, like writing personal messages to world leaders. There will be plenty of people to chat to about taking climate action and why the global climate summit is so important.

Enjoying our local communities has become a great way to keep us connected to the things we love. So whether you’re new to an area, or lived there all your life; we hope this will be an opportunity for you to meet and connect with other amazing activists living near you.

The events are open to everyone and will be family friendly, so you are welcome to bring a group or just drop down on your own and say hello.

There will be Greenpeace Local Group events happening across the country – find your nearest event here:

The post Great Big Green Week appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

UK has worst heat pump sales record in Europe

Sun, 2021-09-12 23:01

The UK sells and installs fewer heat pumps per household than Poland, Slovakia and Estonia, as well as most other European countries, according to an assessment of the most up-to-date data by Greenpeace UK [1].

The data, which was provided to Greenpeace UK by the European Heat Pump Association, shows how the UK is seriously lagging behind its European neighbours when it comes to switching to clean sources of home heating and decarbonising its housing sector.

Of the twenty-one countries for which data was available, the UK came joint last on heat pump sales last year, with just 1.3 heat pumps sold per 1000 households [2]. The UK was second to last when it came to total installations, with just 10 installations per 1000 households [3].

The UK’s heat pump sales figures per household were three times lower than in Poland, ten times lower than in France, and thirty-two times lower than sales in Norway.

The disparity is even greater for installations. The UK installed more than five times fewer heat pumps than Lithuania, more than thirty times fewer than Estonia and sixty times fewer heat pumps than Norway – who topped the charts both in sales and installations.

Currently housing is responsible directly for around 14% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions [4], mostly down to gas boiler heating systems in poorly insulated homes. As countries around the world ramp up their efforts to decarbonise housing to help tackle the climate crisis, heat pumps are widely anticipated to become the alternative to gas boilers for heating homes.

This slow rollout of clean sources of home heating in the UK is not only a missed opportunity to create new long term, green jobs, and boost economic growth, but it also risks jeopardising plans to decarbonise housing and derail the UK’s climate commitments. Without action it will undermine the UK’s leadership as host of the upcoming global climate conference, COP26, which is being held in Glasgow in November.

Greenpeace UK’s policy director, Doug Parr, said:

“The UK already has the draughtiest homes in western Europe, now we’re last when it comes to clean heating too. We perform better in Eurovision than we do decarbonising our homes, and that’s saying something.

“If the government wants a chance to catch up, it needs a proper strategy and enough cash to clean up our homes on a massive scale. This means substantial grants for heat pump installations, especially for the poorest families, removing VAT on green home technologies and a phase out of gas boilers early next decade.

“Without these measures, which many of our European neighbours already have in place, we’ll fall further behind on the ‘green homes’ leaderboard. But more importantly we’ll fail to remove emissions from homes fast enough to meet our legally-binding climate obligations.”

The government’s long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy, as well as its Comprehensive Spending Review, are both due this Autumn. They will set out the government’s plans for decarbonising homes and buildings and the finances made available to do it.

There are concerns that the strategy and funding will fall short of what is required to tackle emissions from housing, both in terms of improving energy efficiency of homes and switching to clean heating systems, such as heat pumps.

Greenpeace UK is calling on the government to learn from the policies introduced across Europe that have delivered much faster deployment of heat pumps. This starts with a comprehensive package of grants, loans and tax incentives, such as removal of VAT on heat pumps and energy efficiency products, as well as 0% or low-cost loans for installation.

It is vital to pay particular care to ensure low income families are not disadvantaged by the high capital costs. In the UK it would also require a commitment to phasing out new gas boiler installations early in 2030s within its Heat and Buildings Strategy.

The government grants to cover installation costs for heat pumps should be offered at a level which aims to make the upfront costs of installing a heat pump and complementary energy efficiency measures the same as replacing a gas boiler, with subsidies reducing over time as costs fall. The entire cost should be covered by the grants for low-income households.

This will require new public investment of £4.76 billion from the Chancellor at the Spending Review, in order to leverage private investment, accelerate heat pump installation, down the cost curve, and be fair to low income households. A further £7 billion of public investment is required at the Spending Review for energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and double glazing, in order to sufficiently cut emissions from housing.

ENDS

Notes to editor:

  1. Greenpeace UK briefing: The UK’s poor record on heat pumps
  2. Country Units sold per 1000 households Norway 42.0 Finland 39.0 Estonia 29.0 Denmark 28.0 Sweden 24.0 Lithuania 15.0 France 14.0 Switzerland 12.0 Italy 9.0 Austria 8.5 Spain 7.0 Portugal 6.5 Netherlands 6.3 Czech Republic 5.2 Ireland 4.3 Poland 3.9 Belgium 3.7 Germany 3.5 Slovakia 2.2 UK 1.3 Hungary 1.3
  3. Country Installations per 1000 households Norway 604.00 Sweden 427.00 Finland 408.00 Estonia 343.00 Denmark 192.00 Switzerland 121.00 France 107.00 Austria 92.00 Italy 91.00 Lithuania 54.00 Spain 52.00 Portugal 52.00 Czech Republic 32.00 Germany 31.00 Netherlands 28.00 Belgium 24.00 Ireland 23.00 Poland 17.00 Slovakia 12.00 UK 9.89 Hungary 2.77
  4. Climate Change Committee – UK housing: Fit for the future?

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Categories: Activist News

Celebrating Greenpeace’s 50 years of victories

Fri, 2021-09-10 11:23

It’s truly incredible how much Greenpeace supporters like you have achieved in the last 50 years. Powered by millions of actions and donations, Greenpeace campaigns have won some seriously impressive victories for people and the planet.

Over the past five decades, we’ve grown from a handful of people setting sail to stop a nuclear test to an unstoppable worldwide movement of millions. 

Since the first time the words “green peace” were said together in Vancouver in 1970 (after the decision was made to confront US nuclear weapons testing), together we have confronted countless governments and corporations.

And it’s working.

Last year alone, you helped to get BP to slash oil production by 40% within 10 years. You made the government both ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030 and commit to powering the UK with more offshore wind energy. In 2019, activists and supporters from all across the UK celebrated winning a 10-year fight that got fracking banned

The string of victories stretch across the planet from North to South and as far back as the founding campaigns. Together we kept the Antarctic safe from mining, we got a global ban on nuclear testing and we stopped commercial whaling. We protected the ozone layer with Greenfreeze technology, we protected areas of the Amazon with the Soy Moratorium and we kept big oil companies like Shell out of the Arctic.

Nothing changes without you 

None of these achievements would have been possible without the millions of actions – big and small – of Greenpeace’s supporters. Greenpeace’s supporters are vital to these successes – give their time, money and voices to make us the powerful movement we are today.

For 50 years, Greenpeace campaigns have been changing the world for the better – and all this has happened because of people like you.

Together we have confronted the biggest global environmental threats of the last 50 years, but there’s still more to do. 

With our latest campaigns we’re pushing the government to stop new fossil fuel projects, protect our forests and oceans, stop investors funding climate-wrecking industries and make the green recovery fair for everyone.

DONATE NOW

Want to get more involved with Greenpeace?

Keen to do more to protect the planet with Greenpeace but not sure where to start? From speaking in schools to climbing oil rigs, activism can take many forms. Take this simple quiz to find the one that suits you best.

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Categories: Activist News

A Joint Statement: State of Emergency in the English Channel and Southern North Sea

Fri, 2021-09-10 09:19

English fishermen, together with local fishing businesses, Greenpeace UK, Angling Trust and New Economics Foundation are calling on the UK government to take immediate and urgent action to protect coastal livelihoods and the health of our oceans.

The UK’s oceans and coastal communities are in crisis. Just one third of our fish populations are in a healthy state. Industrial fishing vessels like supertrawlers and fly-shooters have immense catching capacity and are pushing marine ecosystems and fish populations to the brink of collapse, leaving local fishermen with nothing left to catch. 

Greenpeace has been working with local fishermen all summer to document the destruction of the UK’s seas by industrial fishing. When you’re on the water, it’s very clear: our fishing communities – especially in the English Channel and Southern North Sea – are at breaking point. 

Without urgent action, our oceans will be damaged beyond repair and our fishing communities won’t survive. The government has used new post-Brexit powers to ban electric pulse trawling, a perfect example of what is possible when there is political will. Australia banned supertrawlers like the Margiris from their waters over 5 years ago, but the UK has continued to let them fish here.

The government has not properly assessed the environmental impacts of fly shooting, yet such vessels are licenced to fish in UK waters and Defra has removed all catch limits for fly shooters targeting non-quota species for 2021. This fundamentally conflicts with the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act (see definition below). 

That’s why we, England’s local fishermen, anglers, charter skippers, local businesses, Greenpeace and New Economics Foundation, call on our government to protect our oceans and fishing communities – beginning with the following measures: 

English Channel:

  • For the 10 offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that have been designated in the English Channel more than 12 nautical miles from the coast, supertrawlers over 100 metres, bottom trawlers and fly shooters should be banned immediately and permanently (see map below). This will help marine ecosystems to recover from intense fishing pressure and impacts on the seabed, revitalise fish populations and help local fishermen by boosting catches and reviving coastal communities. And it would be a vital step towards the scientifically supported target of fully protecting at least 30% of our oceans by 2030.
  • Pelagic trawlers over 55 metres and fly shooters should be banned immediately from the entire English Channel, on the grounds of the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act, and based on the immense threat these fishing methods pose to the livelihoods of fishermen along the south coast. This would also protect local fishermen from any displacement of industrial vessels banned from English Channel offshore MPAs. A full and thorough assessment should be done of the environmental and local economic impacts of both fishing methods in the waters of the English Channel before any decisions about granting fishing licences are made.  

Southern North Sea:

  • Pelagic trawlers over 55 metres and fly shooters should be banned immediately from the entire Southern North Sea, on the grounds of the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act, and based on the immense threat these fishing methods pose to the livelihoods of fishermen along the coast of the Southern North Sea. This would also protect local fishermen from any displacement of industrial vessels banned from English Channel offshore MPAs. A full and thorough assessment should be done of the environmental and local economic impacts of both fishing methods in the waters of the Southern North Sea before any decisions about granting fishing licences are made.

Additional steps must also be explored to support fishermen operating within the 6 – 12 nautical mile zone in both the English Channel and Southern North Sea, in light of the threat posed by large scallopers and large beamers.

We must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to save our oceans and our fishermen.

Signed: 

New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA) 

Fishing Industry Innovative Supply Hub Newhaven (FIISH) 

Eastbourne Fisherman’s Association

Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance  

Thanet Fishing Association  

Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society 

Pesky Fish 

Sole of Discretion 

Angling Trust 

Greenpeace UK 

New Economics Foundation

The post A Joint Statement: State of Emergency in the English Channel and Southern North Sea appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

Fishers declare emergency in English Channel and Southern North Sea with Greenpeace

Fri, 2021-09-10 09:17

Fishing groups from Eastbourne, Hastings, Thanet, Newhaven and Lowestoft, along with the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA), New Economics Foundation, Angling Trust, fishing businesses Sole of Discretion and Pesky Fish and Greenpeace, have signed a joint statement calling for the UK Government to take urgent measures to protect fishing communities and our oceans [1]. Testimonials from fishers are available here and below [2].

These measures include permanent bans for supertrawlers, bottom trawlers and fly-shooters in all marine protected areas more than 12 nautical miles from the coast in the English Channel, and a ban on pelagic trawlers over 55m and fly-shooters in the entire English Channel and Southern North Sea, on the grounds of the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act.

Fishers along the south and east coasts have had their livelihoods devastated after years of unchecked industrial fishing by pulse trawlers, supertrawlers and fly-shooters. This has severely depleted fish populations, particularly in inshore waters, leaving some local fishers with nothing left to catch. Less than one third of key UK fish populations are in a healthy state [3]. 

Supertrawlers, all of which are EU owned, spend thousands of hours fishing in UK waters annually, including in marine protected areas [4]. Supertrawler fishing times in UK marine protected areas increased by 1000% between 2017 and 2020 [5]. Industrial fly-shooters began focusing operations on UK waters off the south and east coast following the electric pulse trawling ban. Fly-shooting is a highly efficient industrial fishing method with immense catching capacity, which poses a threat to fish populations and the seabed [6].

Jerry Percy, director of the New Under 10s Fishermen’s Association, said:

“It’s really quite simple, the small scale coastal fleet that the government has sworn to protect is now forced to watch their present and future livelihoods being destroyed in front of their eyes, firstly by the huge fleet of powerful EU owned fly-shooters that inexplicably have had all catch limits removed for their target species, and secondly, by massive EU midwater trawlers reducing the resilience of stocks in the Channel to the impact of climate change whilst threatening dolphin and porpoise populations. Tragically, it appears to be only Greenpeace that has been willing to lend its political and practical weight in defence of our coastal fishermen and communities.”

Chris Thorne, an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:

“We’ve been at sea all summer bearing witness to the destruction taking place in the English Channel and nearby waters. We’ve worked closely with local fishers, and when you’re on the water with them, it’s very clear; our fishing communities are at breaking point. They won’t survive much longer without urgent action from the government.

“Fishing communities, anglers, charter skippers and environmental groups alike support these measures which will be an important step towards fully protecting at least 30% of our oceans by 2030. We hope that by coming together to fight for the same thing, our government will finally start taking practical steps towards delivering this goal. If these requests are ignored, it’s clear that ministers are siding with the multinational fishing companies who are wrecking our oceans, instead of the local fishers who are the backbone of our coastal communities.”

John Nichols, a local fisherman in Ramsgate, said:
“My name is John Nichols. I’ve been fishing since August, 1972. We’re a shrinking fleet here. Now, we’ve got 18 vessels in Ramsgate. We’re down to probably 14 of those being reasonably active or active. 10, 15 years ago, we was twice the number. They’re dropping out, not because they want to drop out, but because the quota and what’s available is such that you struggle to earn an honest living.”

This comes as it has been revealed by a Greenpeace investigation that one third of the membership of the UK’s largest industrial fishing lobbying group, the National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations (NFFO), is made up of European fishing companies [7]. This group has lobbied against supertrawlers being banned from marine protected areas.

The joint statement calls on the UK government to act with an urgency that reflects the state of emergency facing fishers along the south and east coasts of England [8].

These measures would boost catches for local fishers, revive coastal communities and provide space for marine ecosystems and fish populations to recover from years of devastation by industrial fishing. This would also be a vital step towards the UK government delivering its target of protecting 30% of the UK’s and the world’s oceans by 2030.

Photo and video of industrial fishing practices in UK waters are available here.

Ends.

Contact:

Greenpeace UK press office – [email protected] / 020 7865 8255 

Notes:

[1] For a full copy of the declaration, see Note 8. NUTFA stands for the New Under 10s Fisherman’s Association, and represents the interests of small scale fishers around the UK

[2]
John Nichols, a fisherman in Ramsgate, said:
“My name is John Nichols. I’ve been fishing since August, 1972. We’re a shrinking fleet here. Now, we’ve got 18 vessels in Ramsgate. We’re down to probably 14 of those being reasonably active or active. 10, 15 years ago, we was twice the number. They’re dropping out, not because they want to drop out, but because the quota and what’s available is such that you struggle to earn an honest living.”

Graham Doswell, a fisherman in Eastbourne, said:
“I’m a third-generation fisherman. Been fishing on the Sussex coast all of my working life and it’s been really good. Great fun probably up to the last, I don’t know, 10 years or so. And it’s gradually got harder and harder. I think unless something really, really drastically is done I think it’s going to be difficult for everybody to carry on making a living. We were all keen to get sort of Brexit done and we were promised everything that would make a difference to us, but unfortunately, we were absolutely sold down the river and none of the promises that were made to us were ever carried out.”

[3]https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/22/only-a-third-of-uks-key-fish-populations-are-not-overfished 

 

[4]https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/supertrawlers-spent-2963-hours-fishing-in-uk-marine-protected-areas-in-2019/ 

 

[5]https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/supertrawlers-uk-eu-greenpeace-fishing-sustainability-a9669086.html 

 

[6]https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/28/damaging-fly-shooting-fishing-in-channel-sparks-concerns 

 

[7]https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1481631/supertrawlers-fishing-greenpeace-eu-news-dutch-netherlands-nffo-cfp-boris-johnson 


[8] The Declaration, in full, reads:

A Joint Statement: State of Emergency in the English Channel and Southern North Sea

September 2021

 

English fishermen, together with local fishing businesses, Greenpeace UK, Angling Trust and New Economics Foundation are calling on the UK government to take immediate and urgent action to protect coastal livelihoods and the health of our oceans.

 

The UK’s oceans and coastal communities are in crisis. Just one third of our fish populations are in a healthy state. Industrial fishing vessels like supertrawlers and fly-shooters have immense catching capacity and are pushing marine ecosystems and fish populations to the brink of collapse, leaving local fishermen with nothing left to catch. 

 

Greenpeace has been working with local fishermen all summer to document the destruction of the UK’s seas by industrial fishing. When you’re on the water, it’s very clear: our fishing communities – especially in the English Channel and Southern North Sea – are at breaking point. 

 

Without urgent action, our oceans will be damaged beyond repair and our fishing communities won’t survive. The government has used new post-Brexit powers to ban electric pulse trawling, a perfect example of what is possible when there is political will. Australia banned supertrawlers like the Margiris from their waters over 5 years ago, but the UK has continued to let them fish here.

 

The government has not properly assessed the environmental impacts of fly shooting, yet such vessels are licenced to fish in UK waters and Defra has removed all catch limits for fly shooters targeting non-quota species for 2021. This fundamentally conflicts with the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act (see definition below). 

 

That’s why we, England’s local fishermen, anglers, charter skippers, local businesses, Greenpeace and New Economics Foundation, call on our government to protect our oceans and fishing communities – beginning with the following measures: 

 

English Channel:

 

  • For the 10 offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that have been designated in the English Channel more than 12 nautical miles from the coast, supertrawlers over 100 metres, bottom trawlers and fly shooters should be banned immediately and permanently (see map below). This will help marine ecosystems to recover from intense fishing pressure and impacts on the seabed, revitalise fish populations and help local fishermen by boosting catches and reviving coastal communities. And it would be a vital step towards the scientifically supported target of fully protecting at least 30% of our oceans by 2030.
  • Pelagic trawlers over 55 metres and fly shooters should be banned immediately from the entire English Channel, on the grounds of the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act, and based on the immense threat these fishing methods pose to the livelihoods of fishermen along the south coast. This would also protect local fishermen from any displacement of industrial vessels banned from English Channel offshore MPAs. A full and thorough assessment should be done of the environmental and local economic impacts of both fishing methods in the waters of the English Channel before any decisions about granting fishing licences are made.  

 

Southern North Sea:

 

  • Pelagic trawlers over 55 metres and fly shooters should be banned immediately from the entire Southern North Sea, on the grounds of the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act, and based on the immense threat these fishing methods pose to the livelihoods of fishermen along the coast of the Southern North Sea. This would also protect local fishermen from any displacement of industrial vessels banned from English Channel offshore MPAs. A full and thorough assessment should be done of the environmental and local economic impacts of both fishing methods in the waters of the Southern North Sea before any decisions about granting fishing licences are made.

 

Additional steps must also be explored to support fishermen operating within the 6 – 12 nautical mile zone in both the English Channel and Southern North Sea, in light of the threat posed by large scallopers and large beamers.

 

We must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to save our oceans and our fishermen.

 

Signed: 

New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA) 

Fishing Industry Innovative Supply Hub Newhaven (FIISH) 

Eastbourne Fisherman’s Association

Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance  

Thanet Fishing Association  

Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society 

Pesky Fish 

Sole of Discretion 

Angling Trust 

Greenpeace UK 

New Economics Foundation

 

Definition of the precautionary objective in the Fisheries Act 2020: 

The “precautionary objective” is that—

(a)the precautionary approach to fisheries management is applied, and

(b)exploitation of marine stocks restores and maintains populations of harvested species above biomass levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield.

 

The post Fishers declare emergency in English Channel and Southern North Sea with Greenpeace appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

UK secretly ditches climate pledge in Australia trade deal

Wed, 2021-09-08 10:29

In a leaked email seen by Greenpeace UK, three senior ministers, Liz Truss (Secretary of State for International Trade), David Frost (Minister of State for EU Relations) and Kwasi Kwarteng (Secretary of State for Business) are named as agreeing to ditch references to the temperature commitments in the Paris Agreement on climate in order to get the Australian trade deal “over the line”. This renders using the term Paris Agreement utterly useless.

Just last month the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, wrote to Greenpeace and other environmental NGOs reaffirming that any trade deal with Australia would, “include a chapter on trade and environment which not only reaffirms commitments to multilateral environmental agreements, including the Paris Agreement but also commits both parties to collaborate on climate and environmental issues. We are clear that more trade will not come at the expense of the environment.”

Details from the leaked email demonstrate that what Boris Johnson wrote in that letter was a lie. The reality of the government’s plans to bulldoze over the Paris Agreement temperature commitments, which aims to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°, completely undermines trust in the government as host of the upcoming UN climate summit, COP26, and undoes all the promises made to parliament and the public that trade deals would not be a race to the bottom.

The Australian government is a climate and environmental laggard that is holding up global action to deal with the climate emergency. It is the only developed country that has failed to improve its very weak 2015 Paris climate target (a cut of 26%-28% by 2030) as it is required to do under the agreement. This comes nowhere close to halving emissions by 2030 that climate scientists say is required to keep the goals of the Paris Agreement alive.

More than half of Australia’s power still comes from coal. It still remains the second largest coal exporter in the world after Indonesia. Australia is also the only developed country on the list of deforestation hotspots – with pastures for beef cattle the main driver of forest destruction.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK said:

“The UK government pledged to embed the environment at the very heart of trade, including supporting the Paris Agreement on climate and zero deforestation in supply chains. Signing an Australian trade deal with action on climate temperature commitments secretly removed is the polar opposite of everything Boris Johnson publicly pledged and rips the heart out of what the agreement stands for.

“It will be a race to the bottom, impacting on clean tech sectors and farmers’ livelihoods. There should be a moratorium on trade deals with countries like Australia until they improve on their weak climate targets and end deforestation. At the moment the public and parliament are being duped by the Prime Minister into thinking this deal is great for Britain when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

“What’s also clear is that the government’s promise of public consultation and updates on the progress of the negotiations are completely inadequate. It’s time parliament demanded proper scrutiny for trade deals.”

The UK Government caving in to Australia over the climate just adds to a list of issues over this trade deal particularly when it comes to food and farming.

Australia still uses hormone growth promoters banned in the UK in 1998. It continues to use 20 pesticides no longer in use here, including highly toxic neonicotinoids, which are extremely harmful to bees and other pollinators. And on animal welfare Australia uses battery cages for hens that were banned in the UK in 2012, and female pigs confined to crates that were banned in the UK in 1999.

No food should be imported using methods that are banned in the UK. Trade and investment needs to focus on how it contributes to a healthy environment and a sustainable economy.

ENDS

Contact: Greenpeace UK Press Office – [email protected] or 07500 866 860

Notes to editor:

The letter from Boris Johnson to Greenpeace and other environmental NGOs is available upon request.

The post UK secretly ditches climate pledge in Australia trade deal appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

WATCH: Tesco’s Burning Secret

Mon, 2021-09-06 10:37

Tesco’s complicity in deforestation and deliberately-set fires in the Amazon and across Brazil is the subject of Greenpeace UK’s new film, Tesco’s Burning Secret, released today.

Watch here

Despite Tesco claiming to have met its deforestation targets, its meat is not deforestation-free. It buys British chicken and pork from suppliers owned by notorious Amazon rainforest-destroyer, JBS, and continues to sell more soya-fed, factory-farmed meat than any other UK supermarket. Tesco’s soya-fed meat has been strongly linked to deforestation and fires in the Brazilian Cerrado. 

Tesco’s Burning Secret opens with a shot of Tesco’s headquarters surrounded by flames with the question ‘Do you know Tesco’s burning secret?’ The blue dotted line from the supermarket’s logo then breaks free to lead the viewer on a behind-the-scenes journey from Tesco’s shop front to Brazil’s forest floor. 

As trees fall and forests burn all around, we see Tesco’s management shake hands and sign a deal with Brazil’s forest destroyers. Next we see soya grown on deforested land shipped to the UK where it’s fed to factory farmed chickens and pigs. The meat produced is finally shown lining the shelves of Tesco, clinical and shrink wrapped, a world away from the horror created to produce it. 

Elena Polisano, Senior Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:

“Tesco often talks about its plans to buy soya ‘only from deforestation-free areas’ by 2025 but it’s pure greenwash. These areas don’t even exist and talks to establish them collapsed in 2019.

“It also defends its contract with companies owned by the notorious forest-destroyer JBS, claiming it can hold the company to account better as a customer but that’s not working. JBS recently announced it would accept deforestation in its supply chain for another 14 years.

“With the climate crisis worsening by the day and the Brazilian government intent on weakening environmental legislation, it’s time Tesco took a proper stand. It must drop forest destroyers immediately and reduce the industrial meat sold from its shelves from now.” 

The animation was made in collaboration with Chicken Fruit Studio with music specially composed and recorded by Reeder

Lindsey Williams, Producer at Chicken Fruit Studio, said: 

“We are a Carbon Literate studio (and human beings who live on Earth), so the needless destruction of our climate and planet is an important issue for us. The opportunity to make an animation that has the potential to make a difference was one we couldn’t pass up. 

“We used a combination of 3D objects, paper cut-outs, print textures and photographs in a muted palette to reflect the dark subject matter. The camera pans through a series of still moments, capturing each step and focusing on the fact that being a part of this destruction is a conscious choice made by Tesco management.”

Fires in the Amazon, Cerrado and the Pantanal wetlands are not natural disasters. Huge areas of these precious forests are slashed and burned every year to make way for cattle ranches and to grow soya for animal feed. 

Brits eat twice as much meat and dairy as the global average [1] and Tesco uses one sixth of the UK’s soya, 99% of it in its meat and dairy supply chain. [2]

90% of the soya imported to Europe is used for animal feed [3] and two thirds of the UK’s soya is imported from South America, where it is a leading cause of deforestation. [4]

 

Download the film and stills from it here: https://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MDHUWS7WFJ 

Read more in our blog here: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/watch-tescos-burning-secret/ 

 

ENDS

 

For more information on Greenpeace UK’s campaign to end deforestation, contact Alison Kirkman [email protected] or call 07896 893154.

For more information on the creative and production process, contact [email protected] 

 

Notes to editors 

[1] FAOSTAT

[2]  https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/winging-it-uks-chicken-boom-is-fuelling-deforestation-in-south-america/ 

[3]  90% of soya consumed in Europe is for animal feed (pg 3): http://www.efeca.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/UK-RT-on-Sustainable-Soya-baseline-report-Oct-2018.pdf 

[4] Two thirds of the soya imported into the UK comes from South America – Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, where soya expansion is a leading cause of deforestation (pg 68): https://www.idhsustainabletrade.com/uploaded/2019/04/European-Soy-Monitor.pdf

The post WATCH: Tesco’s Burning Secret appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News

WATCH: Tesco’s burning secret

Mon, 2021-09-06 08:48

Tesco customers have the power to demand change – click here to email Tesco’s CEO and demand they stop doing business with forest destroyers.

Email Tesco’s CEO

Fires in the Brazilian Amazon, Cerrado and the Pantanal wetlands are not natural disasters. Huge areas of these precious forests are slashed and burned every year to make way for cattle ranches and to grow soya for animal feed.

Tesco is complicit in forest destruction across Brazil.

As the UK’s biggest supermarket, Tesco sells more industrially-produced meat than any other UK supermarket. To do this, the company buys soya to use as animal feed in its own meat and dairy supply chains* here in the UK.

Read on to learn exactly how Tesco is complicit in forest destruction across Brazil, and why it’s  a big problem – not just for the Indigenous Peoples who live there, but for the whole world trying to fight climate change.

Who are the forest destroyers Tesco is buying from?

Tesco buys many of the meat products it sells from companies owned by JBS, a notorious Amazon rainforest destroyer.

It gets confusing, because Tesco will tell you that it doesn’t buy meat from Brazil. 

But Tesco does buy meat that comes from companies owned by JBS. By buying from these companies, Tesco is making a profit out of Amazon destruction.

Tesco buys many of the meat products it sells from companies owned by Brazil forest destroyer, JBS.

In addition, Tesco is buying British chicken and pork which is reared on feed made with soya from deforested land in Brazil. The massive amount of soya needed to feed the meat that ends up on Tesco’s shelves drives fires and deforestation across Brazil’s most important forests, especially in the Cerrado.

So even if Tesco doesn’t buy meat directly from Brazil, it’s making huge profits out of selling products that are fed on soya grown on land deforested in Brazil by fire.

Why industrial meat is a huge problem for the Amazon – and the world

Despite not making world news headlines since 2019, the Amazon’s fires are still raging. This year they broke records. they’re getting worse every year. 

Burning the Amazon rainforest to set up cattle ranches is worsening violations of Indigenous Peoples’ human rights. It’s also causing huge damage to the world’s climate.

Large parts of the Amazon rainforest are emitting more carbon dioxide than they absorb, because of fires and deforestation.

Even Tesco’s British chicken and pork may have been reared on feed made with soya from deforested land in Brazil.

Between 2020 and 2021 Amazon deforestation has hit the highest levels seen in a decade. The Bolsonaro government, which took power in 2019, has cut funding for environmental protection. 

And Brazil’s government is allowing the country’s powerful industrial meat sector to lobby for changes to laws that protect the forests like the Amazon, and Indigenous Peoples lands and rights.

Tesco customers have the power to demand change – here’s what you can do

Tesco are complicit in the fires raging across Brazil, which are causing damage to the people who live there – and the world’s climate.

Brazil’s fires might feel like a faraway problem, but Tesco is complicit – and the impacts on the rest of the world are getting worse.

No company should be making a profit from burning Amazon rainforest. As well as being a rainforest that spans across nine countries and is home to a million Indigenous People, it’s the most biodiverse place on earth – and crucial to protect in the fight against climate change.

The good news is that Tesco customers have the power to demand change. You can make your voice heard by emailing Tesco’s CEO, Ken Murphy.

Click the button to email Ken and demand Tesco stop doing business with forest destroyers.

Email Tesco’s CEO

The post WATCH: Tesco’s burning secret appeared first on Greenpeace UK.

Categories: Activist News