FAQs

Welcome to our FAQs page.

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for please reach out via our contact page.

Working or Volunteering


How can I help Greenpeace?

There’s lots of ways you can help. You can find out about jobs with the organisation as well as volunteering opportunities . You can become a financial supporter if you are not already.


How can I help out on one of Greenpeace's ships?

To apply for a position as a crew member on one of our ships, send a CV to:

 

Greenpeace Marine Services
Ottho Heldringstraat 5
1066 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

List any marine certificates you possess, and specify as many skills as you can. Do you speak several languages? Are you a certified diver? A professional cook? A wonderful musician? A photographer, videographer, carpenter, plumber, or engineer? Is your passport current and what’s your availability?

We are always looking for motivated,skilled and experienced crew but as you can imagine we also receive many applications each day. Give us as much information as you can, and good luck!


How can I get a job with Greenpeace?

Take a look at our job vacancies.

Support


I want to contact someone about my donation to Greenpeace.

I do not want to make my donation to Greenpeace by credit card, are there other ways in which I can make my donation?

If you wish to make a regular donation, we can also accept direct debit via your bank account if that is your preference. If you are looking to make a one off donation, you can now donate via PayPal on this webpage, or you can send your donation by post in the form of cheques or money orders.

These can be posted to:

Greenpeace Australia Pacific, GPO Box 2622, Sydney, NSW, 2001

Where can I find information on how to make a bequest to Greenpeace?

Leaving a bequest to Greenpeace is a positive and effective way of leaving a legacy of a healthy, peaceful planet for future generations. If you would like to receive information on how you can leave a gift to Greenpeace Australia Pacific in your Will, please contact Liesha Hanekroot on 1800 815 151 or by emailing [email protected]


I cannot afford to make a donation to Greenpeace, but I want to help and receive regular information about Greenpeace. What else can I do?

Greenpeace needs support from many different people in many different ways. Simply put – we won’t be able to transition to a just and healthy planet without millions of people standing up and taking action in different ways.

The first thing you can do is signup to receive our email updates if you haven’t already. We will send you regular updates on what’s happening in the campaigning space, and how you can help to take action. You can follow us on social media – our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts get regularly updated and the more often you engage with those posts, the further the campaign message reach is.

You can fundraise for us by asking people to sponsor you – check out this page for some inspiration and information. You could add an image or statement in the signature of your email with a link to a current petition page. If you make your message really interesting or funny or provocative and change it regularly, people will read it and follow the link.

Do you have a website of your own? Put a Greenpeace banner up, asking people to join the campaign. Got a local issue that needs attention? Use the Spark! page to create your own petition to mobilise people around your issue. There’s some great information about how to create a campaign at CampaignStrategy.org. Want to get active offline, in your community or in your own networks? Register to join the Network of Community Activists and our Network Coordinator will be in touch when there are opportunities for you to get further involved.

I want to donate via paypal.

That’s great to hear! Thanks for your support. You can make a one off donation via PayPal using this online form. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the functionality to be able to take regular gifts via PayPal – watch this space!

Is my donation to Greenpeace tax deductible?

Yes. All donations above $2 by Australian residents are tax deductible. However, the Coalition government established a Senate enquiry into the tax deductible status of many environmental organisations, including Greenpeace and made some drastic recommendations. This followed attempts by the fossil fuel industry to weaken environmental laws that protect Australia’s fauna and flora from environmentally damaging and unsustainable practices by the industry. The work to protect our democratic space in Australia continues. Contact our friendly Supporter Relationships team if you want to discuss further and find out what’s been happening recently.

Funding


How does Greenpeace Australia Pacific fund itself?

Greenpeace Australia Pacific is an independent environmental campaigning organisation that uses non-violent direct action to work for solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

More than 95% of our funding comes from generous individual donors, which allows us to make independent decisions and take action on campaigns that matter the most to our supporters.

We also receive some grant money from Greenpeace International, based in Amsterdam, and from private foundations and philanthropic organisations for specific projects.


What does Greenpeace do with the money?

All income and assets are applied solely in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

Primarily, our funds are used to pay for all the campaigns that we run, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef and the Arctic, to dealing with climate change and promoting environmentally sustainable solutions. A portion of any funds we raise is also re-invested to ensure long-term stability and steady growth of our organisation. And finally, we spend a portion of money raised on governance and administration to help ensure our organisation is run efficiently and effectively, with optimum oversight.


Does Greenpeace accept money from governments or corporations?

No. We don’t seek or accept funding from corporations, governments, political parties, or multi-national governmental bodies, such as the United Nations or the European Union.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific prizes its independence and integrity, so we never ask for or accept donations that could compromise these values.


Do you accept any money from non-Australian organisations?

Yes. Greenpeace receives grants from Greenpeace International to help us in our campaigns. We also receive a small amount of grant income from off-shore philanthropic organisations.


How does Greenpeace Australia Pacific spend its money?

While it fluctuates a little year to year,  we usually spend over half our income (55%) annually on campaigning and about a third (35%) re-investing in fundraising, including building our relationships with supporters and finding new ones. This is because we rely overwhelmingly on members of the public for support and don’t accept government and corporate funding. About 10 percent of our income is spent on governance and administration costs. You can find our financial statements here.


Can I choose a specific campaign to be funded?

All gifts received are banking into the Greenpeace Trust Fund. Donors are encouraged to make unrestricted gifts but occasionally we will fundraise for a specific project. In these instances, we match the gifts raised against the project expenditure, but it does require additional administration to do this. For this reason, we generally seek out gifts that are “unrestricted” and can be applied to all the activities Greenpeace undertakes in the furtherance of its charitable purpose.

Besides general campaigns and operating expenses, this means Greenpeace can spend money where there is the most pressing need – for example, to respond to an urgent environmental crisis.


Does any of your income get sent to other Greenpeace organisations?

Yes. Greenpeace Australia Pacific makes contributions to Greenpeace International as part of our commitment to fund global campaigns, such as saving the Amazon and preventing oil exploration and drilling in the Arctic, to maintain our ships and to help offices with limited fundraising programs and opportunities.


Why does Greenpeace put so much emphasis on having regular donors?

We strongly value our regular donors because their regular gifts give us the financial security to make long-term commitments to our campaigns, and enable us to plan ahead while responding quickly and remaining independent. Regular donations also minimise our administration costs.

Our regular donors are often surprised to realise the impact they have made, as their regular donation accumulates over time into an amount that truly has the power to solve the complex and difficult problems the planet faces.


Why does Greenpeace use face-to-face or street fundraising techniques?

Face-to-face fundraising provides Greenpeace with absolutely vital funding. Without the generous donations made by Australians this way, we couldn’t deliver our campaigns to protect this country’s nature and the entire planet.

Street and door fundraising has been used effectively in Australia since the late 1990s, and every year donors give hundreds of millions of dollars to Australian charities after being inspired by a face-to-face fundraiser.

If you’ve had either a pleasant or an unpleasant experience with a Greenpeace fundraising representative, please call our Supporter Relationships team on 1800 815 151.


Will I hear from you after I make a donation?

Since so much of our funding comes from individual donations, we prioritise keeping supporters up to date on our activities with phone calls and emails.

In doing this, we are guided by the principles outlined in the INGO Accountability Charter, where we respect the rights of donors:

  • to be informed about causes for which we are fundraising;
  • to be informed about how their donation is being used;
  • for their personal information to be held confidentially; to be informed of the status and authority of fundraisers;
  • and to anonymity except in cases where the size of their donation is such that it might be relevant to our independence.

Why do you keep calling me?

Keeping in touch with our supporters ensures that we hear your views and you are kept up to date with the impact you are having with your donations. But we know that our supporters are busy, so we promise that:

  • we will always make an effort to contact you to update you on how your donations are helping to save the planet;
  • we will always take action if others acting on our behalf fail to meet our high standards in terms of respectful communication;
  • we will never phone you unless you have expressed an interest in our work;
  • we will always check first that you’re happy to speak to us when we phone;
  • if you tell us you don’t want to hear from us again, or want to hear from us less, we will respect that and update our internal contact list.

Why do I get so many emails asking me to donate when I already support Greenpeace?

Greenpeace exists because of the donations from generous people like yourself. In order to continue our campaigning work, we do try and raise more funds from time to time. Every little bit helps, from maintaining our ships, to training volunteers, painting banners, researching reports and making phone calls to politicians.

You can, of course, unsubscribe from receiving emails, or specific types of emails, at any point – just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of an email you received to unsubscribe from all emails – or call the Supporter Relationships team to be unsubscribed from specific types of emails. You can contact them on 1800 815 151.

Campaigns

Isn't nuclear power better than burning lots of fossil fuel? Isn't it a solution for climate change?

Nuclear power creates poisonous waste, fuels the nuclear arms race, and threatens the health and well being of communities thousands of miles away. It’s also not a solution to climate change. Creating nuclear fuel is a hugely energy-intensive task.

When you sum up the CO2 emitted by the mining, milling, processing and transport of nuclear fuels, there’s no significant savings on carbon output. This is why the framers of the Kyoto protocol rejected efforts by the nuclear power industry to allow carbon credits for nuclear power. You’ll see this fallacy trumpeted in advertising by the nuclear industry, but you won’t find a reputable climate scientist who is convinced by the ads.

And even IF it was safe, we don’t have enough time to commission enough new nuclear power plants to significantly halt the speed at which the climate is changing because the approval and build time is so long. Renewable energy is the only option for humanity to tackle runaway climate change.

I've heard Greenpeace is a bunch of tree huggers and is opposed to cutting down trees everywhere. Is this true?

Greenpeace is concerned about protecting the greatest reservoirs of terrestrial biodiversity — the last remaining ancient forests. We don’t have any opposition to responsible, sustainable forestry practices outside those areas. Read more about our policies on forest protection in our forests section.

What is Greenpeace doing to save the Great Barrier Reef?

We’ve been documenting the recent impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef corals – and it’s devastating. We just released new footage showing the extent and severity of the ongoing bleaching event. With this, we want to raise awareness of what is happening to this vital and fragile living organism. It should be a wake up call for everyone and especially our governments to finally put the brakes on fossil fuel industry development.

In Australia we are campaigning for a ban on new coal projects as a first step towards a fossil fuel phase out. The science is clear: we cannot limit global warming below 1.5°c if we continue to open new fossil fuel projects. Globally, Greenpeace is campaigning to stop all new fossil fuel projects and phase out the existing projects while transitioning to a renewable energy future. This is the only option to save coral reefs globally, like the Great Barrier Reef.

But Australia couldn’t live without the coal industry, it has to be protected as well.

The coal mining industry regularly exaggerates its contribution to the Australian economy. Here are the facts:

  • Coal mining employs only around 0.5% of the Australian workforce.
  • Its contribution in the form of royalties is similarly modest. For example, coal mining royalties in NSW made up just 2% of government revenue. The NSW government earns around the same from coal royalties as it does from fines and licenses.
  • The coal industry pays a low rate of tax: around 12% compared to the average rate of 17% for other Australian industry.

The coal industry claims that it creates many more ‘indirect jobs’. But the ‘jobs multipliers’ used to justify this claim have been recognised as misleading by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which no longer uses them for precisely this reason. The coal industry also benefits from a range of direct and indirect subsidies and creates hidden costs through coal pollution’s impact on health and the environment.

The world is already moving away from coal and towards sustainable jobs in renewable energy. If we want a prosperous future, we need to move away from the polluting coal technology of the 19th century and make sure that we secure a just transition so that the workers in the coal industry are not left behind, and indigenous rights are protected.

What is the Carmichael Coal Mine? What is at stake?

At least two things make the Carmichael mine a red line for the climate:

  • The mine is to be the largest black coal mine in Australia, and burning its coal would result in annual greenhouse emissions of 120Mtpa CO2-e equivalent of almost 1/3 of Australia’s total annual CO2 emissions (28%).
  • The Galilee Basin is the largest untapped coal deposit on earth currently being proposed for development. It has remained untapped due to its isolation and lack of enabling infrastructure. If a first mine is built – bringing rail, power, water and other infrastructure – it potentially unlocks numerous other mines across the basin. There remain proposals for several mega mines in the Galilee Basin with a potential total annual production capacity of over 300Mtpa.


What is the Great Australian Bight? Why do you care about what happens there?

Around 85% of wildlife in the Great Australian Bight [off the southern coast of Australia] exists nowhere else in the world. You could say it’s one of Australia’s best kept secrets – it’s like our own version of the Galapagos islands. The Bight is one of the world’s most important whale nurseries, especially for the Southern Right whale – the same whales seen from the cliffs around the Australian coast. And it’s home to Australia’s very own unique species of sea lion.

The local indigenous people, the Mirning, know this better than anyone. They’ve lived alongside the diverse life of the Bight for tens of thousands of years. There are many other people in the Bight who rely on the sea too, for example thousands of people who work in the fishing, oyster and tourism industries. That’s all under threat from the Oil industry – the threat of an oil spill, and the impact of Climate Change. If we are to meet the internationally accepted targets set by the Paris Agreement, we cannot even afford to burn all of the fossil fuel deposits – oil, gas and coal – that we’ve already discovered. We have to keep it in the ground and move on to renewable energy as soon as possible.

What's the connection of the campaign to Save the Bight to your Arctic campaign and court case in Norway?

Corporations have been extracting and burning easy-to-find oil for decades. But now their greed is taking them to previously unexplored areas, from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean. And even as companies like Shell pull back from the Arctic, others like BP, Statoil, Chevron, Karoon Gas and more, are trying to open new oilfields elsewhere – such as off the Australian coast. Though opposition to oil exploration is strengthening, it just goes to show that big business is as greedy as ever.

What's the problem with plastic bags?

Scientists estimate that around 8 million tonnes of plastic is ending up in the ocean each year. 30% of the world’s turtles and 90% of seabirds have ingested plastic debris. By 2050, 99% of the world’s seabird species will be accidentally eating plastic (CSIRO). Australians use around 4 billion plastic bags every year – that’s a whopping 10 million or so each day. Clean Up Australia estimate that around 50 million of these end up as litter and make their way into our waterways and ocean.


What will I put my rubbish in if the government bans plastic bags?

The plastic bag bans on other states and territories did not ban bin liners. The main cause of the plastic bag problem is the supermarkets showering us with free single use plastic bags and together we can end this destructive practice. We would absolutely suggest that people use compostable alternatives to plastic bin liners, like potato or corn starch bags, or more creative alternatives like old newspapers to line their bins – or just don’t use liners and take your bin out more frequently! Or, even better still, reduce your landfill waste by composting foodscraps and recycle recyclables.


Aren't green bags more resource-intensive and damaging than plastic bags?

Research has consistently shown that on almost every measure, green bags have a much lower environmental impact than single-use plastic bags. This is because the increase in green bags is far outweighed by the reduction in plastic bag use. Green bags can also be recycled after two years.


Why aren't you working on the issue of animal agriculture and its contribution to Climate Change?

Greenpeace has been campaigning for years to highlight the role that cattle farming and soy production (used mainly for animal feed) plays in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. This has often been at great personal risk to our activists. Animal agriculture has an enormous ecological footprint. The greenhouse gas emissions of the meat industry are greater than every plane, train, car, lorry and boat – put together.

Overall, livestock agriculture (including all cows, pigs, sheep etc.) is responsible for about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions – well below the burning of fossil fuels at 65%, but still of vital importance. Cattle ranching has been the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, such that a few years ago nearly 80% of deforested areas in Brazil was used for pasture – although action by groups like Greenpeace has been bringing it down. But given that the burning of fossil fuels is the single largest contributor to run away climate change, the majority of our resources and our focus needs be on campaigning to bring about the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.


Why don't you call for everyone to be vegan?

The short answer is that we do promote veganism and vegetarianism as a way to help. But we’ve never solely advocated boycotts or veganism. Voting with your money (not buying meat/fish) is great, but it gives the most power to those with the most money. The ability to create change needs to be accessible to all, and work in a global context that incorporates cultural, class and accessibility issues. Advocating a one-size-fits-all solution of ‘go vegan to save the planet’ simply isn’t an appropriate, meaningful or impactful solution to someone who relies on subsistence farming or fishing for survival. The world needs to make big changes across a variety of sectors to solve climate change.

Becoming vegan is a wonderful thing you can do to reduce your impact – but it isn’t the only thing. That list could include not driving a car, never taking airplanes, eating only locally grown organic food, avoiding palm oil and plastic, living off-grid, avoiding ‘fast fashion’ – a pretty significant challenge for the average person. But we encourage people to take the biggest steps they can, while taking on the corporations and governments that drive the biggest causes of climate change.


Which canned tuna should I buy?

For 2 years we campaigned to have Australia’s biggest tuna supplier, John West, commit to 100% FAD-free and pole and line tuna. Since then, every other brand and retailer in our ranking made a similar commitment. Now there is more tuna caught using responsible, lower impact fishing methods on our supermarket shelves than tuna caught using destructive FAD’s. Check out the Canned Tuna Guide here as there are still some brands that are a better choice than others.

What electricity company do you recommend?

Our Green Electricity guide has been specially developed to help you work out which electricity companies are the most planet friendly. The electricity sector is the largest source of domestic greenhouse emissions in Australia. 85% of our power still comes from coal and gas. The rest comes from renewables, mostly hydro and wind but also from an increasing amount of rooftop solar.

By choosing a retailer that invests its money in renewables rather than fossil fuels, you can help clean up our energy sector by reducing your carbon pollution. You’ll find the guide online here.

 

Environment


Where can I find tips on how to lead a greener life/how to make a difference?

We are all part of the environment and what we do to the environment, we do to ourselves. Take a look at some of the blog posts we’ve written in the past.


I'm a student writing a report about an environmental problem. Can you send me information?

We get many requests at Greenpeace for help with general school reports about pollution and other environmental issues. We wish we could help each of you individually, but we try to keep focused on the tasks that people donate to Greenpeace for: to win campaigns for the environment. Don’t forget that you can search through all the information at the Greenpeace site.


There's an environmental polluter in my town: what can I do about it?

In all but a few exceptional cases, Greenpeace works on a global scale and does not address individual pollution sites one by one. Greenpeace has limited resources and so chooses to focus on major threats to ecosystems and species — we simply don’t have the ability to address destruction at all levels. For local issues, we have to count on people like you who care and are willing to fight for what you believe.

You can visit this webpage for advice on creating your own campaign.

You can also start your own online petition on Spark.

If you want some specific advice or from us in relation to the campaign you want to run, please complete this form with more details and we’ll get back in touch with you to discuss further.

Good luck: there’s no time to waste.

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I've just seen a stranded whale. What can I do?

Whale strandings often end sadly because of well-intentioned but uninformed help. A whale on dry land’s biggest danger is overheating: keep them cool and wet but don’t obstruct the breathing through their blow hole. The Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) is a volunteer run organisation that is the most experienced and successful whale rescue organisation in Australia, and is also involved with the protection and welfare of seals, sea lions, dolphins and dugongs. ORRCA is the only wildlife carers group in NSW licensed to be involved with marine mammal rescue, rehabilitation and release. Please get in touch with ORRCA to find out more. Greenpeace does not run a stranded whale rescue program – we apply our limited resources to stopping the greatest threats to all whales: Climate Change.


I've just witness a horrible mistreatment of an animal? What can I do?

Greenpeace doesn’t address animal rights issues at a local level. We campaign for habitat protection and to stop the greatest threats to the natural world. You can contact one of the largest animal rights organisations in the world, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals  or Animals Australia.

What's been happening to the Great Barrier Reef? What is coral bleaching?

The Great Barrier Reef is in a state of emergency. In 2017 it went through a second mass bleaching event in just two years and its corals are threatened by climate change. Warmer ocean temperatures can result in coral bleaching. When the water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality. In 2016, it was reported that 93% of the corals of the Great Barrier Reef bleached and 22% of the entire Great Barrier Reef died. These new figures indicate that the extent of coral mortality in 2016 is worse than first thought, and in 2017 further bleaching has occurred..


Is a bleached coral a dead coral?

Coral bleaching occurs when the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) which give coral much of their colour, breakdown and leave the coral. Without the zooxanthellae, the tissue of the coral animal appears transparent and the coral’s bright white Skelton is revealed. If conditions return to normal, corals can heal, return to their normal colour and survive. However, this stress is likely to cause decreased coral growth and reproduction, and increased susceptibility to disease. Coral reefs can take decades to recover from a bleaching event.


What is the connection between Climate Change and Extreme Weather events?

Basic physics and sophisticated modelling predict that a warmer atmosphere and importantly a warmer ocean are likely to create more extreme events such as cyclones, hurricanes, drought, heatwaves and cold. As the planet heats, weather patterns are destabilised. Warm air sucks more water from the ground and holds more water contributing to droughts in some areas and torrential rain in others. Climate change has shifted the odds and changed the natural limits, making certain types of extreme weather more frequent and more intense.

How can I help reduce plastic pollution?

Consider this: research has concluded that Australia alone contributes 13,888 tones of litter into the oceans annually. When plastic makes its way into our oceans, it can cause injuries and even fatalities to fish, marine mammals and seabirds. The good news is, there are actions you can take to put an end to ocean pollution – simple lifestyle changes that will not only improve the health of our oceans today, but for generations to come.

(1) make single-use plastic items a no-go. A huge source of waste comes from single-use plastic items. This includes straws, water bottles, grocery bags and take-out containers. Anything that is used once and then thrown away can always be replaced by a reusable equivalent.

(2) Ditch the microbeads. You know those cute little beads in your exfoliating face wash? Cute may not be your word of choice when you hear about their environmental impact. Microbeads are non-biodegradable plastic particles, so when they travel through our sewer systems into our oceans, they are consumed by marine life, harming the entire ecosystem. Because microbeads don’t degrade, they can also end up in the food sitting on our dinner plates.

(3) Join (or create) community cleanups. Whether it’s a full-blown neighbourhood effort or just you and your friends heading over to the beach on a sunny day, taking the time to pick up plastic and other waste left by the oceanfront has a direct effect on clearing our oceans! 


What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is the first truly global attempt to fight climate change. With it, the world has come together to say: climate change must be urgently tackled, its victims must be protected and we are going to do it together. The Agreement aims to prevent giant ice sheets from melting, islands from drowning and forests and oceans from dying by cutting and eventually eliminating those man made emissions that are causing our climate to warm. It puts in place a new temperature limit of well below 2 degrees Celsius, pursuing 1.5. Furthermore, it aims to provide protection and resilience for those who are already threatened by climate change or will be in the future.

What does the Paris Agreement mean in practice?

Most of the pollution that’s causing our atmosphere to warm is resulting from the burning of oil, coal and gas. The Agreement’s collective goals effectively mean we need to start freeing ourselves from fossil fuels right here, right now. Burning all existing fossil fuel operations would take us beyond 2C of warming if it were allowed to continue, so there is definitely no room for any new mining for new fossil fuel deposits.

This is a revolutionary message to the global economy which today is largely powered by fossil fuels. As The Economist rightly put it:
“Perhaps the most significant effect of the Paris agreement in the next few years will be the signal it sends to investors: the united governments of the world say that the age of fossil fuels has started drawing to a close.”

Or another key business magazine Forbes:
“Paris Climate Change Deal Could Spell The Beginning Of The End Of The Fossil Fuel Age”

So does that mean we are safe from Climate Change now?

No, not yet. But we can be, if we now take the agreement’s goals seriously and speed up the clean energy transition big time. The problem is that what countries have so far announced they’ll do individually, as their national contributions to the agreement, does not yet add up to what’s needed – not even close. So now countries must urgently consider ways to increase and speed up their emission cuts and set them on a clear path to 100% renewable energy.

What’s also still missing is funding – from those who’ve polluted the most to those who will be and are suffering from it the most. So-called developed countries have promised to mobilise at least 100 BLN USD annually for developing countries’ climate action by 2020, and to continue that funding from thereon at least until 2025, before setting a new goal. Now they must make sure the money really flows, in a reliable and predictable way, so that the vulnerable can build true and lasting climate resilience.

What is this 1.5oC about?

1.5 degrees Celsius maximum warming (for global surface temperatures compared to pre-industrial levels) is now the ambition level that every climate action will be judged by. It is a very ambitious goal that practically tells us to quit fossil fuels as soon as humanly possible, and to protect and improve our natural carbon sinks like forests and peatlands. Previously, in Cancun in 2010, countries had agreed on a less ambitious warming limit of 2°C.

This new, stronger temperature goal was forced on the table by the Climate Vulnerable Forum and many other least developed countries who fear that 2°C warming would already threaten their survival. Their concerns were confirmed by an expert review that compared the differences between a 1.5°C and 2°C goal. Eventually, to the surprise of many if not most, the goal was endorsed by so many developed countries in Paris that the goal made it into the Agreement.

However, supporting the goal is one thing, delivering it is another. Currently there’s a great mismatch between the two. The European Commission, for one, has had trouble admitting that the new global goal requires the EU to reassess its own policies and plans accordingly, for faster emission cuts and a substantial acceleration of the transition to 100% renewable energy.

Isn't it completely unrealistic to assume the world can phase out fossil fuels in just 35 years?

Not at all. We have the technology and money to get there in time . We just need to have the courage to change. That is the hardest part, as those who have their money and power invested in the continued burning of oil, coal and gas will not let go easily. But they will have to, much sooner than they’ve anticipated.

The global coal industry – the biggest single source of emissions – is already facing the cold truth. Their prospects have changed dramatically in just a few years – thanks to an incredible turnaround in China’s coal consumption boom, coupled with a rapid coal consumption decline in the US, and a global boom of clean, renewable energy. With the Paris Agreement, it will only get worse for coal. As the head of Europe’s coal lobby put it, his industry will be “hated and vilified in the same way that slave-traders were once hated and vilified” as a result of the Paris climate deal.

The future is renewable. As the Bloomberg New Energy Finance concluded in its annual Future of Energy summit: “The best minds in energy keep underestimating what solar and wind can do.” Since 2000, the International Energy Agency has raised its long-term solar forecast 14 times and its wind forecast five times. Every time global wind power doubles, there’s a 19 percent drop in cost, and every time solar power doubles, costs fall 24 percent. After Paris, it is high time to stop undermining these sources, as they are our future.

General


Who founded Greenpeace?

There’s an old joke around the organisation that in any bar in Vancouver, Canada, you can find at least one person who claims to have founded Greenpeace.

In truth, many talented folks contributed to the creation of Greenpeace. Bill Darnell coined the name when someone flashed him a peace sign and he said “let’s make that a green peace!” Bob Hunter created the concept of the “Media Mind Bomb” -reaching the public consciousness through dramatic, camera-ready opposition to environmental crimes. Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Irving Stowe were the founders of  the “Don’t Make a Wave Committee,” which organised the first Greenpeace action: a voyage to Amchitka Island in the Aleutians to try to stop a nuclear weapons test. David Mc. Taggart convinced a half dozen loosely connected early groups to put aside their differences and join in a single worldwide organisation, creating Greenpeace International in 1979. Our main website contains lots more information about the founders of Greenpeace.


How did Greenpeace get started?

In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada, in an old fishing boat.

The founders of Greenpeace believed a few individuals could make a difference. Their mission was to “bear witness” to the USA’s underground nuclear testing at Amchitka in one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions.

A tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, Amchitka was the last refuge for 3000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles,peregrine falcons and other wildlife.

Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before she got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest. The US still detonated their bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard.

Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

Today, Greenpeace is a global organisation that gives priority to campaigns that can be addressed on a global scale. Based in Amsterdam,Greenpeace has 2.8 million supporters worldwide, and comprise 26 independent national and regional offices across the world covering operations in more than 55 countries.

If you want to read more, there are several good books about Greenpeace: “The Warriors of the Rainbow” byRobert Hunter, “Journey into the Bomb” by David Mc.Taggart, and “The Greenpeace Story” by John May and Michael Brown. They can often be found at used book and auction sites such as Ebay , Amazon and Powells.


How many supporters does Greenpeace have?

Greenpeace has a growing supporter base millions of people around the world – those who work for us, volunteer, donate, follow and take action both on and offline. In 2016, over 63 million people followed Greenpeace on social media, over 4 million people were financial donors, over 50,000 volunteers operated in 1138 cities, and 2582 staff members worked on permanent contracts for Greenpeace.


What is Greenpeace's mission?

Greenpeace is an independent,campaigning organisation which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace’s goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.


How is Greenpeace organised? Who runs Greenpeace?

The Greenpeace organisation consists of Greenpeace International (Stichting Greenpeace Council) in Amsterdam and Greenpeace offices around the world. Greenpeace currently has 26 national or regional offices with a presence in 55 countries. Greenpeace national or regional offices are licensed to use the name Greenpeace.

Each office is governed by a board which appoints a representative (called a trustee). Trustees meet once a year to agree on the long-term strategy of the organisation, to make necessary changes to governance structure, to set a ceiling on spending for Greenpeace International’s budget and to elect the International Board of four members and a chairperson.

Greenpeace International monitors the organisational development of Greenpeace offices, oversees the development and maintenance of our fleet of ships, coordinates planning and implementation of our global campaigns, and monitors compliance with core policies. The International Board approves the annual budget of Greenpeace International and its audited accounts.

It also appoints and supervises the International Executive Director who, together with senior managers, and consulting widely with national office staff, leads the organisation. Greenpeace does not solicit or accept funding from governments,corporations or political parties. Greenpeace neither seeks nor accepts donations which could compromise its independence, aims, objectives or integrity. Greenpeace relies on the voluntary donations of individual supporters, and on grant support from foundations. Greenpeace is committed to the principles of non-violence, political independence and internationalism. In exposing threats to the environment and in working to find solutions, Greenpeace has no permanent allies or enemies. To find out more about our Board and how Greenpeace makes decisions, visit our “How is Greenpeace Structured” page.


Where does Greenpeace get its funding from?

To maintain absolute independence Greenpeace does not accept money from companies, governments or political parties. We’re serious about that, and we screen for and actually send cheques back when they’re drawn on a corporate account. We depend on the donations of our supporters to carry on our non-violent campaigns to protect the environment.

Our books are audited every year, in every office around the world, and we publish our Annual Report on the web every year so you can see exactly how much money we’re given and how it gets spent.


Where does the name Rainbow Warrior come from?

Bob Hunter, one of the founders of Greenpeace, tells a story in his book, Warriors of the Rainbow, about how this legend crossed his path.

On the first voyage of a Greenpeace ship, the Phyllis Cormack, Bob had taken on board a small book of Indian myths and legends that contained some striking prophesies. The book itself had been given to him by an old wandering native American who had told him the book would”change his life” — something which prompted a bit of cynicism in the Canadian journalist, who tossed the book into a box and forgot about it. But he stocked the Phyllis Cormack with reading material for the voyage, and one stormy evening he said the book literally jumped off the shelf into his hands, and he read it.

A chapter that particularly inspired Hunter related a story an old Cree Indian woman, ‘Eyes of Fire’ told to her great-grandson. Just as they were being overthrown, The Cree Indian people foresaw a time when the white man’s materialistic ways would strip the earth of its resources, but just before it was too late the Great Spirit of the Indians would return to resurrect the braves and teach the white man reverence for the earth. They would become known as the Warriors of the Rainbow.

The story circulated in Greenpeace for many years, and in 1978 our first ship, a rusting North Sea Trawler named the “Sir William Hardy” was rechristened “Rainbow Warrior.”

At the beginning of 2017, Greenpeace was supported financially by over 3 million people around the world. Our financial supporters are the people who keep our ships on the oceans and our campaigners in the field. Millions of people around the world also take action with us every day as online activists, local groups or as volunteers.


Why is there no Greenpeace office in my country?

It is just not possible for Greenpeace to have an office everywhere. We regularly receive requests to open offices all over the world. Like any other organisation Greenpeace has to work within a budget and we have to make choices about what we do. Our campaign work is targeted against the greatest threats to the global environment.

You can help us in many ways even if there’s no office in your country. Visit the Get Involved page to learn more about what you can do every day to help Greenpeace win campaigns for the environment.


I want to open a Greenpeace office. I want to represent Greenpeace in my country. What do I do?

Opening a new office, or appointing a representative in a country in which we do not have an office, is an organisation-wide decision which has to be agreed upon by our International Board and approved by our international Annual General Meeting. Greenpeace does not adopt, incorporate or otherwise subsume existing organisations into its structure. Like every organisation, we have to work within our budget, and due to limited financial and human resources, we have to be selective in our decisions as to where to open new offices. Development or expansion is also subject to certain essential campaign criteria. We will only open a new office if this is in line with the strategic priorities of the organisation. Greenpeace has recently established an office in Africa. We are not planning to open any further new offices in the near future.

The name “Greenpeace” is an internationally registered trademark belonging to Stichting Greenpeace Council in the Netherlands, and therefore use of the name requires permission. Once a decision has been taken to open a new office, Greenpeace International enters into a licensing agreement with the new office, allowing that office to use the name Greenpeace. Use of this name is conditional upon fulfilling a whole range of obligations towards the international organisation.

We hope that you will not find this discouraging and that you and/or your organisation will continue in its aims to champion environmental issues further. You can help Greenpeace in many ways – by volunteering your time or services to an existing Greenpeace office, or by getting involved as an online activist. You’d be surprised how much help we can use, even when an office isn’t nearby.