The social change organisation Greenpeace turns fifty today. To mark the occasion, it has launched a virtual wall of change, reflecting on decades of climate activism.
Social change and environmental organisation Greenpeace turns fifty today.
You’ve most likely heard of it already, as it is one of the household names associated with climate activism and social change. From improving the interiors of commercial fridges to its ‘save the whales’ campaigns, Greenpeace has been an influential force in halting and altering damaging environmental practices.
To mark the occasion, the organisation has launched a virtual wall of activist movements and memories that you can add to yourself. The new feature is intended to ‘put names and faces to all the people campaigning’ for a better future.
Even though it’s been half a century, Greenpeace’s causes and actions are more vital than ever. As our planet experiences extreme temperatures more frequently, and fires continue to consume our forests, the necessity to get our act together has never been more obvious.
Greenpeace has put together a list of six big achievements on its official website, and a few may surprise you.
In 1992, Greenpeace helped put together a ‘GreenFreeze’ fridge, which was more environmentally friendly than the industry standard.
Regular models were depleting the ozone layer at this time and most companies seemed reluctant to stop. Now, thanks to the organisation’s efforts, it is estimated that over 80% of fridges use the technology they helped to create. Not bad, eh?
Greenpeace also campaigned alongside other activists and organisations to stop Shell from planning to drill in the Arctic. We’ve written lots about Shell’s nasty habit of greenwashing and false advertising around environmentally friendly practices – luckily this is one instance where they didn’t get their way.
The ‘Save the Whales’ movement by Greenpeace in the 1970s also pushed for commercial whaling to eventually be banned in 1986. It is considered one of the biggest conservation successes from the last century. A good one for the resume, no doubt.
Greenpeace continues to push for climate reform, demanding companies ditch oil and coal mines, protect the oceans, and much more. You can view a variety of campaigns that need your direct help here.
What’s next for Greenpeace’s climate change plans?
While it’s important to reflect and celebrate on Greenpeace’s achievement and movements, it’s also alarming that an organisation such as this is still needed.
In fact, people who work tirelessly to push governments into changing their green policies are vital, as the world faces more extreme weather and experiences the consequences of climate change in real time. We need them now more than ever.
Greenpeace talks about its international programme and initiatives here, with a clear focus on remaining firmly on the push for change. It plans to use its resources to focus on ‘living the new normal’ and to work on adapting to new weather and climate patterns.
In addition, it will be continuing to implement its global programme with priority National and Regional Organisations (NROs), aiding both economically and societally around the world.
Expect more tech innovations, more rallies and, most necessarily, a continual pressure on government authorities to actually do something about the state we’re in. Here’s hoping we can celebrate Greenpeace’s 100th anniversary in 2071 on a planet that is still habitable to human life.
I’m Charlie (He/Him), the Editor In Chief at Thred. I studied English at the University of Birmingham and as a music and gaming enthusiast, I’m a nerd for pop culture. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn and drop me some ideas/feedback via email.
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