Greenpeace U.S. Refutes Defamatory Claims by Logging Company CEO

Press release - March 8, 2017
March 8, 2017 (Washington, DC) – In response to U.S. Greenpeace entities and Greenpeace International’s pleadings to dismiss a pending $300m RICO lawsuit filed against them, Resolute Forest Products has engaged in a public relations offensive falsely claiming that Greenpeace is lying about the company’s unsustainable logging practices in the boreal forest.

March 8, 2017 (Washington, DC) – In response to U.S. Greenpeace entities and Greenpeace International’s pleadings to dismiss a pending $300m RICO lawsuit filed against them, Resolute Forest Products has engaged in a public relations offensive falsely claiming that Greenpeace is lying about the company’s unsustainable logging practices in the boreal forest.

Resolute’s allegations first appeared in an opinion piece published in the National Review by the company’s President & CEO Richard Garneau on March 2. In that publication, Mr. Garneau claims that Greenpeace is “admitting in court that its rhetoric against Resolute is not true”. On the contrary, Greenpeace stands by all of its statements because they are all either truthful facts or opinions, interpretations and conclusions based on disclosed scientific facts.

“Resolute’s CEO takes legal statements out of context. He argues that through our filings we have suddenly ‘admitted’ our work is not based on science. In fact, the motions, including an anti-SLAPP motion and the motions for dismissal of this unfounded case, have consistently said the same things: that all our factual statements are true and all our opinions are justified based on disclosed facts. Any statements of opinion Greenpeace has made about Resolute’s practices are based in sound science and verifiable facts, and these informed opinions are protected under well-settled U.S. free speech law,” said Greenpeace U.S. Executive Director Annie Leonard.

The Anti-SLAPP motion filed by Greenpeace defendants (U.S. Greenpeace entities and Greenpeace International) last September is clear on the point that “all of the challenged [by Resolute] statements [made by Greenpeace] are true”. Furthermore, Greenpeace’s statements about the boreal forest have all been made on the basis of the best available scientific research.

U.S. Greenpeace entities and Greenpeace International’s legal position is further clarified in a statement by the General Counsel for Greenpeace in the U.S. refuting Mr. Garneau’s claims. Greenpeace U.S. requested the National Review for a similar space to that obtained by Resolute’s CEO, which was denied without explanation. On March 6, the Center for Media and Democracy allowed Greenpeace U.S. Communications Director the opportunity to respond to the claims made by Mr. Garneau in the National Review.

“We will continue to defend ourselves against these meritless claims because too much is at stake -- not only the future of Canada’s forests, but the future of free speech itself,” added Leonard.

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Notes to editors:

  • Greenpeace Canada is not involved in the RICO lawsuit, but is being sued by Resolute Forest Products in Ontario.
  • In 2013, Resolute filed a $7 million dollar (CAD) defamation case against Greenpeace Canada and two staff members in Ontario, which is still pending.
  • Then on May 31, 2016 Resolute Forest Products filed a $300 million dollar (CAD) lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the United States District Court for Southern Georgia, against Greenpeace International and U.S. Greenpeace entities, as well as STAND (formerly ForestEthics), and five individual staff members of these independent organizations.
  • Resolute Forest Products extracted phrases from U.S. Greenpeace entities and Greenpeace International’s legal pleadings to accuse Greenpeace of having lied in their campaign against Resolute. In fact, the legal pleadings are explicit and consistent in stating that Greenpeace stands by the truth of all its statements, and opinion-based statements are based on scientific fact.
  • For more information and documents about the existing legal cases between Resolute Forest Products and defendants click here or copy this to your browser: http://greenpeace.ca/resolutelawsuits

For more information:

For media inquiries regarding the RICO lawsuit against Greenpeace in the U.S. and Greenpeace International, please contact: Rodrigo Estrada, , 202-478-6632

For media inquiries regarding the Ontario lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada, please contact: Philippa Duchastel de Montrouge, , 514-929-8227

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