Climate & Energy

Investigation of illegal mining in a river source region

In August 2014, Greenpeace released an investigation that revealed open coal mining pits on a remote alpine plateau in the region of Qinghai. The mines are located in the Qilian Mountains National Ecological Functional Zone for Glacier and Water conservation, an area that is supposedly under protection and closed to mining activities. There, private firms operate in violation of conservation laws, yet under silent endorsement of local authority. The coal mining is threatening the water supply of the Daitong River, a tributary of the Yellow River, with possible knock-on effects for over 50 cities and 420 towns that rely on the Yellow River for drinking water supplies and for irrigation.

Greenpeace called for an immediate halt of operations at this and other coal industrial projects that threaten the Yellow River. After Greenpeace released the results of its investigation, the Qinghai EPB and water resource department were asked to come to Beijing to meet high governmental officials; the provincial government named a research team to investigate this issue on the site, the People’s government of the Qinghai province issued a formal reform plan for the targeted coal mine and ordered all projects to be suspended as early as August 8. Also, a steel company, who was thinking of doing business with this mine, withdrew its partnership, thus impacting the economic activity of the mining company. And above all these, MEP senior official said in an interview recently that the Qinghai illegal mining case was actually commented on by President Xi and connected to the larger context of ecological degradation & protection measures.

Amplifying coal-to-gas questioning

In September 2013, the Chinese government announced a plan to cap coal emissions and alleviate China’s smoggy cities in key regions. In an attempt to meet this target, many local authorities start to look for natural gas to switch to. Provinces rich in coal resources started developing coal-to-gas (or Synthesis Natural Gas, SNG) plants with up to 50 projects in the pipeline as Greenpeace counted according to public available information. National Energy Administration seemed to be backing up this big ambition to fill the natural gas supply gap too. Coal to gas is a water-intensive process that generates enormous amounts of CO2. Moreover, 80% of the 50 plants would be in northwest China, in the provinces or regions already suffering from severe water shortages as well as air pollution in some places.

On December 15, Chinese media reported that the new draft of 13th coal industry Five Year Plan considered an end to approvals for new coal-to-gas projects, suggesting China will complete existing projects but significantly reduce its targets from 200billion cubic meters of gas to 15billion cubic meters. Reducing the targets by this much would cut China’s emissions by approximately 400Mt, roughly equal to the average annual fossil fuel emissions from Australia and New Zealand combined.

Strengthening anti-air pollution momentum

In 2014, the winter smog season started earlier than in the past years. During a 40-hour-long extreme air pollution episode at hazardous levels, the team decided to take action in reaction to the ‘Airpocalypse’. On October 10, we projected a message on the Beijing Drum Bell Tower saying “蓝天去哪儿 BLUE SKY NOW!”, drawing attention to the hazardous pollution levels and asking the government to take action at once to reduce air pollution.

About a week later, the Beijing marathon took place amid severe air pollution with the PM2.5 index at 444µg/m3. Some participants even named the event: Smogathon. We immediately issued a media statement saying that the race should have been called off or rescheduled in consideration of the participants’ health. We used this episode to remind the government that much remains to be done to China’s energy and industrial structure to solve pollution.

Soon after the marathon, Beijing readied to welcome the APEC summit where leaders and decision makers from 21 countries came together for trade talks. Greenpeace seized the opportunity of the APEC summit to call for a review of anti-smog emergency plans in Beijing and other cities affected by air pollution. We also sent the Chinese government policy suggestions and achieved good media coverage with 30 media interviews and 400 news stories in the first 24 hours.

Our suggestions included: the implementation of the Air Pollution Action Plan released by the State Council in September 2013; an annual review on the delivery of targets to ensure efforts are on track; China’s current CO2 intensity reduction should move to the upper range of the 40-45 percent target by 2020; China’s green gas emissions should peak much earlier than 2025; and a rapid development of distributed solar development through improved policy coordination and implementation in order to reach the ambitious 35GW installation target by 2015.


Detox your closet – ongoing

In January 2014, Greenpeace East Asia released a new investigative report exposing water pollution caused by the manufacturing of children's clothes in southern China's Fujian province. Meanwhile, another report detailing the toxic residues on children's clothing from 12 global brands was also launched globally. This was a continuation of Greenpeace's multi-year effort to push the global fashion and textile industry to clean up its global supply chain, a large part of which is now located in countries like China. The exposure led major fashion brands such as Burberry to commit to phasing out hazardous chemicals by 2020.

Investigation of heavy metal pollution in Hengdong, Hunan province

In April 2014, a half-year on-the-ground investigation by Greenpeace East Asia led to a major shakeup  in a place called Hengdong, in Central China’s Hunan province. The investigation shows that rice produced in the vicinity of a non-ferrous metal industry park is severely contaminated with highly-toxic cadmium; meanwhile local villagers have been suffering from pollution for a long time.

The revelation triggered intense interest from the national media. In June, a major China Central Television (CCTV) exposébrought the issue into the national spotlight, resulting in a crackdown by the Ministry of Environment Protection. In October, the Ministry issued a notification showing that 17 factories in the industry park were ordered to shut down and 10 local bureaucrats were disciplined or fired.

Following the crackdown, Greenpeace campaigners did a follow-up action bringing 500 kilograms of contaminated rice directly to the provincial authority as a petition for the authority to address the often invisible problem of soil contamination. Hunan provincial officials responded positively to such a call. Greenpeace has continued monitoring the local situation since then.


Zhejiang deforestation

In July 2014, GPEA’s Forest Guardian team investigated and exposed the deforestation problem in Xianju County, Zhejiang Province. The nature forest was clear cut in the county and converted into low quality "farmland" with the aim to mitigate the loss of good quality farmland due to construction programs in other parts of the province. The State Forestry Administration immediately conducted field investigation on the problem after receiving Greenpeace's accusation report. A two-month nation-wide investigation was triggered then. In SFA's press conference in January 2015, the Zhejiang deforestation case was ranked as the top  deforestation case of 2014.


Stopping IPO application of CTI due to overfishing

On Dec 10 2014 , The China Tuna Industry Group (CTI) Holding Limited officially withdrew its IPO application from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). This represent a remarkable achievement for Greenpeace to have successfully put a stop to an outrageous Initial Public Offering (IPO) that if allowed to proceed, would have further threaten the survival of both Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna in the Pacific ocean, of which both species have been seriously overfished and threatened.

In the draft IPO, the company had explicitly declared that it intended to circumvent international conservation limits on tuna – by simply ignoring the quota set by the regional fishery management body. Such revelation has caused international uproar, with the affected regional fisheries management organization for the Pacific’s Tuna – the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) stepping in to investigate the matters. It also angered Chinese authorities, which have instructed the company to halt its IPO activities for violating China’s laws and regulations. 

It was an intensive four-month campaign involving coordination across several Greenpeace offices from Beijing, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia-Pacific. In September, Greenpeace found that CTI had understated the environmental and sustainability risks of the company's operations, and provided outdated information to the investment community in its Application proof version of prospectus. Greenpeace alerted the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the China’s Bureau of Fisheries, as well as regional fishery body WCPFC. 



December 2012 South Korea announces they have abandoned 'scientific' whaling plan. This followed a Greenpeace report "Disappearing whales: Korea's inconvenient truth" released earlier in the year that shows how poor management by the government have perpetuated illegal whaling and trade, with as many as 400 to 500 Minke whales killed yearly, in stark contrast to official Minke bycatch count of around 90 cases per year.

December 2012 A joint study by Greenpeace East Asia and Peking University’s School of Public Health estimates 8,572 premature deaths occurred in four major Chinese cities in 2012, due to high levels of PM2.5 pollution. The report also estimates PM2.5 pollution caused the cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Beijing to suffer a combined total of US$1.08 billion in economic losses over the past year.

November 2012 We investigated a total of 20 world leading fashion brands, including industry leaders Zara, Levi’s and Calvin Klein, and found that all were selling clothing contaminated with chemicals harmful to the environment and human health. Clothing from the world’s largest fashion retailer Zara tested positive for hormone-disrupting chemicals and dyes that release cancer-causing substances. 

More than 700 Greenpeace volunteers in 20 countries were out at Zara stores, including Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, with eye-catching actions that parodied the fashion industry's own models and mannequins. With the pressure on, Zara, Levi's, Esprit and Mango quickly made credible commitments to Detox, joining other big name brands such as Nike, H&M and Adidas.

October 2012 Greenpeace campaigners in Hong Kong protest at one of the city's shopping malls. Due to the city pricing scheme, the malls leave their lights on all night, thereby wasting a lot of energy. Dressed in witch costumes, campaigners took advantage of the Halloween holiday to ask if these lights were being left on for ghostly apparitions.

October 2012 Greenpeace interviewed coastal fishermen in Taiwan to hear directly how Taiwanese people view the situation in the oceans, and released a report and video summarising the results. In interview after interview, the fishermen spoke of how few fish there are, compared to a decade ago and how the fish are smaller and harder to find. And a daring action involving ten Greenpeace volunteers at the country's largest shipyard triggered extensive media debate regarding marine resource depletion. 

September 2012 According to our report "China Wind Power Outlook 2012China continued to be the world’s leader in installed wind power capacity in 2011 with an increasingly diversified wind power market. The annual industry analysis predicts that China’s installed wind power capacity will be between 200 and 300 GW by 2020 and over 400 GW by 2030.

September 2012 Greenpeace ship Esperanza made its way through South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong in a campaign called 'Save Our Oceans'. The Esperanza was open to the public in Hong Kong for three days, where the tour included an ocean exhibition, a 3D painting, a guide to eating sushi sustainably, and an organic market. Greenpeace volunteers also created a 'human banner' reading: "Fish for the Future", in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan.

In South Korea the Esperanza occupied the dry dock where one of Dongwon's purse seine ships, MV Granada, was being repaired. The activists closed the dock with a large banner saying "Dongwon's Destructive Fishing Starts Here". We also released a sustainability ranking of the major canned tuna brands sold in Korea, called "The hidden secret of canned tuna". The ranking exposes the destructive fishing practices and bycatch problems of tuna fisheries.

August 2012 We discovered in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition a study backed by the US Department of Agriculture that involved feeding genetically engineered Golden Rice to a group of 24 boys and girls in Hunan province, China, aged between six and eight years old. The discovery generated a huge media storm in China.

August 2012 We commisioned the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources under the Chinese Academy of Sciences to calculate the least amount of water required by the total of 16 coal power bases that China plans to construct during the period of its 12thFive-Year Plan (2011-2015). The report "Thirsty Coalclaims at least some 10 billion cubic meters of water – equivalent to about one sixth of the annual total water volume of the Yellow River – will be consumed, triggering severe water crises in the country’s arid Northwest.

July 2012 The Hainan provincial government in China announced a 10 year plan to increase the area of non-commercial forest to 896,666 ha – with natural forest cover accounting for nearly three-quarters of this. This effectively means virtually all the natural forest will be protected and thereby free of the threat of commercial logging. 

July 2012 To gauge the level of exposure of the Chinese public to hazardous chemicals in household environments, we collected dust from households in various cities across Mainland China and Hong Kong. The alarming range of hazardous chemicals we uncovered most likely come from materials used in making consumer products, such as electronics, and fashion.

May 2012 Greenpeace campaigners in Hong Kong published testing results from some of the city's biggest supermarkets and found illegal pesticides and mixed pesticide use on many fresh produce samples. With Mainland China a major supplier for the city's fruits and vegetables, our campaigners placed the responsibility on cross-border governments to work together towards reducing use of pesticides at the source, plus implement a system to monitor the use of pesticides.

May 2012 At the 2012 Midi Music Festival, Greenpeace activists joined with musicians and music lovers to witness a haze that hung over the Beijing sky. Together they sent a deafening roar full of determination to solve the country's air pollution problems. In the same month we released a report that featured 28 Chinese cities in three key regions and ranked them based on their current air quality, "clean air" action plans and targets committed to by their local governments.

May 2012 In China, where KFC is the country's biggest fast food company, homeless orang-utans and tigers were spotted outside a KFC in Beijing, holding the banner: "My home is NOT your disposable food packaging!" Greenpeace activists in China had joined a new global campaign to stop KFC turning rainforests into trash, by cutting deforestation out of it's supply chain.

April 2012 We launched the "Energy [R]evolution" for South Korea, an in-depth study and model of an energy future for the country. The report finds that energy supply could switch to nearly 60% renewable by 2050, phasing out nuclear power by 2030, creating jobs, reducing the cost of energy and generating massive savings in electricity supply. We also argue that the Fukushima disaster in Japan must stand as a lesson to Korea's nuclear industry.

April 2012 A Greenpeace investigation found pesticides banned for use on tea in the products marketed by some of China's top tea companies. Some of the firms, which include China Tea, Tenfu Tea and China Tea King, export tea products to Japan, the US and Europe. Later in the month we also released results that found Lipton, the world’s best-selling tea brand, sold tea bags to Chinese consumers that violated Chinese laws and failed EU safety standards.

March 2012 In a report titled "Unraveling the puzzle that is solar PV pollution" we reviewed multiple stages of production throughout the solar PV industry chain, and found that the hurdles that lie between China and clean production don't lie in technology, but instead with will.

February 2012 Oceans defender Yu Fen Kao was found not guilty of defamation by a Taiwanese court. A little over a year ago, she was part of a peaceful direct action in Taiwan against a fish carrier ship called the Lung Yuin. The ship was emblematic of the country's failure to regulate fishing vessels operating under foreign flags while owned by Taiwanese entities. 

February 2012 Greenpeace Taiwan took 58 pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables from supermarket chains all across the countries, and found that 43 of these tested for pesticides, and an incredible 36 different kinds of pesticide residue. Following the release of the report activists took their message directly to a RT-Mart in Taipei. In August the supermarket was the first to commit to phase out an initial list of hazardous pesticides in 2013.



December 2011 We received commitments against GE rice from 12 leading packed rice companies in China, including Cofoc and YiHai Kerry. 12 supermarket chains took action against GE rice and committed to a non-GE rice policy, among them Carrefour, Walmart and City Shanghai. In total over 220 brands committed to non-GE as included in our non-GE consumer guide. Our work included taking action against some players that sold illegal GE rice, and engaging in lobby work with many stakeholders from industry, industry associations and government departments.

November 2011 After one and a half years of investigation, we revealed that major textile brands were involved in polluting Chinese rivers through their Chinese suppliers. Upon publishing these results we demanded the guilty brands stop polluting China's rivers and lakes by eliminating all hazardous chemicals from their entire supply chains. Six major brands (PUMA, Nike, Adidas, Li-Ning, H&M and C&A) committed to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020. Jointly they published a Joint Action Plan that outlines concrete steps they will take to achieve that goal. The whole industry (including many local suppliers) became involved in a discussion about phasing out hazardous chemicals in their supply chain. One of our industry seminars attracted 150 representatives.

October 2011 Greenpeace's air pollution campaign included a factsheet, guidebook and media work linking PM2.5 pollution to coal power. Campaigners also sent a letter to China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) asking they revise the new standard of air quality. Major social media and traditional media outlets demanded for PM2.5 pollution disclosure. The MEP announced a proposal to include PM2.5 in air quality standards for the first time.

September 2011 Hong Kong campaigns manager Gloria Chang ended a one week trip on Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise which traversed Norway's Warbah Islands. The expedition included leading independent ice scientists from the University of Cambridge who were there to test Arctic sea ice thickness. The trip revealed the second-lowest sea ice minimum on record - a devastating consequence of global climate change.

September 2011 The Chinese government announced they would suspend any commercialization of GE rice for 5-10 years. Four government departments are now engaged in action to remove illegal GE rice from seed markets and rice fields. This follows a seven year campaign from Greenpeace against GE rice, which this year included a consumers guide that reached about half a million Chinese citizens via web and mobile, as well as over 4,500 signatures on a petition demanding action from supermarkets to rid their stores of GE products.

August 2011 Greenpeace campaigners responded to the Yunnan chromium waste incident by sending out a field team to the site to bear witness to the pollution and find out how the pollution was affecting the local community. The local government reacted immediately to our findings by re-testing all the polluted sites we had identified and responding openly to the media with the admission of the existence of the problem. Later they sealed off the whole polluted area and prohibited agricultural activities in the area.

July 2011 Nine supermarket chains gave their commitment to ban the use of the most hazardous pesticides in the products they sell, and implement a thorough supply chain control system to ensure enforcement. These supermarkets included global players such as Carrefour, Auchan, Walmart, Ito North, and also big Chinese players such as Linhua, Wumart, City Shanghai, CSG and Huapu. Even more supermarkets took initial action towards the same measures.

June 2011 Greenpeace conducted their first action in South Korea projecting a slideshow on a tuna reprocessing plant, belonging to a major Korean fishing company. This was to highlight the negative role South Korea had been playing in depleting the ocean resources. The action sent a clear message to top management of the Sajo Company, the largest fishing company in Korea. The company sent a letter demanding for the retraction of the Greenpeace statement.

May 2011 China's Ministry of Agriculture announced that hazardous pesticides will be banned from being used in agriculture. They also released a new 5 year plan which aims to achieve a 20% reduction of pesticide use by end of 2015 and that by end of 2015 another one billion mu of arable land will produce food without any chemical pesticide usage. Over the last few years Greenpeace has investigated, documented and exposed hazardous pesticide use in daily food and communicated the harm and threat of pesticides to the environment and people.

May 2011 After a year of negotiations with Greenpeace, Beidahuang committed to not sell genetically engineered rice. Beidahuang is one of China's most famous rice brands and is a major state-owned company. Yalujiang, the biggest rice company in Liaoning province, also made a non-GE commitment.

May 2011 A round of testing found that many children's toys on the Chinese market contained endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates. These chemicals may negatively affect children's health. AQSIQ, China's product quality watchdog, announced in a statement on its official website that it will include restrictions on phthalates in children's product related standards that are in the making. The Chinese government later announced that it will ban bisphenol-A, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, from children's goods and products.

May 2011 Greenpeace convinced the Chinese publisher of Fablehaven, the bestselling children's fantasy novel series, to print the Chinese translation on 100% recycled paper. So far, Greenpeace's "Book Lovers for Forests" project has published 16 titles on forest-friendly paper, and has won two "Green Publishing Awards" from China's private publishing industry.

March 2011 The Fukushima disaster showed that when an accident occurs in a nuclear power station, it results in serious repercussions for public safety and the economy. Campaigners in Hong Kong organized a rally to demand that the SAR government immediately stop the expansion of nuclear power. A special art exhibition invited Hong Kong to look back on Chernobyl after 25 years and reflect on its impact.

March 2011 Our report 'The True Cost of Coal: Coal Dust Storms: Toxic Wind' was released, highlighting the heavy metal contamination in coal ash dust, which travels long distances.

January 2011 After a 2010 Greenpeace report exposed the presence of nonylphenols (NP) in wild Yangtze River fish, the Ministry of Environmental Protection added NP to its Catalogue of Dangerous Chemicals Severely Restricted for Import and Export in January 2011. This is the first time that the Chinese government has placed regulations on nonylphenols and other similar hazardous chemicals.



December 2010 More than 30,000 Hong Kong citizens signed onto Greenpeace’s “No Nuclear HK” campaign to oppose the government’s proposal to increase nuclear power to 50% of the city’s energy mix by 2020. Greenpeace took action at the C40 meeting in Hong Kong in November, and the Secretary for the Environment finally acknowledged that the government needs to take into account public opinion before reaching a final decision on nuclear power. Under strong pressure, the government finally answered Greenpeace demands and released the consultant report on nuclear power.


Decmeber 2010 Convinced global retail and wholesale supermarket group Metro to stop buying and selling APP’s rainforest-destroying paper products in China. In addition, French supermarkets Carrefour and Auchan and British Tesco have also made commitments to stop using APP in their own-brand paper products in China.

December 2010 We pushed 73 food producers and companies to not using genetically engineered ingredients. These include rice brands from Cofco and Yihai Kerry, two major agribusiness groups in China.

We also lobbied five supermarket chains (Auchan, Carrefour, Shanghai City Shop, Beijing Ito Yokado, Huapu) to commit to banning GE from their own-brand foods as well as unpackaged raw and fresh foods. They also committed to ban extremely or highly hazardous pesticides from their fresh, unpackaged vegetables, fruit, and grains. Four other supermarkets (NGS, Aeon & Jusco Beijing in north China, Walmart, and Wellcome) have made partial commitments or efforts on these issues.

December 2010 The Xintang government adopted a policy of “zero tolerance, full investigation” towards textile industry pollution after Greenpeace exposed the severe environmental pollution surrounding Xintang, a textile factory town that produces 60% of China’s jeans.

December 2010 After a year of investigation, research, and lobbying work, we successfully pushed Taiwan to soften its attitude on the closure of high seas pockets in the Pacific Ocean at the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in December 2010 in Hawaii.

December 2010 Greenpeace’s animation and mini-site on coal won the “China Online Interactive Advertising Creative Gold Award” at the 17th China International Advertising Festival, one of the largest and most influential advertising conferences in China.

October 2010 Our public engagement activity in Taiwan, “The Last Tuna”, motivated over 10,000 people over two months to sign a petition asking the fishing industry to support the establishment of an international marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean, as well as other conservation solutions.

September 2010 Our fledgling Oceans campaign in Taiwan exposed over 300 Taiwanese-owned and/or operated fishing vessels that are registered in foreign countries and thus evade regulation from Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency (FA). We also exposed shortcomings and loopholes in the FA’s distant-water fishery management policies.

September 2010 Hosted Hong Kong’s 2nd annual Car Free Day to raise public awareness on climate change, In September 2010, the Environmental Bureau set Hong Kong’s first emissions reduction target and published Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Agenda for public commentary for 3 months.

September 2010 After many independent investigative field trips, we discovered illegal genetically engineered rice and seedlings in Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Fujian, and other provinces. This exposes the loopholes and weaknesses in China’s current policies and supervision over GE rice. Partly due to Greenpeace’s continuing work on GE rice over the last five years, the government has still not approved the cultivation of GE rice for commercial purposes.

August 2010 Revealed the many hazards of coal ash with the report The True Cost of Coal: An Investigation into Coal Ash in China. After reading the report, the office of Premier Wen Jiabao ordered further investigations into the matter. Our photography slideshow on coal ash attracted 9 million viewers on portal site Tencent within one week.

May 2010 Successfully pushed Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, to stop buying and using palm oil from sources that destroy rainforests. This includes Golden Agri Resources and its parent company Sinar Mas, whose plantations play a key role in the rampant destruction of rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands in Indonesia. The decision caps eight weeks of massive pressure from consumers via social media and non-violent direct action by Greenpeace activists as the company concedes to the demands of a global campaign against its Kit Kat brand. Also successfully lobbied HSBC, Credit Suisse, and BNP Paribas to divest from Sinar Mas.

February 2010 Several months after Greenpeace released two reports – SilentGiantsand Poisoning the Pearl – on industrial water pollution in the Pearl River Delta, the local Guangdong environmental protection bureau published a blacklist of 20 polluting factories. Three of the factories were named among the five factories we exposed in Poisoning the Pearl.



In the run up to the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen, Greenpeace held a string of high-profile activities, including a countdown clock in the historical centre of Beijing and a ‘Give Donald a Dollar’ campaign in Hong Kong. In total, we amassed around 100,000 online supporters for a strong and fair deal at Copenhagen. Greenpeace's key goal was to get China to commit to carbon growth emissions cuts, which it did in November.

November 2009 Greenpeace launched an iPhone application in Hong Kong allowing the public to access a real-time air pollution index. This application has been so popular that it has been among the top 10 free downloads in Hong Kong.

September 2009 20,000 people, including Chief Executive Donald Tsang, took part in Greenpeace's Car-Free Day in Hong Kong. Greenpeace asked people to use public transport as a gesture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

September 2009 In the lead up to the Copenhagen climate summit, more than 30,000 Hong Kong people signing up to be a climate hero and to push Donald Tsang to attend the Copenhagen climate talks.

July 2009 After Greenpeace published a ranking report on China’s top power companies to show how they were still too reliant on coal - the first time any NGO has targeted the country’s powerful energy sector – one of the cited companies came to discuss the conclusions with our campaigners.

June 2009 Together with Oxfam, Greenpeace released a report illustrating the devastating impact of climate change among the most impoverished in China.  The document was oft-cited by civil society in urging for action on climate change in the run-up to Copenhagen.



October 2008 The Chinese government said it would look into coal pricing reform after Greenpeace released The True Cost of Coal report. The document outlines the high environmental, social and economic loss to China of using coal.

October 2008 Greenpeace and several top agronomists opened the debate on food security and climate change with its Climate Change and Food Security in China report warning that China could lose its food security within 20 years due to climate change. Greenpeace strongly urches China to adopt eco-farming as a better option to cope with climate change.


July 2008 Greenpeace released the China after the Olympics: Lessons from Beijing report, an assessment of the city's environmental performance in preparing for the Games. The report's recommendations were picked up by the International Olympic Committee.

July 2008 After Greenpeace held book fairs in Hong Kong and mainland China promoting the use of forest-friendly paper in the publishing industry, at least a dozen Hong Kong authors pledged to use forest friendly paper for their new titles.

June 2008 In Hong Kong, Greenpeace intercepted a shipment of toxic e-waste aboard a container ship bound for Mainland China, and pressured the Environmental Protection Department to tighten their inspections against illegal e-waste trade.

May 2008 Greenpeace sent four rapid response teams to Sichuan after the devastating magnitude 8.0 earthquake and helped block 99 dangerous chemical plants and prevented at least five disasters that could have taken further loss of life.

May 2008 The Chinese government again delayed the commercialisation of GE rice after Greenpeace research revealed that at least 11 of the GE crops under testing have foreign patents, and thus commercialising them will threaten China's food security and food sovereignty.

Greenpeace investigations helped to stop an illegal plan to commercialise a strain of GE rice by passing it off as a hybrid variety As a direct result of this, the Ministry of Agriculture agreed to first test all new varieties of rice, corn and soy, to see if they are GE strains.

March 2008 Through Greenpeace’s lobbying, Shenyang city in north-eastern China ratified a regulation on environmental information disclosure (EID) that opened up information on industrial water and air pollution to the public. This is the first EID regulation ratified by a local environmental protection bureau in China.



June 2007 China’s largest home furnishing retailer B&Q pledged that all wood products they sell in China will come from certified legal and responsibly managed forests by 2010.

May-June 2007 Greenpeace released findings from three expeditions to Mt. Everest and other regions on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which show a dramatic level of glacier retreat due to climate change.

April 2007 The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR passed a motion to tighten control over food pesticide residues after months of lobbying by Greenpeace. The Hong Kong SAR government pledged to give priority to the regulation of pesticide residues in the upcoming Food Safety Law.




June 2006 Greenpeace’s three-year long campaign has succeeded in greening the computer industry. The global computer giants – Dell, Acer and Lenovo – have all pledged to phase out the most toxic materials in their products. The three companies represent 30% of the global computer market.

April-June 2006 Supermarkets in Hong Kong and Guangzhou agreed to tighten control over pesticide residues in vegetables and fruits after Greenpeace discovered illegal pesticide use and high levels of pesticide residues. The Hong Kong SAR Government reacted by pledging to tighten control over imported fruits and vegetables.

March 2006 Testing by Greenpeace found Heinz’s baby food products to contain ingredients made from illegal, untested GE rice, a scandal which has helped to raise public awareness about the issue.

March 2006 After year-long research and investigation, Greenpeace released a report exposing China’s role in the trade of illegal timber from the Paradise Forests. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that China will join international efforts to tackle illegal logging and timber trade, and importers of Chinese timber products in Europe committed themselves to stop buying products made with illegally logged species from the Paradise Forests.



2005 Coca Cola, Pepsi and Danone joined the ranks of other non-GE brands in Mainland China, and 156 food brands committed to a non-GE policy in Hong Kong, as part of the Shoppers Guide to Avoiding GE Food in mainland China and Hong Kong.

2005 The Hong Kong SAR Government revised the relevant regulations after Greenpeace exposed Hong Kong’s role as a key entry point to China for hazardous electronic wastes from developed countries.

2005 Greenpeace researchers and Chinese scientists revealed in a report that the source of the Yellow River is under threat by climate change. The report received widespread media coverage inside and outside China.

2005 Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior visited Hong Kong to promote the clean energy revolution. Sarah Liao, Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works of the Hong Kong SAR, joined nine other “Wind Ambassadors” to call for wind energy development in Hong Kong.

2005 Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one of the world’s largest paper manufacturers, finally vowed to abide by Chinese regulations after being criticized by Greenpeace and the Chinese government for its illegal logging and forest clearing practices in Yunnan and Hainan provinces.

2005 Greenpeace launched Wind Force 12 in China, the first-ever report to outline the development blueprint of wind energy in China.

2005 The National People’s Congress passed a renewable energy law to encourage the development of renewable energy in China. Greenpeace was the only non-governmental organization to have been invited to comment on an early draft of the law.

2005 Testing by Greenpeace found Kraft’s food products to contain GE ingredients. After five months’ discussion, Kraft, the world’s second largest food producer, pledged to supply only non-GE food in China.

2005 Greenpeace urged the Hong Kong SAR Government to review its out-dated air-quality standard; Greenpeace also launched the online Greenpeace Air Pollution Index, which is based on standards set by the World Health Organization and the European Union.

2005 The Ministry of Agriculture took action to destroy illegal GE rice, following repeated investigations by Greenpeace, which found untested and unapproved GE rice was being grown in Hubei Province and had already contaminated the rice market inside and outside the province.



2004 Following Greenpeace’s campaigning efforts, the China Light and Power Group pledged that 5% of its power generation capacity will come from renewable energy by 2010.

2004 The Zhejiang Hotels Association urged its 300 member hotels to boycott the paper products of Asia Pulp & Paper, after the paper giant was found by Greenpeace to be involved in illegal logging and forest clearing in Yunnan Province. Greenpeace’s findings were confirmed by the State Forestry Administration’s official investigation.



2003 A young mother in Shanghai filed a court case against Nestle after learning that its products contained GE ingredients thanks to Greenpeace-commissioned testing. With Greenpeace’s support, she visited Nestle’s headquarters in Switzerland to demand that the right of Chinese consumers be respected.



2002 Over 100 young students and children unfolded a huge banner on the Great Wall, urging China and other countries to protect the world’s remaining ancient forests.

2002 Greenpeace opposed U.S. company Monsanto’s patent application for a wild soybean variety from China. The campaign became the first-ever front page story for Greenpeace in Chinese newspapers. It sparked widespread concern and the State Council subsequently instructed related ministries to strengthen protection of biological resources in China.



2001 Sixty-five food brands in Hong Kong vowed to stop using GE ingredients in their products as Greenpeace launched the first Shoppers Guide to Avoiding GE Food in Hong Kong.

2001 Field investigation by Greenpeace found that developed countries have been dumping hazardous electronic wastes in small towns in Guangdong Province, posing serious threats to the local environment and people’s health.



2000 Greenpeace action succeeded in stopping the contractor of Container Terminal 9 from dumping toxic mud into the South China Sea.

2000 The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR passed a motion to label GE food products, after months’ of lobbying by Greenpeace.

2000 Greenpeace struck key political success in improving the water quality of the Dongjiang River in Guangdong Province, as the Hong Kong SAR Government agreed to set up a public advisory committee to monitor the water quality, and a representative of the National People’s Congress submitted policy recommendations for improving the river’s water quality.



1999 The Chinese government became a party to the Basel Convention, which outlines environmental safety standards for the ship-breaking industry, following Greenpeace’s lobbying efforts.

1999 Greenpeace succeeded in pushing the Hong Kong SAR Government to include the improvement of the Dongjiang River’s water quality in the Chief Executive’s Policy Address.



1998 Toys “R” Us, the US-based toy retailer, agrees to remove toxic PVC toy products from shelves after testing and actions by Greenpeace.

1998 Greenpeace’s campaign pressured the Hong Kong SAR Government into banning all import and re-export of hazardous wastes.



1997 With free transfer of Greenfreeze technology by Greenpeace, Kelon became the first Chinese manufacturer to produce ozone-friendly refrigerators.


Want to know about Greenpeace victories around the world?

Head to our international site to read of all the amazing work Greenpeace has done around the world.