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Greenpeace boards ship carrying PCB toxic waste.

Toxic trade

Greenpeace has documented hundreds of cases where developed countries have traded or transferred toxic waste problems to developing countries.

Instead of receiving clean technologies, too often developing countries receive toxic waste, products and technologies.

Currently the main focus of our work on toxic trade is stopping the dumping of dirty ships in Asia for shipbreaking.

This type of trade is immoral and environmentally destructive to the receiving countries and their people. It also prevents developed countries from investing in real solutions to pollution, and developing future markets in more appropriate technologies or products.

The most blatant offence has been the export of toxic wastes from developed to developing countries. Greenpeace has sought a ban on this type of toxic trade and achieved it through an international treaty called the Basel Convention.

The convention came into force in 1992 but it was a weak treaty. In 1994, a unique coalition of developing countries, and some from eastern and western Europe along with Greenpeace, managed to pass by consensus what has come to be known as the Basel Ban.

This became law in 1998 and banned waste transfer to developing countries. Greenpeace is now campaigning to:

· Prevent governments and companies circumventing the ban by practices such as ship breaking;

· Promote clean production;

· Halt the production and trade of toxic products such as the UN Environmental Programme list of the dirty dozen (the 12 most toxic persistent pollutants); and

· Stop toxic technologies such as incineration.

The latest updates

 

From typhoon hit Philippines, a call for climate justice

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | 11 December, 2014

Smashed houses, fallen trees and streets littered with debris greeted us when Greenpeace arrived in Dolores, Eastern Samar, on Tuesday after Typhoon Hagupit made a direct hit on the seaside town. Much of the region's crops had been...

Visiting Ground Zero of Typhoon Hagupit

Video | 10 December, 2014 at 19:15

As typhoon Hagupit made land fall in the Philippines, Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo - along with Philippine climate change commissioner Yeb Sano - visits affected communities calling on world leaders to act against climate change. ...

This generation will ban nuclear weapons

Blog entry by Jen Maman | 10 December, 2014

Nearly 25 years after the end of the Cold War there are still estimated to be 16,300 nuclear weapons at 98 sites in 14 countries.  Rather than disarm, nuclear armed states continue to spend a fortune maintaining and modernising their...

No journey too far to protect Congo's forests

Blog entry by Danielle Van Oijen | 9 December, 2014 1 comment

The Democratic Republic of Congo is roughly the same size as Western Europe. However its infrastructure is a far different proposition, and as a result it is rare – verging on impossible – that people from different parts of the...

Nature does not negotiate: climate catastrophe is with us now!

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 7 December, 2014 25 comments

As Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines, one of the biggest peacetime evacuations in history has been launched to prevent a repeat of the massive loss of life which devastated communities when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the same area...

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