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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

 

The European Commission’s nuclear decision threatens our clean energy future

Blog entry by Jan Haverkamp | 9 October, 2014 2 comments

Yesterday's authorisation by the European Commission of massive subsidies for the UK's Hinkley Point C nuclear project is an enormous set-back for the country's development of a sustainable and clean energy future. Not only that, it...

Today LEGO dumped Shell - Here's why it matters to us all

Blog entry by James Turner | 9 October, 2014

LEGO's decision to break its 50 year partnership with Shell is – as they say in America – kind of a big deal. Despite their best attempts to downplay its significance, this was a multimillion dollar partnership that had delivered real...

How LEGO got awesome to #SaveTheArctic

Blog entry by Ian Duff | 9 October, 2014 22 comments

Today we got the awesome news: after a three-month campaign supported by more than a million people worldwide, LEGO has announced it will not renew its contract with Arctic destroyer Shell. This is fantastic news for LEGO fans and...

The Berlin Wall of oil begins to crumble

Blog entry by Steve Abel | 7 October, 2014 4 comments

The Berlin wall was a symbol of the Soviet era like no other. When it was finally dismantled in 1989 it signalled the end of a system that had stood for nearly 70 years. A system that shaped the political landscape of the 20th century...

Should the European Commission wear green goggles more often?

Blog entry by Daniel Simons | 6 October, 2014

That's the question lawyers were arguing about in Luxembourg last week. It is a case where Greenpeace is challenging the approval of up to €1.6 billion in aid to Spain's coal industry. Spain is a poster child for clean energy. It...

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