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Kumi Naidoo

Passionately involved in liberation struggles from a young age, he continues to speak truth to power across the range of Greenpeace campaign activities around the globe. He is dedicated to engagement, dialogue and change and seeks a green and peaceful planet for all the world’s inhabitants.

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  • Don't bet on coal and oil growth

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - January 28, 2014 at 9:51

    A mind-boggling sum of about $800 for each person on the planet is invested into fossil fuel companies through the global capital markets alone. That’s roughly 10% of the total capital invested in listed companies. The amount of money invested into the 200 biggest fossil fuel companies through financial markets is estimated at 5.5 trillion dollars. This should be an impressive amount of money for anyone reading this. 

    By keeping their money in coal and oil companies, investors are betting a vast amount of wealth, including the pensions and savings of millions of people, on high future demand for dirty fuels. The investment has enabled fossil fuel companies to massively raise their spending on expanding extractable reserves, with oil and gas companies alone (state-owned ones included) spend... Read more >

  • One of the most challenging weeks of my working life starts today: the week of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

    Over 2,500 Presidents, Prime Minsters, CEOs, Celebrities and Academics with a smattering of civil society, will be holed up in a small and posh mountain resort in Switzerland to discuss, in the words of the WEF, “improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

    At a moment when 20th century power structures typified by the Davos devotees, try to squeeze the last buck out of a denuded environment and a failing industrial complex, new power structures are emerging, together with new threats, new solutions and new opportunities.

    Many pay up to 250...

    Read more >
  • Q&A published in Yale Environment 360. 

    In a Yale Environment 360 interview, the outspoken executive director of Greenpeace discusses why his organization’s activists braved imprisonment in Russia to stop Arctic oil drilling and what needs to be done to make a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward a green energy economy.

    by Diane Toomey

    Kumi Naidoo, the international executive director of Greenpeace, is intimately familiar with the Prirazlomnaya drilling platform in the Russian Arctic. In August 2012, he and five other Greenpeace activists were hosed down with frigid water and pelted with pieces of metal as they attempted to climb aboard the platform, which recently became the first offshore installation to begin producing oil in the Arctic Ocean. 

    Greenpeace and Prirazlomnaya were b... Read more >

  • Action on climate change would wipe billions off oil company balance sheets and they are determined to silence their critics.

    Twenty-six of the Arctic 30 in St Petersburg, 3 December 2013. 'Peaceful protests on oil rigs in the freezing Arctic Ocean are the only rational response to years of deliberate inaction.' Photograph: Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

    I've heard it said by Greenpeace old hands that when they first arrived in the Russian Arctic back in the 1980s, Russian fishermen would shower them with gifts. They found it acutely embarrassing. When I went to the Arctic Ocean last year to take action against Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya drilling rig, I got a decidedly less friendly reaction, but there were no arrests and certainly no talk of years in prison.

    My protest was hardly the stuff o... Read more >

  • "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." 
    – Nelson Mandela speaking at the 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, 18 May 2002.

    Nelson Mandela was never really a prisoner, but a free man always, and now, forever. As a South African, a comrade in the struggle to liberate my homeland from the evil of apartheid and a citizen of the world, my heart is heavy today. The loss was to be expected, but remains hard to bear.

    The world has lost a true leader, a true father and a true inspiration. To say he lived a life of significance barely does it justice, and it is not over – he leaves a profound legac... Read more >

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