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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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  • On Thursday, one of the busiest harbours in the world was the backdrop for a citizen action to do what governments are seemingly unable or unwilling to; reject arctic oil drilling and stand up to the single-minded and ecologically harmful greed of corporate interests.

    Buoyed by over five million Arctic Defenders, the Greenpeace activists put themselves between the oil tanker Mikhail Ulyanov – a 258-meter long monster whose wake stretches all the way back to thePrirazlomanaya oil platform – and the port.

    The Ulyanov's hold contains the first oil to be produced by the Gazprom-owned arctic drilling rig. A rig which I and Greenpeace know intimately. Not too long ago, seven of the activists arrested for today's peaceful protest were the very same people who spent two months in a Russian pris... Read more >

  • Open Letter to Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's President

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - April 28, 2014 at 12:01

    In the lead-up to the World Cup and following a trip to Brazil in March, I wrote to President Dilma Rousseff, asking her to welcome and embrace the protests in Brazil as an opportunity to build a more just, diverse and free society. 

    While in Brazil I met with representatives from Amnesty International, Article 19 and Conectas Human Rights. They expressed concerns about the escalating violence on Brazilian streets and how this is being used as an excuse to fast track the approval of bills within the Brazilian Congress which restrain Brazilian democratic rights and tend to increase the criminalization of social movements.

    Street protests in Brazil started in June 2013, mainly due to bus fares, but rapidly expanded to cover other issues - such as the lack of proper education, sanitation and... Read more >

  • There are no human rights on a dead planet

    Blogpost by Kumi Naidoo - April 18, 2014 at 12:00

    Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues. I called on the lawyers attending the congress to join me in campaigning for environmental protection and protecting environmental human rights defenders. Below is a summary of my remarks.

    Work is getting tougher and tougher for lawyers worldwide, especially those working on human rights issues, including the lawyers representing environmentalists.  We at Greenpeace can confirm this based on our work around the world and in our collaboration with big and small NGOs and individual activists fighting on the frontlines, and on the coalface, of environment de... Read more >

  • Article originally published in the Guardian.

    An oasis is a body of water, ringed by greenery and beyond that, a lifeless, endless landscape that coughs up dust and sand whenever the wind touches it. It is a globally understood symbol of something precious, fragile and rare.

    The entire population of the planet: plants, animals and people, are crowded around that symbolic single, lonely body of water. All of us jostling and pushing to get our share. Some are close to the source through sheer luck, others have muscled their way in. This has left those without fiscal or political clout on the fringes, unable to get near fresh water for sanitation, agriculture or even to drink.

    The coal industry is one of the groups which has managed to muscle its way in.

    This year, as policymakers work t... Read more >

  • 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 >

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