Greenpeace protest inside Nestlé AGM

Yesterday Greenpeace activists left a 'reminder' above the heads of those attending the Nestle shareholders meeting in the western city of Lausanne (Switzerland). Activists dropped from the ceiling of the assembly hall to display a banner that read: "Nestle, give the orangutans a break". Swiss newspaper Le Matin reported that at the end of the meeting the activists were arrested by police in Lausanne.

More activists dressed as orangutans handed out leaflets outside. "We are here today to tell Nestle to change its KitKatastrophic policies," said Greenpeace's International Head of Forest Campaigns, Pat Venditti. Swiss channel 24 heurs quotes Peter Brabeck, Chairman of the Board of directors of Nestle: "Join our moratorium against deforestation, we will be your first partner", but it is also quite critical the opening paragraph reads: "Nestle owners seemed more concerned about lack of access to the buffet at the end of the meeting" than any other economic stress of the moment.

Click here to see the YouTube video of how it all happened.

Further protests disrupting the Nestle AGM took place in Finland and Germany.

Photo Credit: © Greenpeace


Greenpeace activists from Switzerland , Germany and UK dressed as Orang-Utans protest in front of the building of the Nestlé General Assembly

Photo Credit: © Tanja Demarmels / Ex-Press / Greenpeace

BP tries to hide its dirt underground

Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, has publicly pledged for the first time that BP will not use mining techniques that devastate the landscape (It looks too messy…). BP said it would only ever use 'in-situ' drilling techniques in Canada, rather than open-pit mining, which also results in more water pollution. John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said the pledge was like "quitting Benson and Hedges in favour of Rothmans". He added: "BP is trying to fool the public by ruling out giant and visually shocking mines when what it's doing below the ground is even more damaging to the climate."

The story appeared in Canadian news channel CTV quoting Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a spokesperson for Greenpeace: "BP now more accurately stands for broken promises." We're here to expose BP's attempt at greenwashing the Alberta tar sands."

Outside the meeting, a small group of protesters (not from Greenpeace) tried to raise awareness about the damage caused by oil sands and had trouble to control their frustration. One man told The Guardian that he was planning to light a bottle of petrol and throw it at the conference centre to "get the public to open their eyes to the inevitability of catastrophic climate change if we keep up this carbon-intensive capitalist system." The Guardian reports that he was later persuaded to remain peaceful.

Greenpeace Canada recently released a documentary on The Canadian Tar Sands : Petropolis, Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands (which has been nominated for the category of best short documentary film at the Genie Awards). Find out more here.

Olympic damages ignored

The International Olympic Committee gave thumbs up to construction work for the Sochi Winter Games (in 2014) after an inspection of the site on Wednesday, despite the environmental impact it could have. "Protection of the environment is one of our priorities," said Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. "We are trying to not only preserve nature, but to restore what has been lost because of human activity." Both Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund have stopped collaborating with the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and Olimpstroi for ignoring their advice on environmental damages.

The Russian newspaper The St Petersburg Times reports that last month, the WWF tested the water from the Mzymta River and found that "concentrations of arsenic, phenols and oil exceeded maximum permissible levels by 300 percent, 3,500 percent, and 6,000 percent, respectively". There is a danger that this water could run into drinking water supplies.

Stop whaling struggle continues

The New York Times reports that more than 5000 whales will be saved over the next 10 years in a compromise being negotiated by the International Whaling Commission.

This week 88-countries are meeting in Washington to discuss the issue. (If lucky) the three whaling countries (Japan, Norway and Iceland) could continue hunting whales for the next 10 years, but in reduced numbers. Those countries "would agree to stricter monitoring of their operations, including the placing of tracking devices and international monitors on all whaling ships and participation in a whale DNA registry to track global trade in whale products." DNA samples would be sent to a central registry to help track the end use of the dead animals. "From our point of view, it's a whaler's wish list," said Patrick R. Ramage, global whale program director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.