We set up the Greenpeace Hong Kong office 20 years ago this year. Especially for you, we’ve chosen seven Greenpeace moments from that year. Let’s see how many battles we won (and we certainly did win battles!) and how many we are still fighting (and going to win!) with you by our side.
The Kyoto Protocol, the treaty that started the process of tackling global climate change, was concluded in December 1997. To highlight renewable energy – even back then – we held a traditional tea ceremony at solar kitchen in a Buddhist temple.
James Ross Island, Antarctic
Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, made history when it circumnavigated James Ross Island. The trip, the first time a ship had been able to circle the island, highlighted the extent to which climate change was melting ice at the South Pole.
Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
As a protest against the razing of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest to make tissues and other paper products, we hung giant banners from logging equipment. After 20 years, we succeeded: the government made 85% of the forest safe from loggers.
Our activists attached themselves to a train to prevent it from carrying nuclear waste across the country. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Germany said it would completely phase out all nuclear power plants by 2022.
This is one of the world’s first CFC fridges (ones that don’t harm the ozone layer or contribute to climate change) using “Greenfreeze” technology at a factory in Shunde, China. Greenpeace teamed up with a medical institute and a manufacturer to launch Greenfreeze, which won the United Nations Ozone Award in 1997.
Behind this cute duck is a serious message – in 1997 we were spear-heading a campaign to force companies to stop using PVC, a chemical that makes toys toxic. Since then both the EU and the US have passed laws to limit some of these chemicals.
Protesting against Zeneca’s genetically-modified experiments, our activists dressed up as “toxic” tomatoes. Greenpeace’s GM campaign is still going strong; we advocate ecological and organic farming as the only safe and sustainable way to produce food for the planet.
Martin Luther King, Jr said: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Today, there is a greater urgency to protect our communities and our planet. People power is needed now more than ever. People taking non-violent direct action, bearing witness, exposing environmental crimes, investigating and highlighting environmental issues and driving the solutions.
More and more people believe and are willing to dream big so that our green and peaceful world can be realized.
Dinah Gardner is a content writer for Greenpeace East Asia