For 50 years, Greenpeace has been steering environmental protection initiatives and actions, and we still keep going, upholding our mission and vision for a greener and fairer future. Issues we work on have been increasingly challenged over the past 12 months. With your company, support and ever-glowing hope, Greenpeace is empowered to continue its green actions. Thank you very much for walking with us hand-in-hand, for accomplishing the otherwise impossible green changes in the world.

Greenpeace initiated the Hope Through Action campaign and invited street artists from 10 cities of different regions to create a mural painting for a greener future in each of their communities. This picture shows the Israeli artists’ work on their hope for wind, which illustrates the sweetness and warmth they have brought to the street of the country. © Buse Altun / Greenpeace

Save the Arctic actions over decades come to harvest

This year, the Arctic Sea Ice Minimum record reveals a sharp downsizing of the ocean ice volume to two-third of the previous year, the lowest value in the past 15 years. Melting ice widens ocean areas, thereby opening a door of convenience to criminal activities that accelerate environmental disruption to the Arctic. Human disruptions and industrial activities including fishing malpractices, mining, etc. have been posing unprecedented threats to the environment.

Greenpeace Luxembourg activists gather in front of ArcelorMittal’s headquarters in Luxembourg to protest in solidarity with Inuit communities negatively impacted by an iron mine in the Canadian Arctic operated by Baffinland, a company co-owned by ArcelorMittal. The “Respect Inuit Or Leave” banner was designed by Christi Belcourt, an Indigenous artist living and working in Canada.

In 2020, “Birdgirl” young Bangladeshi-born British ornithologist, Mya-Rose Craig, steered the “Most Northerly Climate Protest”, recognized this year as a Guinness-World-Record journey. As a Global South young scientist, she called for actions to combat climate change issues. In June this year, Greenpeace Luxembourg protested at the headquarters of an international mining enterprise, ArcelorMittal, against the environmental threats its subsidiary has posed to the Inuit community as a result of its industrial operations. The protest aimed to arouse the public’s attention to human rights protection for the Inuit’s well-being in their living environment.

Environmental actions are a series of continuous fights. In July, the Greenland Government announced its shared responsibility for responding to the global climate crisis. Back in 2011, Greenpeace boarded on the oil platform situated at the west coast of Greenland, to protest its operation in the Arctic. This year, the Greenland Government ceased to grant new oil and gas exploration licences, which assured that Greenpeace’s persistent efforts on protecting the North Pole environment could be paid off sooner or later.

In 2011, Greenpeace activists boarded Leiv Eiriksson oil platform for protesting against its mother enterprise, Cairn Energy’s refusal to disclose its oil spill contingency plan, which is a violation of standard industry regulations. Oil spill poses an enormous environmental threat to Greenland and the Arctic and the public deserve to know the risk management strategy of the operating businesses concerned. © Steve Morgan / Greenpeace

Global Ocean Treaty – Journey for the last chapter

Greenpeace’s encounter with a sperm whale at the ocean exploration journey 2021 on the Arctic Sunrise. The crew investigated Saya de Malha Bank of the Indian Ocean, where the largest seaweed bed is located.  © Tommy Trenchard / Greenpeace

The United Nations Convention on Global Ocean Treaty was rescheduled several times due to the unsteady pandemic situation, yet Greenpeace has never suspended its ocean saving actions.

In the first half of 2021, 40 countries including the United Kingdom and Germany have already aligned their support to the Treaty. In October, participating countries witnessed the 30th anniversary of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, with its initiative to avoid over-mining of the Antarctic resources. Taking this opportunity, Greenpeace called for actions from world leaders to actively engage in the objective of “Protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030” (”30×30: A Blueprint for Ocean Protection”), starting from the Antarctic.

On one hand, Greenpeace is working on ocean saving policy advocacy, on the other, our science works keep going. Our crew on the Arctic Sunrise started the journey in the Indian Ocean in March this year, where we conducted the world’s first underwater climate appeal. Near the same time on another side of the world, the Rainbow Warrior crew disclosed the new threats of deep-sea mining at the Pacific Ocean. Sailor Dolphin and Digital campaigner Kelly Huang from Greenpeace East Asia brought to our supporters their first-person witness experience. Despite the travel restrictions during the pandemic, these trips enabled Greenpeace and its supporters to beat at the same pulse on our ocean saving initiatives.

Onboard Digital Campaigner Kelly Huang holds a sign with a blue heart as a thank you to supporters on board the Rainbow Warrior in the Pacific Ocean. © Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

The World Conservation Congress embarked on a global ocean-saving journey in September. Over 80 governments voted to support a moratorium on deep-sea mining. For 50 years, Greenpeace has disclosed scientific evidence of the multi-layered environmental risks of global ocean issues. The support we gathered from the public is the trigger for increasing awareness and thereby positive changes to the issues.

This year, global ocean issues that surfaced include the severe ocean pollution in Sri Lanka, and fishing pressure in the Indian Ocean. In addition to our ongoing follow-ups of the Fukushima disaster, our Greenpeace radiation experts led continuous researches on Fukushima nuclear wastewater discharge. All these proactive moves we have taken are based on our core mission: to reveal solid scientific evidence to the public.

Looking forward, the United Nations will convene the last round on the Global Oceans Treaty in the upcoming IGC4 meeting. The exact schedule of the Conference is yet to be confirmed, however, we would gear up and be ready for any challenges of ocean saving in future.

All in for plastic-free and green future

Greenpeace Austria stages a protest with 100,000 plastic bottles at the iconic landmark St. Stephan’s cathedral square in the city centre of Vienna and demands the Austrian government end single-use culture © Mitja Kobal / Greenpeace

The culture of reuse has become a growing trend around the world and good examples can be found in East Asia. In Hong Kong, a pilot community scheme on tableware rental in Tsuen Wan has gained overwhelming responses. In Japan, Greenpeace Tokyo negotiated with Starbucks consistently and got the brand’s assured reply on its plan to stop providing single-use cups to customers by 2025; in November, 10 branch stores at Marunouchi, Tokyo, kicked off its reusable cup campaign, a step closer to the brand’s mission to halve its waste disposal by 2030.

After all, large enterprises shall hold responsibility for the zero-plastic initiatives. Greenpeace Seoul conducted a survey study on the top 5 food production corporate and followed up their conditions of single-use plastic production. In September, Greenpeace USA issued the report “The Climate Emergency Unpacked: How Consumer Goods Companies are Fueling Big Oil’s Plastic Expansion”. It revealed international consumer goods companies such as Coca-cola, Pepsi and Nestle have immense demand for plastics, their tight connection with oil companies, and the joint venture of the two’s destruction: snowballing global plastic expansion. It concluded these international brands shall shoulder their environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibility in view of their undeniable attributions to the global climate crisis.

Greenpeace USA issued the latest report on how international consumer goods companies are fueling plastic expansion, and the environmental abuse they have posed to the world community and climate. © Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Greenpeace voyage 50 years on, good health and sustainable living to all

50 years on, Greenpeace and its crew have sailed against the turbulent waves and enjoyed the tranquillize of nature. In this picture, the Rainbow Warrior is sailing in the United Kingdom waters in October 2021. © Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

In 1971, 12 Greenpeace founding members set off on an anti-nuclear-test journey to Amchitka, Canada, in an old ship carrying the same name of the organization, “Greenpeace”. The action was yet to be fully accomplished, but it seeded our spirit blending peace with green actions. The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Greenpeace’s inception, and the half-a-century journey it has sailed through.

Since 2011, we have been promoting toxin-free fashion and has launched a Detox Outdoor campaign. For years, Greenpeace has been working towards the end to avoid toxins from polluting nature, and arouse the public’s awareness of the issue. In September, Gore Fabrics announced the complete elimination of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a toxin to the natural environment. This year is when the impacts of our green efforts have been visualized.

The United Nations Human Rights Council pointed out at its meeting on October 8 that everyone shall have the right to enjoy a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. It echoes perfectly with Greenpeace’s global advocacy for environmental justice and climate justice.

Prior to June 1 when the G7 Summit was conducted, Greenpeace launched 300 drones for video production, calling for the participating world leaders to take immediate actions to stop ecological extinction.

Everything is connected in nature, and Greenpeace connects the dots of green initiatives around the world. Greenpeace Hong Kong published its first-ever original illustration book, intertwined with board games and eco-tour for promoting its environmental education initiatives. In November, 95,000 joint signatures in Russia were obtained to defend the nature reserve of Stavropol Krai. Together, we optimized our joint efforts for the environmental conservation of the world as a whole.

Protecting Forests with persistence ignites hope

Brazilian President Bolsonaro claimed the condition of the Amazon rainforest was positive this year, yet Greenpeace unveiled real facts and scientific evidence through its persistent investigations. Along with international media including New York Times, Greenpeace reported the life-threatening conditions of the natives and residents of the forest, where most of the lands were burnt into ashes.

In April 2021, Greenpeace presented its latest report on the rainforest conditions to the Minister at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of The Republic of Indonesia, acted out the real-life past scenarios of fire crisis, and pledged for the government’s revocation of forest development permits in Papua Province. © Jurnasyanto Sukarno / Greenpeace

This year, we issued a report which discloses the illegal operation of palm oil enterprises in the Indonesia rainforests, including Gunung Leider National Park where UNESCO identified as a significant natural heritage site. South of Sorong province where indigenous tribes of West Papua live, we have successfully won the revocation of a total of 14 oil palm plantation permits, saving the national forest in size larger than Luxembourg from over reclamation. Greenpeace also pushed the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to take actions on forest protection, and consequently its announcement to disconnect with South Korea palm oil giant, Korindo, in July.

Congo Basin Rainforest plays an instrumental role in regulating the global climate. While it has yet to deserve sufficient concern, African rainforests have been diminishing drastically. The situation is alarming. Greenpeace allied with international rainforest foundations to pledge for the Democratic Republic of Congo to hold on to its logging ban, and warned its lifting of the logging ban “would be a crisis for both human rights and our climate”. In October, Greenpeace Africa won from its government the support for the protection of special rights of the indigenous people, to secure their legal rights on forestry concessions.

The Congo Basin is the second-largest rainforest in the world. As one of the key carbon absorption areas on the earth, it plays an instrumental role in regulating the global climate. © Thomas Einberger / argum / Greenpeace

#ClimateAction – Prelude to Fossil Fuel Farewell

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is a hot headline of the year. “Glasgow Climate Pact” was an agreement entered to reduce unabated coal usage. The pledge to “phase out” fossil fuel was yet to be accomplished, yet at its very first time, “phasing down” of coal usage has been officially documented in the international sphere.

It could be disappointing but it is not the end of our fossil fuel revolution. Over millions of supporters, including you, have been advocating both the governments and corporations to keep their promise on confronting climate change over the world. China has strengthened its policies to address climate crises and announced its support to low-carbon and green energy initiatives of developing countries, as well as the cessation of new overseas coal power projects. Korea endorsed its amendments on natural gas legislation, so that general users could purchase electricity from renewable energy suppliers directly. NZ Oil & Gas Company gave up the deep-sea exploration license off the south coast of the South Island, with the good deed to leap forward for a greener future. Greenpeace has kept monitoring stakeholders involved, such as technology giants, Samsung, Xiaomi, and Alibaba, for their carbon reduction commitment and progress.

In October 2021, Greenpeace mobilized 80 activists from 12 EU countries to use fossil fuel advertisement materials to block the entrance to Shell’s oil refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The act was intended to call for a new law that bans fossil fuel advertising and sponsorship in the European Union. © Bart Hoogveld / Greenpeace

This year, Greenpeace gained promising fruits from its continuous efforts pursuing political and corporate climate responsibilities. The Dutch Court ordered Shell to be obliged to a 45% reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 and to bear its responsibility for the climate crisis. Backed by the joint signature of 2.3 million people, the fight for “Affaire du Siècle / Case of the Century” in France was a victory. All these cases of justice for climate acts have been accomplished in 2021.

2022 is around the corner, though the future remains a mystery, Greenpeace promises to keep our earth protection initiatives hand-in-hand with you. We will not forget our core mission to protect the environment and the climate as we have been upholding it for 50 years now. We will also keep gathering more like-minds for our green initiatives. With you, we have hope, and it brings greener actions and changes.

To save the climate, sustainable development and zero carbon emissions are directions a society shall steer towards. Greenpeace Indonesia lines up with environmental organizations, bicycle associations, and hundreds of bicycle lovers to hold a laser activity during the Jakarta Night Right in Jakarta, for advocating green traffics. © Jurnasyanto Sukarno / Greenpeace