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Spring 2022

Deep Sea Mining: Threatening Our Oceans

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From the Co-Executive Directors

Greenpeace USA believes in the public’s right to know about what’s happening to our planet—that’s why we dig into the nitty gritty of environmental problems, to figure out the “who, what, where, when, why, and how.” Our investigations expose environmental crimes for all the world to see, and the people, companies, and governments that need to be held responsible.

Right now Greenpeace USA is telling the real story behind how big brands like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé are working hand-in-hand with the fossil fuel industry to push petrochemical production—ensuring both industries stay filthy rich until the last drop of oil is pumped from the ground.

While it is clear that many consumer goods companies want to hide their cozy relationships with fossil fuel and petrochemical corporations, our exposé reveals the extent to which they are working toward common goals that pollute the planet and harm communities worldwide. Greenpeace is calling on these big brands to end these alliances and move away from single-use plastics immediately.

You make all of this work possible, and we could not be more grateful. Thank you for sharing our vision of a better future for our blue planet, and for helping Greenpeace move forward with hope and courage to make it manifest!

For a green and peaceful future,

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA Co-Executive Director
Ebony Twilley Martin, Greenpeace USA Co-Executive Director

Signature of Annie Leonard & Ebony Martin

Annie Leonard & Ebony Martin

Co-Executive Directors of Greenpeace USA

Our Mission

Greenpeace, Inc. is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Please visit to learn more about Greenpeace, Inc., and to learn more about Greenpeace Fund, Inc.

This update is intended to provide a comprehensive summary of all Greenpeace campaign activities. Please note that all donations to Greenpeace Fund, Inc. were solely used in connection with 501(c)(3) permissible activities. ISSN: 8899-
0190. Unless otherwise noted, all contents are © Greenpeace, Inc.

© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

COP26: Some Progress, But Not Nearly Enough

By Gaby Flores

The Glasgow Climate Pact coming out of the 2021 U.N. Conference on Climate Change (COP26) recognizes the need for deep emissions cuts in this decade—but it fell far short of securing the action we need now.

Nations had promised to do more at the Glasgow talks, and, from the start, Glasgow was meant to deliver commitments that would limit warming to 1.5°C. That didn’t happen, and we have lost precious time to tackle the worsening climate crisis.

Before COP27 is held in Egypt in 2022, we need to mobilize by the millions and redouble our efforts so that countries come back with much stronger targets and clearly defined plans.

Main Outcomes from COP26

Frontline Activism

First, credit where credit is overwhelmingly overdue: without Indigenous leaders, youth activists, and countries on the front lines of the climate emergency fighting for our future, the climate talks would have failed.

Both inside and outside the COP conference center, voices from countries and communities most affected by the impacts of the climate crisis demanded action from world leaders. In the days leading up to the opening of COP26, young activists from Namibia, Uganda, Bangladesh, and Mexico sailed to COP on board the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior to tell leaders to “Stop Failing Us.”

Days later, activists including Greta Thunberg and Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan challenged Mark Carney, the U.N. Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, at a side event on voluntary carbon offsets, calling it “greenwash.” These actions, amid the daily relentless demands from frontline activists, highlighted inaction and the insufficient ambition of the talks, holding government negotiators accountable.

Help to Address Climate Impacts

The idea behind climate “adaptation” is simple: even if we limit warming, countries will still need to make big investments to deal with climate impacts. Climate vulnerable countries need and deserve resources from the richest countries and biggest polluters to deal with the mounting impacts of the climate crisis. Expectations that COP26 would finally deliver real support for communities needing to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of climate disasters were high.

Although rich countries finally began to acknowledge the calls from more climate vulnerable countries for funding and resources, acknowledgement is not enough without ambitious, concrete commitments. The world’s nations that are disproportionately responsible for rising temperatures must both dramatically reduce their own climate pollution and deliver much more help to those suffering from the mess they have created. This must be a top priority for developed countries as climate negotiations continue in 2022.

Carbon Offsets

Disappointingly, the carbon offset scam got a boost in Glasgow, creating new loopholes that endanger nature, Indigenous Peoples, and the 1.5°C goal itself. Although the U.N. Secretary-General announced a new Group of Experts to scrutinize the role of offsets, much work still needs to be done to prevent giving big polluters a pass to continue dirty business as usual.

Phasing Out Fossil Fuels

The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first UN agreement to specifically include lines about phasing out coal and ending fossil fuel subsidies. While this is a step forward, the actual language is compromised and weak.

The call for emissions reductions of 45% by the end of this decade is still in line with what we need to do to stay under 1.5°C and keeps the science in this deal. But countries need to specify how much and by when they will cut emissions. And a focus on a just transition to clean energy will be essential.

What Happens After COP26?

Our climate is now breaking down around us. We see it every day in wildfires, extreme storms, droughts, and melting ice. There is no time to waste. It’s in the interests of all countries to transition to clean renewable energy. And richer countries must do more to support that shift. Our future depends on it.

COP27 will take place this year in Egypt, where climate justice activists will intensify efforts to raise awareness about the severe climate impacts and to secure more support for adaptation, loss, and damage. In the meantime, we must continue to mobilize and urgently create irrepressible pressure that finally ends the era of fossil fuels.


Gaby Flores

Greenpeace International Content Editor

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© Greenpeace

8 Reasons We Need to Phase Out the Fossil Fuel Industry

The fossil fuel industry’s bad behavior doesn’t stop with greenhouse gas emissions. Here are eight reasons why we should kick off a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry.

  1. Fossil fuel companies are wrecking our climate. The science is clear: we cannot continue burning coal, oil, and gas if we are going to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
  2. Fossil fuel companies are spending to lock-in climate pollution. Oil and gas companies are forecast to spend $4.9 trillion in capital expenditures on new oil and gas projects over the next decade.
  3. Fossil fuel companies cause deadly air pollution. Burning fossil fuels generates localized air pollutants that increase the risk of death from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory illness among those exposed.
  4. Fossil fuel companies cause water pollution. Where there is drilling, there is inevitably spilling, and time and time again, oil spills and explosions have wreaked havoc on water, land, and homes and communities.
  5. Fossil fuel companies perpetuate environmental injustice. The burdens of both climate change and conventional pollution fall more heavily on low-income communities and communities of color.
  6. Fossil fuel companies don’t treat workers fairly. The oil and gas industry has “one of the highest rates of severe injuries in the country.” And as coal companies declare bankruptcy, executives get bonuses while miners and retirees are denied benefits and pensions.
  7. Fossil fuel companies have misled the public about the climate threat. Fossil corporations spent millions on a campaign to sow climate doubt and disinformation, leading to decades of delay, putting the lives of millions under threat while time runs short to solve the problem.
  8. Fossil fuel companies are attacking solutions, while raking in tax breaks. The fossil fuel industry has spent millions to block climate action while continuing to receive around $20 billion in subsidies every year, and billions more in tax savings.]

It is clear that the current business model of the fossil fuel industry is putting all of us in harm’s way, but in particular low-income, Indigenous, and communities of color who are on the front lines of pollution and climate chaos. Fossil fuel interests are still one of the main barriers to the passage of comprehensive, ambitious climate policies in the U.S. and it is time for the industry to face a reckoning.

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© Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace

Greenpeace USA Exposé: How the World’s Biggest Brands Are Fueling the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Plastic Expansion

By Graham Forbes

A new exposé released by Greenpeace USA lays bare despite their best efforts to appear climate-friendly, companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé are working alongside the fossil fuel industry to expand plastic production, which could lock the world into catastrophic emissions levels and a planet warmed beyond saving.

For example, The Climate Emergency Unpacked: How Consumer Goods Companies are Fueling Big Oil’s Plastic Expansion reveals that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Mondelēz, Danone, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, and Mars all buy packaging from manufacturers supplied with plastic resin or petrochemicals by well-known companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron Phillips, Ineos, and Dow. Without transparency around these relationships, consumer goods companies are largely able to avoid accountability for the actions of the companies that supply plastic for their packaging.

Greenpeace is calling on consumer goods companies to urgently move toward systems of reuse and package-free products. Companies must phase out all single-use plastics and be more transparent about their plastic footprint, including the climate footprint of their packaging. And Greenpeace USA is further urging the U.S. government to take a leadership role in supporting a strong international agreement for a plastic-free future.

Coke is the World’s #1 Plastic Polluter

In October 2021, Coca-Cola was named the world’s worst plastic polluter for the fourth year running in Break Free From Plastic’s brand audit. Not long after, Coca-Cola launched its feel-good holiday ad campaign spinning its polluting brand into a conscious company that cares about community.

This is disgusting holiday greenwashing, but nothing shocking. Coca-Cola will do and say anything to continue business as usual. In the spirit of fighting back corporate greed during the holidays and beyond, Greenpeace launched a petition campaign to demand Coke to reduce single-use plastic and help tackle the climate crisis.

Message Coca-Cola’s CEO NOW to ditch single-use plastics and stop profiting off the climate crisis. 

Graham Forbes

Greenpeace USA Global Plastics Project Leader

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© Mitja Kobal / Greenpeace

Deep Sea Mining: An Emerging Ocean Threat We Must Stop

By Arlo Hemphill

The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on the planet, but only a tiny fraction of the deep seafloor has been investigated by scientists to understand what sea creatures live there or how vital the ecosystem is to the functioning of the planet we live on. We actually know more about the surface of Mars than we do about the bottom of the ocean.

The little we do know though, is that these are extreme ecosystems teeming with life: the deep seafloor is home to ancient coral reefs, and around 85% of species found near hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the sea are found nowhere else in the oceans.

Yet greedy corporations are clamoring to set up commercial deep sea mining operations deep below the surface. Leveling the ocean floor with heavy machinery to extract minerals will destroy ocean life in their path and threaten marine biodiversity by spewing waste into the water column and on the seabed floor, disrupting deep-sea ecosystems, food chains, and the carbon cycle, potentially even exasperating the climate crisis.

“We are currently in the middle of a climate and biodiversity crisis, we know that deep sea ecosystems are some of the most important ecosystems on the planet and we are seeing this relentless and reckless push to mine these areas, despite the fact that scientists are very clearly warning us that the outcomes could be disastrous.” — James Hita, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Aotearoa

But it’s not too late to stop deep sea mining before it starts. We still have time to stop international law from opening the oceans to this new destructive practice.

We can get global businesses on board to reject deep sea-sourced materials, too. Right now, deep sea mining interests are pitching themselves to corporations like Ford Motor Company as a quick and easy new market for minerals needed to produce batteries for electric vehicles and renewable storage. Tell Ford Motor Company to keep its electric vehicles free of deep sea mining!

Companies Reject Minerals Sourced Through Deep Sea Mining

Motivated by the need to stop extractive industries from raiding land and water resources for financial gain and support a shift away from the model of capitalism that necessitates endless growth at the expense of the planet, sustainable outdoor clothing company Patagonia is calling for a moratorium on deep seabed mining.

Patagonia joins a growing list of corporations, including Google, Volvo Group, BMW, Volkswagen, Samsung, and Phillips, that are choosing leadership and responsibility when it comes to protecting the ocean floor. Other companies, such as Microsoft, Ford Automotive, GM, and Rivian, have taken commendable steps to ensure that minerals sourced through deep-sea mining will not be used in their supply chains but have yet to join the call for a political moratorium.

The growing call from companies to safeguard the health of the deep ocean comes as scientists and policy experts continue to warn of the risks associated with deep-sea mining. More than 600 marine science and policy experts from over 44 countries have called for a pause on the nascent and highly destructive industry, warning of a “loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning that would be irreversible on multi-generational timescales” and “uncertain impacts on carbon sequestration dynamics and deep-ocean carbon storage.”

Arlo Hemphill

Greenpeace U.S. Senior Oceans Campaigner

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© Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace

U.S. Supermarkets Fail on Environmental and Human Rights in Their Tuna Supply Chain

By Mallika Talwar

Supermarkets that profit from tuna sales have a responsibility to ensure that their policies do not worsen human rights and environmental impacts down their supply chain. Your local corporate grocer may not directly employ the migrant fishers who spend months or even years at sea hauling thousands of pounds of tuna for over 16 hours a day, but their sourcing policies and business practices set the tone for the entire industry. In 2018, tuna vessels worldwide netted $11 billion. Yet grocery stores earned almost four times that amount from their sales of tuna products in the same year.

So, what’s the bottom line? Retailers are reaping big profits from tuna sourced with cheap labor made possible by human rights abuses. Greenpeace USA’s latest report, The High Cost of Cheap Tuna: U.S. Supermarkets, Sustainability, and Human Rights at Sea finds all 16 retailers surveyed to be failing miserably on ensuring their tuna supply chains are free of exploitative labor practices such as debt bondage and physical abuse.

Read the report

Even in a field of bad performances, one U.S. retailer in particular stands out: Costco. As one of America’s largest wholesale chains, Costco has an opportunity to step up and help make change in the industry. Instead, they’re quietly supporting the status quo and continuing to profit off the immense harm done to people and the planet by the global tuna industry. That’s completely unacceptable for one of America’s biggest supermarkets.

Take Action! Tell Costco to stop selling tuna tainted by environmental and human rights abuses!

Mallika Talwar

Greenpeace USA Senior Oceans Campaigner

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© Gavin Newman / Greenpeace

Victories for the Oceans, Forest, Climate, and Communities

New Protections Announced for Californians Living Near Oil and Gas Drilling

A draft rule has been issued banning the permitting of new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, hospitals, and other sensitive sites, a success belonging to frontline communities and environmental justice groups working to end dangerous neighborhood drilling for years. Greenpeace USA is urging both regulators and Governor Newsom to see these precedent-setting pollution protections across the finish line and remain steadfast in the face of oil and gas executives intent on weakening them.

New Zealand Supreme Court Slams Door on Massive Sea Mining Project

For the better part of a decade, Greenpeace Aotearoa has worked together with iwi, hapū, and coastal communities to oppose the proposal to mine in the South Taranaki Bight. In a big win for the ocean and people power, consent to begin the giant seabed mining operation in the waters of Aotearoa was quashed, and Greenpeace is urging the New Zealand government to implement a ban to ensure its waters are always off-limits to seabed mining companies.

Court Delivers on Historic Win for Indigenous Peoples Rights in West Papua

A court in West Papua rejected company appeals against a local government’s decision to revoke permits of palm oil companies on lands belonging to Indigenous Peoples. The Regent of Sorong revoked permits of three palm oil companies in 2021 that are part of 12 palm oil concessions that have had their licenses rescinded following a province-wide audit that started in 2018. Greenpeace Indonesia and local groups welcomed this move and continue to push for the national government to play a role in supporting much-needed permit reviews and revocations across the plantation sector.

French Court Orders Government to Meet Emissions Target

The Paris administrative tribunal ruled that the government must respect its commitment to reducing French greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, and ordered the French government to take all necessary measures to repair ecological damage and to prevent a further increase of carbon emissions by end-December 2022 at the latest. France is one of several countries where Greenpeace France and other environmental activists are using the judicial system to force governments to take faster action against global warming.

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© Pierre Baelen / Greenpeace

Create Your Legacy for the Earth

One of the most powerful ways to fight for our planet’s health for years to come is through a gift in your will. Greenpeace Fund has teamed up with FreeWill to give you a totally no-cost way to write your legally valid will. Whether or not you make a gift to Greenpeace, it’s important to have a will, and with this free tool you can prepare for your future while taking care of the people and causes you love.

If you would like to speak to a lawyer about your will, this same free tool can help you document your wishes before you meet. You can get started today at — and it’s free to make changes anytime, so you can keep your will up-to-date!

The struggle to save our planet will continue long after we are gone. But that doesn’t mean that our voices become silent.

By leaving a legacy to Greenpeace, you can continue to be an advocate for the planet that future generations will inherit. If you would like to know more about how you can remember Greenpeace in you estate plans, please contact Rogelio Ocampo:

(202) 319-2413 [email protected]

© Markus Mauthe / Greenpeace

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Co-Executive Directors

Annie Leonard

Ebony Twilley Martin

Editorial Staff

Editor in Chief

Allison Gates

Development Editors

Elizabeth Bennett
Rogelio Ocampo

Editorial Staff

Photo Editor

Tim Aubry


Blair Miltenberger
Heather Whitehead

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