Quantcast
Climate

9 Huge Wins You Helped Make Happen in 2015

It may have been the warmest year on record, but one thing for sure, 2015 signaled hope and change for the environmental movement. Here are nine milestones you helped us reach in 2015:

1. You Helped Accelerate the End of Coal

From the tiny village in Turkey that took on a “land grab” by a major power plant to both sides of the Norwegian parliament agreeing to divest from coal, the big ol’ black rock had a pretty terrible year.

In Australia, approval of a major coal project that planned to be right on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef was overturned by the Federal Court. This was followed by major banks pulling out their investment leaving Adani, the company behind the mine, in a major ditch. But the fight isn’t over—Adani has been persistent—and the power and passion to protect the reef will continue to grow.

More than 145,000 people have signed the petition to #SavetheReef. Photo credit: Darren Jew

2. You Joined Greenpeace Activists to Say #ShellNo

Slacktivism is lazy right? Wrong!

When 13 Greenpeace USA activists suspended from St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, to block a Shell vessel from leaving port for Alaskan waters, you supported them with your tweet love, Facebook shares, petition signing and all the encouraging messages that poured into our inbox. Because of your support, the ship was forced to turn back to port temporarily.

In the end, #PeopleVsShell won. Photo credit: Robert Meyers

In the UK, Aurora, our giant polar bear, was erected outside Shell’s headquarters and refused to move until they agreed to pull out of drilling in Arctic. And then … they did!

Actor Emma Thompson and Greenpeace activists march with Aurora. In September, Shell quit drilling in the Arctic. Photo credit: John Cobb

3. You Saved the Little Guys

… like the vaquitas. These rare species of porpoise are on the cusp of becoming extinct due to them being caught up in nets intended for another endangered fish—the totoaba.

But 100,000 of you stood up and demanded the vaquitas be protected. The U.S. and China agreed to tackle the smuggling of the totoaba fish and Hong Kong fined the operators of two dried seafood shops that sell bladders of the endangered fish.

These totoaba bladders can fetch up to USD 645,000. But you’ve helped pressure governments to end trafficking this product. Photo credit: Alex Hofford / Greenpeace

Mexico announced a temporary ban on fishing nets in the vaquita habitat. Though the rare marine mammals need more protection from all countries involved, we’re closer than ever to protecting them.

Only 57 vaquita are left in the world. Photo credit: P H Yang

Read page 1 

4. … and the Big Guys Too

Indonesia’s forest fires have been labelled a “crime against humanity,” driven by companies clearing land for palm oil and endangering the lives of the orangutan.

But hundreds of thousands of you took action to force major brands including Nestlé, Unilever, P&G and Mattel to cease buying the products linked to deforestation. As a result, Indonesian paper giant APRIL agreed to stop pulping the rainforest.

Thanks for help protecting the home of the orangutan. Photo credit: Ulet Ifansasti

As the fires continued throughout the year, you also helped us pressure President Jokowi to stop the fires for good and we delivered more than 250,000 of your messages to the man himself.

At the COP21 climate talks in Paris we handed over a petition signed by 253,800 people around the world to halt forest and peatland destruction. Photo credit: Greenpeace

5. You Lent a Small Hand in a Big Fight

Russia also suffered from fires and land clearing and your support helped us send firefighters out there to battle the blazes.

In November, the Russian government banned the burning of dry grass on agricultural land and conservation areas.

Stopping dry grass fire took six years. Photo credit: Igor Podgomy

In the Amazon, you stood with the Ka’apor indigenous community by working with them to monitor and protect their lands from the invasion of illegal loggers.

Also called “forest dwellers,” the home of the Ka’apor has been strengthened by technology to document the invasion of logging trucks inside their territory. Here, a trap camera is being set up to monitor the indigenous territory in areas used by illegal loggers. Photo credit: Lunae Parracho

And in India, a disputed forest block that was up for auction was given back to the community after years of campaigning by Greenpeace India.

6. You Said "No" to Cheap Throwaway Clothing

Major retailers like Aldi, Lidl and Tchibo listened to your demands for a toxic-free world and committed to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their textile products by Jan. 1, 2020.

Thanks for helping to build the #detox movement. Photo credit: Hati Kecil Visuals

Read page 1 

7. You Pressured Internet Giants to Go Renewable

If the Net were a country it would be the sixth largest power consumer. We’ve pressured Google, Apple and Facebook to go renewable and in June Korean Internet giant Naver committed to 100 percent renewable energy.

Almost everything is online these days. That’s why we need to pressure data centers like this one in North Virginia to be powered by renewables. Photo credit: Robert Meyers / Greenpeace

8. You Scared Off Fossil Fuel Companies

It’s time for climate justice. This year, we supported island nation Kiribati to call for a moratorium on all new coal mines.

During the Paris climate talks, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights announced it will investigate major polluters like Exxon, following a global people powered petition, gathering more than 100,000 signatures.

The Philippines launched the world’s first ever national human rights investigation into 50 big polluters. Photo credit: Jed Delano

And in the U.S., a fight that had been raging on for years finally came to an end when expansion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. was flat-out rejected by President Obama. Yes, people power won!

9. You Cared About Changing the Out-of-Control Tuna Industry

The world’s tuna stocks are decreasing, fuelled by an industry using slavery and aggressive fishing methods to clear out the ocean. Greenpeace ships have been out in the sea keeping an eye on the practices of the tuna industry, and in China we exposed and stopped the dodgy actions of a company that was trying to raise millions of dollars to fish for some of the most vulnerable species in the Pacific Ocean.

Slavery and overfishing—the tuna industry is out of control, but your consumer choice and voice is helping to change that. Photo credit: Paul Hilton

World leaders are paying attention to the threat of climate change, renewables are on the up and the environmental movement is strengthening all over the world. There’s a global shift happening and you are at the center of it. Bring it on, 2016.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Victory: Obama Signs Bill Banning Plastic Microbeads

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Popular
South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (S.C.U.T.E) unearthed three baby loggerheads after a nest inventory at Pawleys Island beach. Lorraine Chow

Sea Turtle Population Rebounding But Many Threats Remain

A new study published in Science Advances has found that most global sea turtles populations are recovering after historical declines.

The results from the analysis suggest that conservation programs actually work, and why we must defend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that protects vulnerable plants and animals, and is currently under attack by political and business interests.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
www.youtube.com

Baby Rhino Brings New Hope to India’s Manas National Park

A baby rhino spotted alongside its mother in Manas National Park, located in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, is an encouraging new sign that the rhino population in the protected area is on the upswing. The mother, named Jamuna, was rescued as a calf from Kaziranga National Park, located about 200 miles east of Manas and raised at the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, a facility that cares for injured or orphaned wild animals run by Wildlife Trust of India/International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Assam Forest Department. She was moved to the Manas in 2008 as part of the country's rhino conservation efforts.

The calf is her second since 2013—a positive indication that despite concerns due to poaching of mature males, rhinos in Manas are reproducing.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Cedar Mesa Valley of the Gods in the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Bob Wick, BLM

Navajo Nation Readies Legal Action if Trump Shrinks Bears Ears National Monument

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's recommendation to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah could spark a legal battle between the Navajo Nation and the Trump administration.

"We are prepared to challenge immediately whatever official action is taken to modify the monument or restructure any aspect of that, such as the Bears Ears Commission," Ethel Branch, Navajo Nation attorney general, told Reuters.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Jilson Tiu / Greenpeace

Nestlé, Unilever, P&G Among Worst Offenders for Plastic Pollution in Philippines Beach Audit

A week-long beach clean up and audit at Freedom Island in Manila Bay has exposed the companies most responsible for plastic pollution in the critical wetland habitat and Ramsar site—one of the worst locations for plastic pollution in the Philippines.

The Greenpeace Philippines and #breakfreefromplastic movement audit, the first of its kind in the country, revealed that Nestlé, Unilever and Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora are the top three contributors of plastic waste discovered in the area, contributing to the 1.88 million metric tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste in the Philippines per year.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
GMO
www.youtube.com

Arkansas Plant Board Backs Dicamba Ban Next Summer in Blow to Monsanto

The Arkansas Plant Board has approved new regulations that prohibit the use of dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31, 2018 after receiving nearly 1,000 complaints of pesticide misuse in the state.

Arkansas, which temporarily banned the highly volatile weedkiller in July, could now face legal action from Monsanto, the developers of dicamba-resistant soybeans or cotton and the corresponding pesticide, aka the Xtend crop system.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Crews cleanup a spill from the Rover pipeline near the Tuscrawas River in southern Stark County. Ohio EPA

Ohio EPA Hikes Fines Against Rover Pipeline to $2.3 Million

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked the state attorney general's office Wednesday to hold the owners of the troubled Rover natural gas pipeline responsible for $2.3 million dollars in fines. Rover leaked more than 2 million gallons of drilling mud into protected Ohio wetlands this spring, leading the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order a halt to construction.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Diego Cambiaso / Flickr

White House Considers Green Rebrand

The White House convened a "big-picture" strategy meeting on climate and environment this week, Politico reported.

At the meeting, deputy-level White House officials and representatives from agencies discussed how to frame President Trump's larger environmental objectives beyond simply overturning Obama-era regulations. Per Politico, meeting attendees considered the possibility of highlighting job creation and new energy technology and "how to combat the public perception that the administration is out of touch with climate science."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
iStock

How Trump Could Undermine the U.S. Solar Boom

By Llewelyn Hughes and Jonas Meckling

Tumbling prices for solar energy have helped stoke demand among U.S. homeowners, businesses and utilities for electricity powered by the sun. But that could soon change.

President Donald Trump—whose proposed 2018 budget would slash support for alternative energy—may get a new opportunity to undermine the solar power market by imposing duties that could increase the cost of solar power high enough to choke off the industry's growth.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox