Campaign Background

Bristol businesses and government agencies are on notice as XR Bristol declare the city to be a

'GREENWASH FREE ZONE'

 

 The City of Bristol has a reputation for being a commercially bustling, forward-thinking city that tends to be a magnet for environmental companies and NGOs.  Not only does it host the headquarters of Sustrans and Soil Association but has a rich tradition of green and sustainable businesses which helped the city in becoming Europe's Green Capital 2015.  However, like all urban hubs, Bristol is home to the usual greenwash villains operating along its homogenous high streets and industrial estates.

Bristol has also had a strong tradition of protest and a hankering to address the social justice issues that most metropolitan cities possess.  The citizens of Bristol don't like blatant inequality and injustice and have recently been widely reported in its protests against Edward Colston's involvement in the slave trade as well as the confrontations between police and protestors over the insidious Police, Crime and Sentencing and Courts Bill being introduced by a Government who don't want to confront their inaction in tackling climate change.

 

It is not surprising that the city has had a thriving XR community since its beginnings back in 2018.  The first demand of Extinction Rebellion is 'Tell The Truth" so it seems appropriate that the group wanted to aspire to campaign for a city free of greenwash. It was clear that climate change deniers who have fewer places to hide have morphed into climate change delayers, their key weapon of subterfuge being 'greenwash.   It also comes at a time when a group of XR supporters were fighting the mighty expansion plans of Bristol Airport which is owned by the hugely rich Canadian entity, Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund.  The group have constantly had to counter the lies and misinformation that Bristol Airport has spouted on how sustainable its operations will be now that it has been given permission to expand which will result in an extra million tonnes of CO2 deposited into our atmosphere per annum.  

 

Since the start of 2022, the various working groups of XR Bristol have been full-on with much creative activity.  There has been a real sense of purpose and cooperation.  The weekend of 26th/27th February saw the exciting launch of  #GreenwashFreeBristol. The aspiration is that Bristol businesses will come to know that Extinction Rebellion will call them out when they try to mislead the local consumers and hopefully they will think twice before activating greenwash policies.

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