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That inedible dish called the EU Taxonomy


For the better part of the last three years a large group of experts has worked, on behalf of the European Commission, on a list of ‘green activities’, also known as the Taxonomy of environmentally sustainable investments. The list underwent a public consultation in December 2020 during which environmental experts from far and wide contributed their knowledge to make it greener and smarter.

But what was finally included in the list .... ? Read the story here

Are there lessons to be learnt for 2022?

Two at least. First, greenwashing is not a problem for the green transition, it is THE problem. One that calls for appropriate measures. Second, we cannot expect institutions to address the transition by consulting the very same lobbyists that are fighting against it. And if institutions fail to address greenwashing, it’ll be down to us, civil society, to straighten things up.

Read the story here

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The United Nations campaign Race to Zero 

recently published a paper identifying 20 pathways to reach net zero carbon emissions. In December, the British Oil & Gas Authority published a requirement that oil and gas development be “consistent with net zero” (despite approval of new offshore permits). BP, Shell and other multinational companies have all now published their “net zero” pathways.

If it wasn’t so serious, the premise would almost be comical: oil companies are claiming that not only can they keep their current levels of production, but expand their operations that extract and refine fossil fuels. They would have us believe that by planting trees and using largely unproven, expensive, and thus far inefficient carbon-capture technologies, they can reach “net-zero” and solve the climate crisis – all while continuing to grow fossil fuel production.

This argument is delusional and based on bad science. To have any realistic shot at maintaining a 1.5C world, [an increase in average worldwide temperature of max 1.5 degrees] we need to be winding down and phasing out fossil fuel production, not growing it – as its executives are incentivised to do.  read more

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Prince Charles' Terra Carta is calling for businesses to make a pledge toward climate and biodiversity. 

The Terra Carta, or Earth’s charter, is named after the 800 year old Magna Carta in England that first enshrined rights under a monarchy. Prince Charles has long been a voice (and often a lone voice) defending the environment and he is supporting calls to recognise the climate catastrophe we are heading towards.

BBC story   Forbes story

But ....Has Prince Charles' Nature Pledge been Undermined by including Fossil Fuel  Producers? At the end of March the main partners include: HSBC, BP, KPMG and EY. As regular readers will know, HSBC has been one of the major funders of Fossil Fuel exploration (it still is although there are small signs of this changing), BP are one of the biggest extractors of fossil fuels and polluters of our world and KPMG and EY are consultants who have Oil and Gas companies as clients. KPMG act for Halliburton (one of the biggest oil services firms) and Occidental Petroleum Company along with a collection of banks who continue to fund fossil fuel exploration. EY's clients include ConocoPhilipps (strapline: "We produce oil and gas resources that power civilization.") and National Oilwell Varco - a supplier of equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling and production operations. And also CocaCola (one of the biggest users of plastic in the world).  

Surely it can't be that difficult to get funding for such a great idea from companies that are not so compromised in destroying the planet?

So while we don't think Terra Carta is involved in Greenwash it does seem that a collection of other companies are using it to Greenwash their own activities.

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trade and invest in wales

"Wales’ energy and environment sector employs over 58,000 people generating over £4.8 billion in revenue. The sector is strong in energy and waste management, water treatment, environmental monitoring and the built environment...... " [read the whole story here]

and please cue pretty picture of something sustainable

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And yet .... how about advertising that on electronic advertising boards that use lots of energy !


Double-sided electric advertising spaces like these use four times as much electricity as the average UK household per year. Large billboard sized ones can use as much energy as 36 homes per year!

Whatever this is, it's not sustainability." 

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