Environmentalists come under fire / News / The Foreigner

Environmentalists come under fire. Organisations face criticism for accepting money from businesses. Labour’s former Minister of the Environment – Thorbjørn Berntsen (Ap) – has put Norway’s environmental organisations in the spotlight, criticising them for being sponsored by companies with a bad environmental record. “I wonder what their mission is. Is it out of regard for the environment, or is it as spokesmen for those who pay them?” Berntsen tells NRK.

bellona, world, wildlife, fund, wwf, zero, rainforest, environment, sponsorship, deals, businesses, norway



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Environmentalists come under fire

Published on Friday, 4th December, 2009 at 13:12 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Organisations face criticism for accepting money from businesses.

Mother seal voicing displeasure
Mother seal voicing displeasure
Photo: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons


Double standards?

Labour’s former Minister of the Environment – Thorbjørn Berntsen (Ap) – has put Norway’s environmental organisations in the spotlight, criticising them for being sponsored by companies with a bad environmental record.

“I wonder what their mission is. Is it out of regard for the environment, or is it as spokesmen for those who pay them?” Berntsen tells NRK.

Amongst the sponsors are airports, car makers, oil and power companies, and paint manufacturers.

Both the income and number of employees have increased recently in Bellona, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Zero, and the Rainforest Foundation (Regnskogfondet). The only environmental organisation that doesn’t accept money is Greenpeace.

Unavoidable

Meanwhile Frederic Hauge, head of Bellona, says that there doesn’t seem to be any other option, believing that it’s a complicated issue.

“(We need) to have businesses that are willing to lead the way and find new solutions, especially in connection with (the forthcoming climate negotiations in) Copenhagen.

Squabbling

And the inter-agency squabbling has begun, with organisations sawing into one another, saying that they should be fighting, rather than “environmentally laundering” businesses hostile to the ecosystem.

However, Truls Gullowsen, head of the Norwegian branch of Greenpeace, says that independence from sponsorship means there isn’t a question of credibility.

He also claims that sponsors benefit more from sponsorship deals than the environmental agencies themselves.

“I believe that trade and industry often come out better than the environmental organisations (do). Frequently they will use the sponsorship in ways that will make them look best.”



Published on Friday, 4th December, 2009 at 13:12 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: bellona, world, wildlife, fund, wwf, zero, rainforest, environment, sponsorship, deals, businesses, norway.





  
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