Every time I see an advert from a major Blue Chip trying to shmooze me on their green credential I put on my suspicion cloak.
Look at Shell and BP, both companies were trying to advertise their green credentials, both companies are amongst the world's biggest polluters and now both have moved out of their green investments and to add insult to injury, they're getting involved in extraction of oil in the Canadian Tar Sands, extraction that is the most polluting form of oil extraction on Earth. Liars.
The problem with being green is that you want to believe polluters when they make their promises to pollute less but almost everytime that those promises are made, it's purely based on financial reasons and because of that, the promises aren't credible. No one in the corporate world will try going green out of ideology but they will sell it to the general public that way. It's no wonder authors like Chris Goodall note that the British general public is cynical about the "going green" thing. When you're being lied to and deceived by corporate interests all the time you start thinking twice on who you really want to trust.
I must say that I am impressed by M&S efforts, the Coop and Tesco's. Not all blue chips are out to lie to their customers. But one certainly is: EDF AND WE ARE ADDING THEIR CEO TO OUR KEY PEOPLE IRRESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING LIST.
You've no doubt seen their schmoozy patriotic, we can do it, we did it before advert on being green for one day and polluters the rest of the year. Well... Read our section on Green Electricity to see what we think about the Big 6 energy suppliers: http://www.ecochanges.co.uk/individual_footprint/green_energy/green_electricity.html
The point of the matter is that these companies are phenomenal polluters and that we should not trust them to supply us our energy. If it were not for the government imposing renewable energy sourcing on them, they would gladly pollute the Earth until it was no more. Their save today, save tomorrow website is laughable. I could do a better website than that and I have, for less than a hundred quid and they've got millions.
But what really gets me is the fact that they are HUGE POLLUTERS marketing themselves as a "WE CARE ABOUT THE PLANET" company. GREENWASH!!!
Check their energy mix here: http://www.electricityinfo.org/
33.5% of the electricity we use in the UK comes from coal according to a coal industry website, 35.2% according to the above website. Note that the proportion of energy coming from coal from EDF is 49% (Source), 16% above average. Out of the Big 6, only Scottish Power uses more coal than EDF do as a proportion of their energy mix. THEY ARE THE SECOND MOST POLLUTING ENERGY SUPPLIER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THEY'VE GOT THE NERVE TO ADVERTISE THEMSELVES AS CARING ABOUT GREEN ISSUES. THEY'RE LIARS AND HYPOCRITS.
What's more they don't even invest in renewables, it's all well and good them advertising that they're going to do it but the point is right now, they're not. Check the amount they invest in renewables per customer here.
They are currently being sued and rightly so by Ecotricity for misuse of the green flag (Source). And I'll add that they are a French company with considerable investment in nuclear. Nothing wrong with that, it might have been a good source of energy to use in the 70s, better than coal at least but not today, not with wind energy cheap and able to serve the almost 90% of the UK's needs. Yet EDF, alongside E.ON have bought plots to build Nuclear power plant and are lobbying the Government to persuade them that Wind Energy is unreliable (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4). Now Nuclear is both uneconomical and highly polluting. It's not because it doesn't create CO2 that it qualifies as clean. Nuclear waste lasts 200,000 years and if you read George Monbiot's book Heat prepare yourself for a heart attack when you find out where that Nuclear Waste has ended up in the past.
A letter sent to me by my local MP on the lib-dems energy plans emphasized that Nuclear had so far cost us well over 50 billion pounds and that the costs of course will keep adding up for the next 200,000 years because you have to pay to insure that the waste is properly looked after. That's why no private company in their right mind is willing to purchase a nuclear power plant without government subsidies and guarantees that they won't have to pay for the costs of disposal. Who ends up paying for it? US MUGS!
That's my bit about Nuclear power but going back to EDF, the real reason for this post is the outrageous article I received in a Greenpeace newsletter with this morning mail. The article reproduced from Greenpeace's website :
On March 31, Greenpeace France discovered that its former campaign director's computer was hacked in 2006, and that the organisation had been targeted by the private investigation company Kargus Consultants under instruction from EDF. It is possible that the whole of the Greenpeace network was penetrated.
At least two contracts were signed between EDF and Kargus, in 2004 and 2007, for the provision of 'operational support for the ongoing strategic surveillance of environmental organisations and their activities and practices'. This 'operational support' suggests regular reports from Kargus to EDF on Greenpeace's activities. Kargus used various surveillance techniques and may even have infiltrated Greenpeace. In 2004, Kargus invoiced EDF for more than EUR 13,000 per month.
Regarding the 2007 contract it appears that EDF was aware of the use of illegal hacking.
"How can we trust a public company that devotes resources to spying on its critics?" asks Pascal Husting, Director of Greenpeace France. "How many contracts are we talking about here anyway? Are other agencies monitoring the activities of other environmental organisations?"
Following today's revelations, Greenpeace is calling for the suspension of EDF CEO, Mr. Gadonneix, and demands that the Government establishes an independent assessment of the nuclear industry as well as an open and democratic debate on nuclear power in France.
"The role of nuclear power in France, and its international business interests need to be thoroughly investigated," said Dr Rianne Teule, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaigner. "Globally we need energy resources that maintain energy security and protect the climate, not ones that create more security issues and detract from the real solutions to climate change."Greenpeace France, which is party to the case against EDF, will this afternoon present its evidence to the investigating judge.