Greenwash & Public Relations
The official UN Global Compact Office's response to the Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN's letter of January 29, 2002 is posted here. It is important to note two salient points: First, the "response" does not address the key issues raised in the international Alliance's letter, but rather changes the subject and focuses on criticizing CorpWatch staff and supposed ''inaccuracies'' in CorpWatch's recent ''Greenwash +10'' report. Second, the letter itself inaccurately portrays the positions and critiques contained in the CorpWatch report, labeling the Alliance's ongoing disagreement with the Global Compact's approach as a ''misunderstanding,'' and the wrong view.
Bell Pottinger, the London-based public relations firm, has been working for Yemen's National Awareness Authority, which is run by the nephew of Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The organization has been accused of spreading propaganda on behalf of the government.
On the Indonesian island of Bali, thousands of senior government officials are negotiating a plan to slow global warming. The coal, gas and oil companies that are major producers of greenhouse gases are finally taking notice of these high-level political discussions, and many have mounted spirited public relations exercises to defend themselves.
The US Republican party is changing tactics on the environment, avoiding "frightening" phrases such as global warming, after a confidential party memo warned that it is the domestic issue on which George Bush is most vulnerable.
The Global Compact, a U.N. program intended to help businesses become better world citizens, celebrates its first anniversary yesterday with more than 300 corporate partners, up from 44 at its launch.
Nicaraguan banana workers have been struggling for compensation from Dole Fruit, Shell, and Dow Chemical for exposure to the pesticide DBCP. The obstacles to justice are many, including the US courts, powerful lobbies, and free trade agreements.
The United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, which tried to help weak nations to protect themselves from predatory companies, had recommended that businesses should be internationally regulated. The UN refused to circulate its suggestions.