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The Pinocchio Awards are only 2 days away, in which a winner will be chosen in each category of greenwashing, lobbying, and local impacts. Radio Mundo Real has interviewed Malika Peyraut, from Friends of the Earth in France to discuss the corporate giant, Engie, who has been nominated for a greenwashing Pinocchio Award.
What stands out about Engie is that the corporation was a winner of last year’s Pinocchio Awards under the category ‘Greener than Green’ before they changed their name from GDF Suez. According to Peyraut, Engie has been nominated under the greenwashing category due to hypocrisy and the inconsistencies of Engie’s policy versus practice. 33% of the company is owned by the French government, yet President Francois Hollande still made an effort to travel the world, encouraging everyone to take action against climate change whilst preventing Engie’s investments in coal. Furthermore, despite Engie having a total of 30 coal power plants in the world, emitting 81 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, it is one of the official sponsors of this year’s international climate talks in Paris (COP21).
Engie has received a lot of criticism due to the impacts of their Vado Ligure Power Plant in northern Italy, which is believed to be the cause of death of more than 400 people as a result of pollution. Engie has also been nominated due to their large dam projects in Brazil that are being promoted as climate solutions and sources of renewable energy. However, according to Peyraut, they can hardly be perceived as ’renewable’ due to the environmental and social impacts for surrounding communities associated with the construction of large dams.
While Engie is sponsoring the COP21 and attempting to improve their image, Peyraut claims they are not truly in the fight against climate change. Rather than eliminating their coal assets, the dirty reality is that Engie has been selling them to other investors. As represented in the Pinocchio Awards motto, ‘Anything goes in the name of profits!’
To vote for Engie as this year’s Pinocchio Awards greenwashing winner, visit www.pinocchio-awards.org
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