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Greenpeace takes on Edison’s use of coal plants

Coal power plants.
Coal power plants.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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Greenpeace has been around for forty years now. We tend to think of it as an organization that partners with other environmental groups and lobbies the United Nations to bring about policy change. But there's been a shift in their strategy of late.

Instead of presenting environmental concerns as a contradiction to social concerns, they aim to point out that the struggles to end global poverty and avert catastrophic climate change are two sides of the same coin.

To get this done Greenpeace will continue its work with the U.N. in hopes of reaching the best agreements between all countries. But they’re also ramping up their work at the local and state levels.
Kumi Naidoo, the head of Greenpeace, says this is especially important in a country like the United States where the process has been largely stalled at the federal level.

This week, Naidoo is in Southern California to meet with Edison International to press them to kick their coal habit. Edison, which generally considers itself one of the greener utilities, has taken positive steps towards more environmentally friendly power generation. But they still own some of the dirtiest coal plants in the United States. Edison has pledged to divest itself of coal by 2016. Greenpeace wants coal ended earlier. We’ll talk with Naidoo about the momentum of their local efforts and the latest activities Greenpeace is taking on.


Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International