Anna Guyer | 17.06.10
Today French nuclear energy giant EDF has launched Green Britain Day. We need your help to expose EDF's Green Britain Campaign for the greenwash it represents. EDF is not green, it's not British. And it spends £20m on marketing Green Britain day which is more than its annual spend on investing in new green energy. It's a travesty and we are outraged by how EDF is behaving. Join us to support the Real Green Britain!
Consider the facts ...
- EDF stands for Électricité de France = the state owned French energy provider
- It operates 8 nuclear power stations in the UK
- It is the world's largest corporate producer of toxic nuclear waste behind the US and Canada
- Its claims around "low-carbon energy" actually refer to nuclear power that has generated 1420 tonnes of high level nuclear waste that will remain a toxic threat to the environment for hundreds of years.
- Only 1% of EDF's generation capacity in the UK comes from Renewables (Nuclear = 66%, Coal = 28%, Gas = 5%).
- EDF's electricity generated from their coal fired power stations is responsible for over 20m tonnes of CO2 emissions.
- Over the last 6 years EDF spent a yearly average of £4.98 per customer building new green energy - this puts them in 5th place amongst the 'Big 6'
That's what Green Britain Day is meant to distract us from.
In this morning's London Metro, not one, but twelve pages feature ads for EDF's 'Green Britain Day.' EDF also bought the whole back cover. Metro didn't do this for free. That's just a tip of the melting iceberg in terms of EDF's greenwash spend. There are also outdoor ads, deals with media partners including Heart FM, ITV, and MSN, and a costly TV campaign.
Frankly, EDF's big-buck advertising budget would be better spent investing in producing cleaner energy and less, say, in buying ads to cover up the company's self-acclaimed role as one of the "one of the largest participants in the global coal market," as the Guardian's Fred Pierce pointed out on last year's Green Britain Day.
So what's a person who really wants to make Britain greener to do?
Switch to Ecotricity, for one. Ecotricity is a British company reinvesting its profits into building more wind turbines and creating new green energy. Ecotricity invests more than £400 per customer per year to build new green energy -- far more than any competitor.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince is dedicated to real green energy and, together with Greenpeace, is combatting EDF's greenwash.
"Only 1% of EDF's generation capacity here in the UK is from renewables - how come so little? Could it be that EDF spend more time and money on green image making than on green doing - I certainly think so," Vince says. "The truth is that EDF are one of Britain's biggest polluters. They should start a little closer to home if they really want a Green Britain. There's plenty of scope in the 20 Million tonnes of CO2 they pump into Britain's atmosphere each year - for example. We might all take them a little more seriously if they did as they say we should all do - so go on do something for the team EDF."
Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace’s nuclear campaign, said: “EDF’s shameless advertising campaign is little more than an attempt by a French state-owned nuclear monolith to play the British public for fools. There’s absolutely no way it’s a green company. It’s only interested in fleecing taxpayers for billions of pounds to subsidise a new generation of expensive and dirty atomic power stations.
We want to expose EDF for what they are doing. Here are a few ways you can take help:
And finally, check out Mock Green Britain Day where you can design an ad (and see what others have done) to expose EDF. You can win free electricity for a year (up to £500), too. Note that these are some pretty peeved people and not all the ads are safe for work!
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