Boreal Communities Deserve Answers from Greenpeace

In recent public appearances and in a new online series called “10 Questions,” Greenpeace has displayed an unusual willingness to field queries about its conduct. 

Why unusual? Because for several years now, Greenpeace has routinely ignored the thousands of stakeholders across the Boreal who have pleaded with the activist organization to halt their attacks on responsible forestry. First Nations communities, local citizens, workers, mayors, and other leaders have written, phoned, marched, and shared their voices online. Their pleas have been disregarded.


In a recent public statement, Greenpeace admitted to the damage they have caused: “We are troubled by the recent job losses…in the forest industry which affect workers and their families.” And despite years of ignoring boreal stakeholders, they have declared that they are now ready to hear from them: “We know that the men and women in the forest industry must be at the discussion table [and] we do want to talk to the…workers who know the conditions on the ground best.”

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has publicly defended their harmful attacks as free speech. But this defense does not square with Greenpeace’s own statements on the issue: “There’s also a responsibility that goes with freedom of speech – which is based around honesty and transparency. Freedom of speech does not apply to misinformation and propaganda.”[1]

Greenpeace’s growing catalogue of contradictory proclamations raise some obvious questions:

If Greenpeace believes in transparency, then why aren’t they meeting with local communities?[2]

If Greenpeace is opposed to misinformation, then why do they insist that their accusations are “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that don’t “hew to strict literalisms of scientific precisions”?[3]

If Greenpeace knows that their attacks harm boreal communities, then why won’t they return phone calls or meet local citizens in person?[4]

These are all legitimate questions that deserve to have a light shined on them.

That’s the reason that we’ll be applying the hashtag #QuestionGreenpeace when these sorts of good faith queries are raised in the public discourse.

It’s time that the public sees whether Greenpeace has a commitment to transparency at all.

Here are several tweets that we will use to begin the discussion:

Why has @Greenpeace ignored so many appeals from people in the boreal communities impacted by their campaign? #QuestionGreenpeace

Thousands of citizens in Saint-Felicien protested against @Greenpeace’s attacks. Why hasn’t Greenpeace responded? #QuestionGreenpeace

If they respect workers so much, will @Greenpeace come to the boreal to hear from them directly? #QuestionGreenpeace