GreenYes Archives
[GreenYes Home] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[GreenYes] A Tale of Two Strategies

Here are two approaches to social change: one inside and the other outside
the system, "ripped from the pages" of the Wall Street Journal...

1. INSIDE THE SYSTEM

WALL STREET JOURNAL -- 7/30/02
Warm Relationship Between
GM, Green Group Hits Pothole

By JEFFREY BALL
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"In the early 1990s, the world's biggest auto maker and a then-obscure
environmental group tried something new: talking.

"The unlikely relationship between General Motors Corp. and the Coalition
for Environmentally Responsible Economies, or Ceres, resulted in GM
decreasing pollution at some of its factories -- a step that the company
says is saving money by cutting energy bills and precluding expensive
government-mandated cleanups. The tie also sheltered the auto giant from
some criticism of its environmental record. Along the way, the collaboration
became a high-profile example of a growing trend within the environmental
movement: using quiet negotiation rather than noisy protest to change
boardroom behavior.

"Some environmentalists, however, warned from the outset that GM was taking
advantage of Ceres (pronounced: see-reez) and never would accept changes
that cut into profits. The skeptics felt vindicated this spring, when GM,
along with other auto makers, successfully fought off a Senate proposal to
raise federal fuel-economy standards.

"Now, under pressure from some environmentalists to stop "greenwashing" GM,
the group is threatening to end its detente with the auto maker. Ceres
leaders say they will revive an earlier strategy: appealing to investors as
a means to pressure corporations to pay more heed to the environment.

"The cloud over the Ceres-GM relationship could damp enthusiasm for the
broader movement that coalesced in the 1990s: environmentalists,
dissatisfied with the pace of government regulation, increasingly working
directly with big corporations. Two Ceres members, the World Wildlife Fund
and Environmental Defense, run their own separate programs, in which Interna
tional Business Machines Corp., DuPont Co. and other companies have begun to
reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the "greenhouse gases" thought by
many scientists to contribute to global warming.

"...



2.  OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM



WALL STREET JOURNAL -- 7/26/02

Chevron Settles With Protesters,

Offers More Jobs, Infrastructure

By SARAH MOORE

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

"Vandalism, machete-wielding youths and hostage-taking are old hat to
international oil companies operating in Nigeria.

"But when a group of women recently broke through a perimeter fence at a
Chevron facility and occupied it for 10 days, bringing operations to a
standstill, executives were caught off guard.


"You can't send in baton-wielding police or army on unarmed women. Nobody
wants to go down that road," says Kojo Bedu-Addo, senior Africa analyst at
Control Risks Group in London.

"Instead, Chevron negotiated, reaching settlements with two separate groups
of women -- the second deal reached Thursday -- that included more jobs for
locals and spending on infrastructure.

"Protests led by women, with children in tow, represent a new twist in the
oil-rich Niger River delta. The difference between haves and have-nots in a
region where few benefits of development have trickled down into local
communities has long sparked attacks on oil facilities. But such occupations
have customarily involved knots of disenchanted, angry young men. Now oil
companies are wondering if the protests led by women will spread. And no one
appears quite sure what to do about it.

"It's something new at this level, something that, if it's not properly
managed, its impact could spill to other companies and facilities," says an
executive with Royal Dutch/Shell Group who has negotiated with protesters in
similar situations.

"Chevron's experts, tied up with the most recent dispute, haven't been able
to begin planning their future strategy, says Oluwole Agunbiade, Chevron
spokesman in Lagos.

"We'll have to pull together the right people, government, [nongovernmental
organizations], communities and us and take things forward," says Andrew
Norman, London-based spokesman for Chevron. "We're looking at how to address
these issues and not just in Nigeria."

"Nigeria is the fifth-biggest oil supplier to the U.S.; besides Chevron
Texaco Corp., other companies operating in the country through joint
ventures with the government include ExxonMobil Corp., Italy's Agip SpA and
France's TotalFinaElf SA.

"In an indication of the importance to Washington of West African oil
supplies, the State Department's top official for Africa, Walter Kansteiner,
met Thursday with Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo after a swing
through Angola.


"The leader of the recent protests is Rita Lori Ogbebor, a wealthy hotelier
educated in Nigeria and London who knows a bit about what makes headlines.
Ms. Ogbebor was once a television program director -- the first woman to
hold such a post in Nigeria. Her demands from the oil companies are twofold:
"We are very emphatic on the education of our children and the fact that the
oil companies should put back [into the community] the equivalent of what
they have taken out," she says.

"..."

______________________________
Peter Anderson
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING Corp
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell:   (608) 345-0381
email: anderson@recycleworlds.org
web:  www.recycleworlds.org

******************************************
To post to the greenyes list,
email to: greenyes@grrn.org

subscription, faq and netiquette info for
this list are available here:
http://greenyes.grrn.org/
Please be sure to read the faq and netiquette
pages before posting.
******************************************

[GreenYes Home] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]