We use cookies for site personalization and analytics. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Rio+20: The Great Greenwashers


The Rio+20 Earth Summit will take place June 20-22. Make this month's New Internationalist your unofficial guide to the conference. Remember things are not always what they seem...

Drum roll please. Let me introduce to you the greatest magicians, conjurers and illusionists of all time. The greatest masters of deception. The Great Greenwashers...

Step up Royal Dutch Shell, the only company cheeky enough to describe sucking oil from Canadian tar sands as a contribution to a sustainable energy future. For Shell it’s a no-brainer: why invest in renewables like you promised when you can be the first foreigners to frack in China? One thing’s for sure, you can never be sure of Shell!

Next up is GM agricultural giant and master of deception Monsanto. The company that brought the world Agent Orange wants to hypnotize away seeds of doubt with its boasts of ‘improving lives’ through ‘sustainable agriculture.’ But before you sign up for their magic beans you may want to check the small print: it’s been argued that paltry crop yields and the need for more pesticides can make their seeds a farming nightmare...

And last but most definitely not least is HSBC. The world’s local bank promises to respect environmental limits. It does this by investing in such daring acts as coal mining, offshore oil and gas drilling, tar sands, mega-dams, the arms trade, logging and so much more!

Eight Great Greenwashers’ which examines the green claims of Shell, Monsanto, Vale and others features in June's magazine Protection racket? Guide to the Rio+20 earth summit. Other features include:

Rio cover for web‘Sustainability for sale?’ – a battle is brewing over the future of global action. Danny Chivers presents the unofficial guide to the Rio+20.

‘The good life is the realistic solution’ – indigenous activist Ruth Buendia's take on sustainable development.

‘Tools that might help us’ – an overview of ideas that different groups and movements have suggested for inclusion in the Rio+20 Final Declaration.

Buy single issue (UK residents only)

Subscribe to New Internationalist print or digital edition

Help us produce more like this

Editor Portrait Patreon is a platform that enables us to offer more to our readership. With a new podcast, eBooks, tote bags and magazine subscriptions on offer, as well as early access to video and articles, we’re very excited about our Patreon! If you’re not on board yet then check it out here.

Support us »

Subscribe   Ethical Shop