Few weeks ago I noticed with some interest news that Greenpeace was bidding for the Vattenfall brown coal powerplants in Germany with the intention of shutting them down. The move did appear as trolling, but at least one should congratulate Greenpeace for being prepared to put their money where they mouth is and actually pay for the “divestment” they promote.
In some news stories Greenpeace also managed to get out the message that they accept donor money for such a purpose.
“Juha Aromaa, a Greenpeace spokesman, said the final price may be affected by climate policies focused on phasing out coal. The organization could finance a potential acquisition with donor money, crowd-funding and other sources of financing, he said.
“Mostly, we would believe it would be our supporters who would be interested in such an acquisition to save the climate,” he said.”
After plenty of publicity, it turns out Greenpeace did not actually have an idea of “buying” the power plants. Their idea of buying involves Vattenfall giving Greenpeace 2 billion euros after which they would shutdown the power plants.
“But Greenpeace also made it clear that it wouldn’t pay Vattenfall anything – but instead was demanding money for phasing-out brown coal. The organization argued the “real value” of the Vattenfall division was more than minus-€2 billion (minus-$2.2 billion) because of the costs of winding down brown coal operations.”
As a result, Greenpeace is now barred from the sale since they were not considered to be a serious bidder. While Greenpeace promoted earlier story actively, their web pages are now silent on the new twists. Compared to earlier media visibility, reaction to real actions seems muted. Why is self-correction so hard?