Vive la différence
The most amazing thing has happened.
Our Green Union Jack – the one that Ecotricity’s been using for the last three years or so, has been ‘borrowed’ by another energy company.
We’re used to the Big Six energy companies behaving badly, but this is something else.
One of them decided that they liked the idea of a green union jack and the idea of a Green Britain so much – they’ve just gone and adopted it – lock, stock and barrel.
That would be shocking enough but the culprit is none other than EDF.
And that’s all the more shocking because of what the letters EDF stand for – Électricité de France, which seems just a little at odds with the adoption of the green flag… 🙂 And of course the fact that they are a Nuclear power company (not everybody’s idea of Green).
A French, state owned, Nuclear power company – using ‘our flag’ (or one very close to it) to green itself up – you couldn’t make this stuff up. And they’ve submitted a Trademark application… they want to own the Green Union Jack!
This is not just a smash and grab raid on our identity (perhaps our national identity) – it’s an attempt at possibly the biggest greenwash in corporate history.
I mean these guys are not British and they are so not Green. The two things that this flag surely suggests to people.
I first saw a poster with the green union jack on it in Bristol last week. Someone had spray painted the message “EDF Climate Criminals” on it, which I thought was apt.
I went back the next day to photograph it for this post but it had been removed – we’ve recreated it in the image above anyway. Just for fun.
Now I hear that they’ve painted their service vans. And they look rather like Ecotricity’s – check these pictures and play spot the difference.
Here’s some facts about EDF:
- 85% owned by the French State.
- The worlds third largest producer of toxic Nuclear waste – but the two producers ahead of them are actually whole countries, rather big ones too – The US and Canada. So EDF are the world’s biggest corporate nuclear polluter.
- They have some 5 million domestic customers in the UK.
- And they produce about 30 million Tonnes of CO2 per year (in the UK). No small amount.
- Recently they bought British Energy – might explain why they suddenly feel so British.
- They sit at the bottom of the green spending league (of the Big Six anyway, Good Energy pip them to the very bottom…:) ) spending the least per Capita (per customer) building new renewables. A measly £10 last year. Check that table here.
- And EDF have never met their minimum legal obligation under the RO – how green is that?
- And then there’s Coal. Fred Pearce in today’s Guardian has some useful info on that front, including the fact that – EDF Trading boasts of being “one of the largest participants in the global coal market” and it imports 30M tonnes a year in to the EU, for burning in it’s own and other peoples coal fired power stations (the ultimate CO2 producers of course).
So there you have it – the French Nuclear giant, the world’s largest corporate nuke polluter, big coal trader and burner, grabbing the green jack in what looks like an attempt to have us all believe they are Green and they are British.
Quite breathtaking really. If this isn’t the greatest attempted greenwash in corporate history I’ll be even more speechless.
Anyway, we’re mobilising to do something about it.
There’s a ‘grass roots’ campaign already kicked off on the net, you can join in on Facebook here.
Legal proceedings are almost certain to follow, unless they back down in the next few days.
Nuclear is Green apparently. French is British and what’s someone else’s can easily be EDFs – that’s the Alice in Wonderland world they appear to live in.