Greenpeace is fired up over Duke Energy merger
Greenpeace International tapped South African activist Kumi Naidoo as its executive director in 2009. Naidoo’s background in human-rights issues began at age 15, protesting against his country’s apartheid policies. After several arrests, he went into exile in England where he earned his doctorate in political sociology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in the late 1980s. Naidoo returned to South Africa in 1990 to work on behalf of the African National Congress and free elections.
Today, he’s leading the charge against what he calls “climate apartheid” — work that’s brought him to Charlotte to meet with Duke Energy Corp. executives.
While here, Naidoo joined supporters who are filming a documentary on Duke Energy’s coal-fired Riverbend Steam Station in Gaston County. Its coal-ash pond is a point of controversy among environmentalists in large part because the plant is upstream from Mountain Island Lake, the source of most of the city’s drinking water.
Naidoo spoke with the Charlotte Business Journal during his visit to talk about the 40-year-old organization’s interest in Duke Energy and in the changes Greenpeace has made in addressing environmental issues.
Can you describe your interest in Charlotte and the reason for this trip?
The purpose of being here is to try to connect this local fight with global efforts around global warming and climate change. And the fact that Duke is merging with Progress now makes it not only the biggest energy company in the U.S. but it makes Duke one of the biggest in the entire world.
Read the rest of the interview in the Charlotte Business Journal.
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