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Coca Cola Breaks Ranks on Climate

Greenpeace International
May 10th, 2001

AMSTERDAM, May 9, 2001 -- In a letter to Greenpeace yesterday, Coca Cola Spain stated that it fully backed the European governments support for the international climate change agreement the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement US President Bush rejected six weeks ago today.

This action effectively set Coca Cola Spain in direct opposition to Coca Cola US, which belongs to an Exxon (Esso) led business group the US Council for International Business (USCIB) - that is in public support of Bushs rejection of the international climate change agreement.

This is the first clear signal that not all American multinationals agree with Bush, and are willing to put the clear will of their customers ahead of any pressure from the US administration and Exxon, said Greenpeace climate campaigner Steve Sawyer. We will continue to pressure US companies and their subsidiaries worldwide to come clean on their stance on the global climate agreement.

In letters to Greenpeace, many US companies claim not to take a position on the Kyoto Protocol, but in fact reject the global climate agreement through their membership of the USCIB, which has strongly supported the Bush position.

Companies cannot claim on the one hand to have no position, and on the other hide behind Exxon and the USCIB, said Sawyer. If a company doesnt want to be associated with the destruction of the climate, the first thing they have to do is publicly support the Kyoto protocol.

In a related development, Ford yesterday took out a full-page advertisement in The Financial Times, claiming that it was unique for realising that climate change is an issue that we must address. However, it is clear that Ford opposes real action via the global climate agreement, both in its correspondence with Greenpeace and by association with the USCIB.

Companies, like Ford and other members of the USCIB, confirm by the advertising and marketing dollars spent that their consumers do care about the climate. But this is just a cynical public relations exercise until they finally waking up to the overwhelming public and political calls for serious action on the climate. Like Coca Cola, the first thing they must do is dissociate themselves from the USCIB, Bush, and publicly support the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

Greenpeace has now received 20 responses to its letters to the US Fortune 100 companies asking that they state their position on the Kyoto Protocol. It is pursuing the remaining companies for a response.

This activity is part of Greenpeaces global campaign to pressure corporate America and George W Bush to work with the rest of the world to save the climate. The first step must be the ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol by 2002.

For further information:
Steve Sawyer +31 653504715
Bill Hare +49 1709057015
Susan Cavanagh +31 621296910

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In addition Greenpeace is encouraging people to email Ford opposing Ford's stance on the Kyoto Protocol. Ford has invited members of the Public to tell them what they think of its position. The URL below will take you to the Greenpeace cybercentre for this activity.

http://cybercentre.greenpeace.org/t/s/ams/e?a=Ford&s=blue2

Contact kevin.jardine@ams.greenpeace.org for further information.