If you thought that Greenpeace was a charity dedicated to ethical trading and high standards, it seems that you may be mistaken. Greenpeace have got themselves into a 3.8 million Euro loss on currency speculation. According to Greenpeace:

The losses are a result of a serious error of judgement by an employee in our International Finance Unit acting beyond the limits of their authority and without following proper procedures. Greenpeace International entered into contracts to buy foreign currency at a fixed exchange rate while the Euro was gaining in strength. This resulted in a loss of 3.8 million euros against a range of other currencies.” Greenpeace statement

The tone of this statement and the mode of operating with international currencies look more like the practices of a multi-national business, which in reality it approaches.

Greenpeace International’s 2013 Annual Report, to be published in August, will show a budget deficit of 6.8 million euros for the year. This deficit includes the loss of 3.8 million euros from an ill judged contract aimed at managing foreign currency exchange costs…Greenpeace International had income of 72.9 million euros in 2013 out of a global budget of around 300 million euros.”

The Guardian highlights the impact that it may have on its contributors:

The most significant damage may be to the trust of its supporters: 90% of the organisation’s funding comes from small donations of less than €100…Greenpeace’s international programme director, Pascal Husting, told the Guardian that the organisation did not generally use its funds to make investments or speculate on the stock market, but kept money in deposit accounts where it could be withdrawn quickly when needed, such as when 28 of its activists were arrested after staging a protest at a Russian offshore oil rig last year.”

Another issue recently was the accusation that Greenpeace is holding back vital development in India, and was a ‘threat to national economic security’. In a recent report from the Intelligence Bureau of India, Greenpeace was stated to be big enough to negatively influence the internal affairs of India:

Throughout, the IB report sees Greenpeace as the prime mover of mass-based movements against development projects. “It is assessed to be posing a potential threat to national economic security… growing exponentially in terms of reach, impact, volunteers and media influence,” it notes. The efforts are focused on “ways to create obstacles in India’s energy plans” and to “pressure India to use only renewable energy”.

The report also accuses Greenpeace, “actively aided and led by foreign activists visiting India”, of violating the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 (FCRA), and financing “sympathetic studies” at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and at IIT-Delhi.

We know that Greenpeace is misguided in its unthinking support for renewables in the UK, but now you can add currency speculation and subverting the affairs of developing nations, to the list of inappropriate use of your generous charity funds.

Photo by Nick Kenrick .

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