Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg recently made headlines when she revealed that she would be skipping Cop27.
She explained her decision, saying: “The Cops are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get attention, using many different kinds of greenwashing.”
“So, as it is, Cops are not really working, unless, of course, we use them as an opportunity to mobilise,” she added.
However, the general public is keen to weed out those that are greenwashing from the ones that are genuinely dedicated to sustainable practices.
So, what exactly is greenwashing?
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing refers to forms of advertising and marketing that deceptively claims that a company is dedicated to being environmentally friendly.
In other words, it’s when businesses make false or misleading statements about their sustainable practices to encourage consumers to spend more money on their products or services.
Why are campaigners saying that Cop27 is an example of greenwashing?
A large number of activists and organisations have argued Egypt hosting Cop27 is a prime example of greenwashing.
They believe that as a country that has been deemed authoritarian by numerous watchdogs and blamed for violating human rights, Egypt is using the climate change conference to seem more environmentally friendly and considerate.
The current Egyptian government is estimated to have imprisoned 60,000 political prisoners including environmentalists and climate activists.
The US state department previously revealed that they noted “significant” human rights issues in the country, including unlawful killings, forced disappearances, torture and life-threatening prison conditions.
Recently, climate activist Ms Thunberg joined thousands of others and signed a human rights coalition petition asking Egypt to open up civic space and release its political prisoners.
Amnesty International and Climate Action Network are among the signatories.
Greenpeace UK, on the other hand, has received major backlash after not signing the petition. A number of people have accused Greenpeace UK of helping Egypt’s greenwashing after it failed to support activists in their fight against human rights violations.