I have an apology to make. My apology is for a bad decision, made two years ago, to commute to Amsterdam from Luxembourg via airplane rather than train. I requested and was granted an exemption to our agreed policy of never taking flights for distances less than 500km. I should not have asked for it and should not have been given it. For me this has always been an uncomfortable compromise. With hindsight one I should not have made.
I knew this was contrary to efforts, including my own, to reduce the overall carbon footprint of Greenpeace, to our advocacy for reduced air travel globally and short-haul flights in particular. It was also contradictory to our call upon all of you, our supporters, to take action in your private lives to help mitigate the climate emergency we’re all facing.
I ignored the voice of my own conscience. I also struggled to balance time with my family with time doing a job that I am passionate about and dedicated to. I choose a few hours extra in the office over time in a train. It was the wrong call.
It’s never easy when the spotlight of public attention finds a gap between what a leader says and what they do. But it is important to listen to the voice of criticism, and do the right thing. I expect that of anyone Greenpeace targets, and that’s what I’ve decided to do here.
I will no longer travel by air from Luxembourg to Amsterdam. I will take greater advantage of our network of videoconferencing facilities and make the 12 hour round trip train ride to Amsterdam when necessary.
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