Greenpeace Taiwan on Friday apologized for the delineation of Taiwan into Chinese territory in a report published by the foundation’s Beijing office.
Greenpeace Beijing on Wednesday published research on China’s consumption of coal and water resources, but its maps showed Taiwan as part of China.
Taiwan Association for Human Rights former director Chiu Yu-bin (邱毓斌) on Friday said on Facebook that Taiwanese donate more than NT$100 million (US$3.27 million) to Greenpeace International each year, and yet it went so far as to include Taiwan in China.
Greenpeace International has only a few employees in Taiwan and the group rarely makes contributions to Taiwanese issues, Chiu said, calling on people to donate to local environmental groups instead.
Greenpeace East Asia later in the day issued an apology, saying the map was a “mistake.”
Greenpeace East Asia vice director Cristina San Vicente said in the statement that the report cited data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker database, but Taiwan was not part of its research plan and should not have been included in the report.
“The error has been corrected to more correctly reflect the research results. Regarding confusion caused by the wrong diagrams, Greenpeace feels deeply sorry,” San Vicente said.
The Taiwan and Beijing offices are Greenpeace East Asia’s constituents.
Many people have called the foundation to protest, the Taiwan office’s global information and technology specialist Lee Chih-an (李之安) said.
“Environmental issues are Greenpeace’s priority,” she said, adding that the foundation’s 144 employees in Taiwan have been working to connect local and global issues, such as energy transformation and plastic pollution reduction.
Meanwhile, some reflected on the differences between the international group and local environmental groups.
Organizations should be careful with their publications, rather than making apologies afterward, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan consultant Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳) said yesterday.
As more international organizations have established branch offices in Taiwan, they should understand the nation’s “status quo,” he said.
It is not that organizations ought to explicitly state their political stances, but they are supposed to make conscious decisions and explain those choices to their supporters, he added.
Some voices said that Greenpeace Taiwan had made a lot of money from Taiwanese, but did little for the nation, but Tsai said that such criticism was not fair.
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