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PEOPLE OF THE YEAR 2023

Environmental Champ of the Year runners-up: Kumi Naidoo and Clean Creatives

Environmental Champ of the Year runners-up: Kumi Naidoo and Clean Creatives
Kumi Naidoo speaks at Daily Maverick's The Gathering: Earth Edition on 26 May 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Shelley Christians)

Activist Kumi Naidoo, the former secretary-general of Amnesty International and executive director of Greenpeace, understands that climate justice and social justice are interlinked.

Kumi Naidoo

Kumi Naidoo has been an activist since he was 15 years old, first fighting for liberation against the apartheid state – and he has not stopped campaigning for human rights since.

More recently, he has campaigned for climate justice. Formerly the secretary-general of Amnesty International and executive director of Greenpeace, he understands that climate justice and social justice are interlinked, and has been a prominent voice in the fight against fossil fuel investment – both from the private and public sector. He has also campaigned for the rights and protection of those people and countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Clean Creatives

Even with climate disasters all around us, greenwashing in the fossil fuel industry is still a thing – and it’s being driven largely by advertising and public relations (PR) agencies.

Fighting this very niche battle is a global coalition of media agencies called Clean Creatives.

Read more in Daily Maverick: People of the Year 2023: The awesome, awful and truly evil

Clean Creatives’ South African chapter has named and shamed 41 advertising and PR agencies that have current and historical contracts with coal, oil and gas companies. In Clean Creatives South Africa’s 2023 report, The SA F-list 2023: Fuelling a Perfect Storm, published in October, the movement shames PR colleagues for aiding the climate catastrophe caused by their clients’ activities. – OBP team/DM

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.

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