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Friends fall out

Friends fall out

The Hong Kong branch of Friends of the Earth has severed relations with the international environmental organisation because of a dispute over sponsorship. The disagreement focuses on support of the Hong Kong group by Shell, the multinational oil company. Shell pays for local education programmes and buys advertising space in the group’s magazine One Earth. Shell is the target of a campaign by FoE International against producers of pesticides that contaminate the environment.

The argument arose at FoE International’s annual meeting last September. FoE England and Wales complained about the Shell adverts in One Earth. ‘They said we would be expelled unless we made major changes to our policy,’ says Ross Penlington, chairman of Hong Kong FoE;s board of directors. ‘It would have meant closing our magazine and changes in our funding policy which we didn’t feel we could make.’ Hong Kong FoE announced its temporary withdrawal from FoE Internatiohnal.

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