The climate crisis is getting rapidly worse. Despite growing pledges of climate action, global emissions are breaking records. Climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss rage on and drive instability, displacement, and conflict. The environment becomes incompatible with human life. In the words of UN secretary António Guterres, “we are on the highway to climate hell”.
Our governance system has failed us completely. Economic and political leaders have stayed idle while the crisis intensifies. Civic resistance, political action, strategic litigation, have not yet turned the tide. Others feel despair not only in front of the crisis, but because of their inability to act.
Whistleblowing can be a crucial tool for the climate movement. By bringing precise and substantial evidence as well as poignant testimonies on attacks on the environment, whistleblowers can not only deliver impact by themselves, but also spark public debate, fuel legal cases, and inspire others to act.
In the past decades, whistleblowers stood behind the world’s biggest scandals – revealing mass surveillance, tech irresponsibility, tax fraud and money laundering on an unprecedented scale. Whistleblowing is becoming increasingly common and legislative protection is improving. More and more step forward to protect public interest despite huge personal risks.
From a banker denouncing a fossil financing project to a government scientist who’s being silenced, from an employee denouncing greenwashing practices to an engineer revealing mass deforestation, many can turn into climate watchdogs.
But the powerful forces profiting from the status quo often retaliate against those who jeopardize their enterprise. Exposing their malpractices is a long, risky, and lonely path.
CW acts as a shield for these climate sentinels. Through their work as lawyers, journalists, and activists, experienced whistleblowers’ advocates behind CW have learnt to protect them and ensure their disclosures are impactful. It empowers climate whistleblowers through its legal, scientific, and human network. The whistleblowing policy is governed by whistleblowers protection acts.
CW is building on the experience and success of the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF). PPLAAF has gone further than almost any other organization in helping those most at risk. Since its creation in 2017, PPLAAF has supported dozens of whistleblowers from CEOs to security personnel, bankers and civil servants. PPLAAF has spearheaded legal fights, relocated families, cooperated with governments and law enforcement officials, disclosed international scandals, and shook public opinion.
France now holds one of the world’s most progressive whistleblower laws, including for the protection of whistleblower NGOs: it is a natural choice to host these core structures and staff of our new outfit.