Illegal charcoal camps fuel production of pig iron, the primary ingredient in steel
Only a few weeks ago, Greenpeace activists occupied the anchor chain of the Clipper Hope, a barge filled with pig iron, the primary ingredient for steel used by the world’s leading auto brands. This pig iron was processed using wood charcoal made from natural rainforest, which is often illegally logged. To make matters worse, the pig iron is ‘cooked’ in clay ovens by workers under conditions that can only be compared to slavery (see our infograph below).
Our two-year investigation, launched the same day as the action, documented the devastation the region experiences at the hands of the pig iron industry. Greenpeace exposed the way this industry has been throwing the forests into its furnaces, destroying indigenous lands, and forever altering a globally important biological reserve to help produce the cars and appliances we buy. Continue reading
Yesterday was a dramatic day here on board the Rainbow Warrior and in the capital of Brazil too. Our ten day blockade was suspended to give space for a meeting in the capital which we hoped would be an important step towards cleaning up the pig iron trade and stopping slave labor and deforestation from entering the supply chain of big car companies like GM and Ford. Continue reading
by Emma Briggs
Leaning back in the evening breeze, listening to the waves churning, I almost feel like I’m lying on the beach at home instead of hanging from an anchor chain near the 10 meter water mark of a cargo ship near Sao Louis in Brazil. But here I am. The Clipper Hope was due to arrive in the port days ago to pick up a load of pig iron, but for 3 days so far we’ve been preventing the ship from heaving up anchor by hanging on their chain. Continue reading