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Greenpeace applauds Apple climate change flounce

Strange planetfellows

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Greenpeace - the environment-obsessed organization that famously protested outside of Steve Jobs' inaugural iPhone keynote - is now praising Jobs and his Apple cult for their stance on climate change.

Earlier this week, Apple flounced out of the US Chamber of Commerce after the chamber came out against a Congressional climate change bill, and Greenpeace is quite pleased.

"Apple has stormed out of the biggest lobby group in the United States," reads a statement posted to the Greepeace web site. "At issue is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's use of funds to oppose climate change legislation. Apple has done the right thing, and IBM and Microsoft should think different too."

A long way, then, from January 2007: As Steve Jobs was inside San Francisco's Moscone Center unveiling the iPhone, Greenpeace was outside telling passersby that Apple hardware was threatening the future of the planet. The month before, Apple had ranked dead last among companies listed in Greenpeace's Green Electronics Guide.

Apparently, Steve Jobs' response was to tell the Greenpeace protesters to "get out of the computer business [and] go save some whales." But with the introduction of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro lines in October 2008, Apple seemed to tack the other way. Greenpeace praised Apple's effort to phase out all environment-unfriendly PVCs and BFRs from all products by the end of the year.

And now the not-profit is particularly chuffed about the Chamber exit. Jobs and company resigned from the Chamber of Commerce with a public letter to its president on Monday. "Apple is committed to protecting the environment and the communities in which we operate around the world," read the letter, signed by Apple vice president Catherine Novelli. "As a company we are working hard to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions by relying on renewable energy at our facilities and designing more energy-efficient products for our customers...

"For those companies who cannot or will not do the same, Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort."

The week before, Chamber president Thomas J. Donohue had released a statement saying that the Chamber supported "strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change" while criticizing a bill passed by the US House of Representatives earlier this year. ®

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