Greenpeace, international organization that promotes environmental awareness and addresses environmental abuse through direct, nonviolent confrontations with governments and companies. Founded in 1971 to oppose U.S. nuclear testing in Alaska, the organization has fought to protect endangered species, stop the dumping of hazardous waste, and strengthen national and international laws that regulate environmental affairs. A small organization largely dependent on voluntary funding, it has used wide media exposure to draw attention to its causes. Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship scheduled to protest French atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, was blown up in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, on July 10, 1985, by French intelligence agents. The resulting scandal caused the resignation of France's minister of defense and the firing of the head of France's intelligence service.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.