‘Green Day’ heat no reason for ‘greenhush’

Red and white striped tape barrier across damaged wooden field bridge.

New writing… The Green Day relaunch of the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy met with a chorus of disapproval. However, that is no reason for business to go quiet now on its own goals and ambitions, to ‘greenhush’. The article was authored by Jim McClelland for The Hub, the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric.

Government policy announcements are usually met with a pretty lukewarm response. They attempt too little, too late; and leave their audience wanting more, in a bad way.

When the UK Government released its not-so-new-and-improved Net Zero Strategy late last month, however, the critics were uncommonly unkind in their assessment. With alarm bells from the latest IPCC report still ringing in their ears, the crowd basically began to boo.

So, why was it different this time?

Busted in the High Court

Well, the reason behind the strategy revamp got the Government off to a poor start.

Originally dubbed Green Day, but tellingly rebranded to Energy Security Day, the 30th March 2023 saw the Government officially update its Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener, originally published in October 2021. This was not done voluntarily, though.

No, it only happened because the UK Government lost a big legal battle.

The Government was obligated to issue an update after a landmark case in the High Court — following action brought by ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth, Good Law Project and campaigner Jo Wheatley — found the existing provisions not just inadequate, but unlawful.

The judge ruled the UK Government was in breach of its own Climate Change Act 2008.

Dark art of saying nothing

Business should be wary of feeling too smug, though. The climate blame game is only just getting going: Government Ministers are already in the public arena; but CEOs are next.

When it comes to trying not to get caught out on climate shortcomings, there is one option open to most businesses, however, that is not so readily available to Government (and some of the larger brands more in the public eye and activist sights): hide.

This is what lies behind some of the rise in ‘greenhushing’ — which is so on-trend, it even gets a mention in Vogue. As opposed to the depressingly familiar practice of ‘greenwashing’, greenhushing is basically the (dark) art of saying nothing, for fear of saying the wrong thing. This is not always as innocent as it may seem, though.

Greenhushing is a tactic: it is not a matter of being shy; this is hiding.

To read more about Green Day, greenhushing and what a small-to-medium-sized business can do to help keep its politicians honest (and clients on course), click the link below to check out the article in full, free on The Hub:

Green Day is no reason for ‘greenhush’.

To view a back-catalogue of articles authored by Jim McClelland for ‘The Hub’, please see archive here.

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