The web portal abgeordnetenwatch.de offers a direct link between citizens and their parliamentarians and candidates. The heart of the site is the forum “Citizens ask – politicians answer”. This public dialogue creates transparency and holds policymakers accountable for their statements and promises. Research on issues related to lobbying, party donations and the outside earnings of politicians represents another area of focus.
Why we supported abgeordnetenwatch
By offering the general public easy and direct access to information about politicians, the organisation creates increased transparency around political decision-making processes. In addition, abgeordnetenwatch’s research projects expose the one-sided economic influence of industry lobbyists.
BankTrack is a Netherlands-based international organisation that tracks banks and the activities they finance. BankTrack’s mission is to bring fundamental change to the banking sector through campaign work. The organisation encourages banks to make their business activities transparent and understandable, to stop financing harmful business models and to contribute to a just society and a healthy planet.
Why we supported BankTrack
The most important step towards limiting the magnitude of climate change is to quickly put an end to coal-based energy production. BankTrack is calling on large banks and investors to stop the flow of capital into new coal-fired power plants and to remove coal-fired power plant developers from their portfolios.
The Würzburg-based organisation Bergwaldprojekt (Mountain Forest Project) works for the protection and conservation of ecosystems in various parts of Germany, including Alpine protection forests, nature parks and the close-to-natural forests of the Central Uplands.
Why we supported the Bergwaldprojekt
In week-long projects, volunteers do forestry work, such as reforestation. This work also educates participants and the public about the importance, and endangerment, of our natural resources.
Founded in 2018, the Berlin-based organisation fights for radical financial reform with the aim of rolling back the influence of the finance industry and ending the practice of passing on its risks to citizens and consumers. Although many years have passed since the outbreak of the financial crisis, today’s international financial markets are still plagued with debt crises, fraud and tax evasion. In this sense, the financial crisis is still far from over. The sector’s priorities continue to shift away from social objectives towards short-term profit-making.
The financial sector could serve as an engine for important developments, like the ecological transition, instead of blocking them. A “Finanzwende” (“financial turnaround”) envisions a financial services industry that serves society – not the other way around.
Why we supported the Bürgerbewegung Finanzwende
Against better judgement, large amounts of money are still being invested in fossil energies. If investors’ current plans are implemented, the climate crisis will end in a climate catastrophe, because billions are being invested in companies whose business model is essentially based on the destruction of nature and the use of fossil fuels.
The organisation COMM e.V., based in Bokholt-Hanredder (Schleswig-Holstein), organises political-education measures throughout Germany in the areas of environmental protection and conservation. The preservation of natural resources for future generations is the guiding principle of the organisation’s work. Its activists promote social change through creative and non-violent campaigns.
Why we support COMM e.V.
COMM e.V. organises events as well as protest camps throughout Germany with various educational programmes focused on the issue of climate change.
We have been supporting COMM e.V. since 2018.
CEO is a Brussels-based research and campaign group working to expose and critically examine the privileged access of companies and their lobbyists to EU lawmakers, which enables these groups to exert influence on policymaking. Corporate access to EU decisions leads to policies that exacerbate social injustice and accelerate the degradation of the global environment.
Why we support CEO
CEO also draws attention to the influence of corporate lobbying on the institutions of the EU in the areas of environment and agriculture. Research conducted by CEO has revealed to what extent corporations’ efforts to lobby EU decision-makers are aimed at influencing EU agricultural regulations in their favour.
We have been supporting CEO since 2015.
The environmental and consumer-protection organisation DUH, with offices in Radolfzell and Berlin, monitors the effective application of environmental legislation and fights for clean air and other issues in order to protect citizens and the climate. The DUH focuses heavily on the transport sector, which is responsible for a large percentage of the world’s climate-damaging CO2 emissions. For example, the DUH proved that diesel carmakers had been illegally manipulating emissions data and that, as a result, the amount of pollution produced in real operation was significantly higher than the vehicles’ laboratory measurements for type approval. The DUH is fighting to uncover further facts about the diesel-emissions scandal and to ensure future compliance with environmental standards.
Why we support the DUH
In the context of the diesel emissions affair, the DUH has been fighting for the health of citizens, as a large proportion of the nitrogen oxide in our air stems from diesel engines. Older people are particularly vulnerable to the associated health risks and therefore have a special need for protection. In the interest of health, the DUH fights for compliance with the legal limits.
We have been supporting DUH since 2016.
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) uses the law to fight for a world free from torture, oppression and exploitation. It supports the oppressed in their struggle for justice and makes use of legal tools to enforce human rights worldwide.
Why we supported the ECCHR
In its programme “Business and Human Rights”, the ECCHR focuses primarily on strategies for holding transnational corporations accountable for human and environmental rights violations.
We fund ECCHR in 2021.
Using fact-based campaign work, foodwatch pursues the aim of bringing EU food policy into line with consumer interests.
foodwatch has offices in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.
Why we support foodwatch
The development of a sustainable European agriculture model will require the “greening” of the EU’s agricultural industry as a whole.
The objective is to develop an agricultural policy that reconciles social, environmental and economic criteria.
In the context of the research project “Bienen als Umweltspäher” (Honeybees monitoring the environment) at Freie Universität Berlin, a team headed by biology professor Randolf Menzel is researching and developing a new method for using honeybees as environmental monitors, making them our allies in the protection of the environment. Honeybees are highly sensitive to plant protection products and can therefore serve as environmental pressure indicators.
Why we supported the project “Bienen als Umweltspäher”
The global insect population is decreasing, and the loss of wild bees is particularly alarming. This decline is being caused by a number of factors, including industrial agricultural practices, which have a negative impact on honeybees, wild bees and many other insects. The loss of semi-natural habitats and the high levels of pollution associated with the use of chemicals pose a serious risk to the survival of bee colonies.
Founded in 2015, the Munich-based organisation offers emergency and transitional aid for refugees across Europe. Working with a team of volunteers in close coordination with non-governmental organisations, the IHA provides protection and assistance to refugees in the camps forming along the EU’s outer borders
Why we supported the IHA
In the context of the acute European refugee crisis, the organisation made an important contribution towards the improvement and implementation of Europe’s humanitarian and human-rights standards.
Klimastreik Schweiz (Climate Strike Switzerland) is an association of teenagers and young adults who are fighting for a radical shift in environmental and climate policy. They have decided not to remain silent about the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis but instead to put pressure on policymakers and call for science-based action on climate change.
Why we support Klimastreik Schweiz:
Klimastreik Schweiz organises demonstrations, conferences and other events to express their demands and fight for their, and our, future. With their SMILE Summit in the summer of 2019, they are seeking to connect the local groups that have formed through the “Fridays for Future” movement and develop a common strategy, because the climate crisis can only be solved by working together!
We have been supporting Klimastreik Schweiz since 2019.
The French environmental and human-rights organisation Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth) is fighting for a sustainable society. Its mission is to help create a world in which the basic human needs of every individual are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Why we support Les Amis de la Terre
One of the organisation’s projects is aimed at convincing French banks to not only stop their financial investments in new coal projects, but also pursue a sectoral policy that rules out the financing of companies within the coal industry. Les Amis de la Terre is working to promote the adoption of binding investment guidelines for banks.
We have been supporting Les Amis de la Terre since 2017.
The organisation Lobby Control in Cologne and Berlin exposes the power structures and strategies of business influence “in the grey zones of politics” in Germany and the EU. It fights for transparency, democratic control and clear limits for the influence of lobbies on politics and public life.
Why we support Lobby Control
By exposing the one-sided influence of corporate lobbyists on political decision-making processes, Lobby Control seeks to give the general public the opportunity to have their voices heard. The organisation is also calling for transparency obligations for lobbyists.
We have been supporting Lobby Control since 2013.
The organisation Mellifera, based in Rosenfeld (Baden-Württemberg), focuses on species-appropriate and ecological beekeeping and the protection of bees. It develops concepts that help beekeepers strengthen the long-term health of their bees.
Why we supported Mellifera
In 2013 the European Commission placed major restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides owing to their harmful effects on bee health. In response, the chemical firms BASF, Bayer and Syngenta filed a lawsuit. Mellifera and other beekeepers’ associations were involved in the case. In May 2018 the European Court of Justice upheld the partial ban of the bee-harming substances.
This Berlin-based association of journalists seeks to strengthen research journalism in media and raise awareness of its importance. One of its main goals is the improvement of educational and training programmes in the area of research. In line with this aim, the organisation develops concepts, organises conferences and awards research grants.
Why we support netzwerk recherche
The media plays a significant role in the dissemination of information about environmental problems and is an important influencing factor in the context of sociopolitical debates on environmental issues. netzwerk recherche and Olin gGmbH work together to award grants for research projects in the areas of environment and ecology. In order to qualify for a grant, the project must pursue new theories and questions in these areas and be of an investigative nature.
We have been supporting network recherche since 2015.
Founded in 2007 by a group of children and adolescents, the initiative “Plant-for-the-Planet” originated as a school project aimed at taking action against climate change. The initiative has since developed into a global movement involving 100,000 children and adolescents. Their worldwide tree-planting programme is making a practical contribution to climate protection.
Why we supported Plant-for-the-Planet
The young people of “Plant-for-the-Planet” are fighting for climate justice. In addition, the organisation not only provides a strong voice for young peoples’ interests and demands for action on the climate emergency, but also gives them the chance to join together to fight for their future.
The Berlin-based organisation advocates for an energy industry and global economy based on solidarity and environmental sustainability while addressing issues related to economic, energy, climate, raw-materials and trade policy. Through research, political activities and educational and public-relations work, it contributes to the global energy revolution and to fairer global-economic relations.
Why we support PowerShift
One of the organisation’s main areas of focus is the critical monitoring of Germany’s raw-materials policy and the associated ecological and social risks. PowerShift advocates for mandatory human-rights due diligence for companies and for the implementation of the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation.
We have been supporting PowerShift since 2018.
The organization Pracownia (“Association Workshop for All Beings”) fights for the protection of Polish forests. It supports and connects local civil society organizations and citizens who are campaigning against deforestation in Poland’s remaining primeval forest areas. The organization advocates for the introduction of far-reaching and binding legal protection mechanisms.
Why we support Pracownia:
Large parts of Poland’s forests, including primeval forest and protected forest areas, are threatened by deforestation. Poland is thereby violating current EU legislation on the protection of biodiversity and forest use. Pracownia uses EU legislation as leverage for change at the national level and works with local initiatives to develop legislative proposals for long-term, sustainable protection of Poland’s forests.
We fund Pracownia in 2021.
The Italian organisation Re:Common initiates research projects and campaigns with the aim of stopping the worldwide environmental destruction associated with the reckless exploitation of natural resources and large-scale public and private infrastructure projects.
Why we support Re:Common
As part of a European network of civil-society organisations, Re:Common encourages Italian insurance companies and banks to distance themselves from investments in coal-fired power plants and to stop financing the development of new power stations.
We have been supporting Re:Common since 2017.
The Polish foundation “Development YES – Open-pit Mines NO” (Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE) is working to prevent the expansion and future development of open-pit lignite mines in Poland. It supports civil-society organisations and citizens in their efforts to halt plans for new open-pit mines and to fight the negative impacts of existing mining areas. The foundation promotes the implementation of energy models based on renewable sources.
Why we supported Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE
The current Polish government plans to continue relying on coal as the main pillar of its power supply in spite of the fact that the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement requires an exit from coal. The foundation “Development YES – Open-pit Mines NO” confronts banks that are active in the financing of new coal projects and encourages them to withdraw from this business area.
The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, as one of the world’s largest intertidal ecosystems and one of Europe’s last large-scale wilderness areas, is of paramount importance to millions of birds and other wildlife. The mission of the Husum-based environmental association Naturschutzgesellschaft Schutzstation Wattenmeer is to promote an understanding of, and fascination for, this ecosystem and help preserve it for future generations in spite of climate change, rising sea levels and intensive use.
Why we supported the Schutzstation Wattenmeer
In spite of the high legal-protection status of the German Wadden Sea, the measures that are being taken for its protection are inadequate. The influences of business interests and impacts of tourism are threatening this natural environment. The ecological status of the Wadden Sea is alarming and requires that urgent and concrete steps be taken for the protection of this unique natural area.
The Berlin-based organisation Sea-Watch is dedicated to civil operations for rescuing refugees in distress at sea. Sea-Watch is responding to the current humanitarian disaster involving thousands of fatalities in the Mediterranean Sea by providing emergency aid. Its teams have already rescued thousands of people. At the same time, the organisation calls for and expedites rescue operations by the responsible European institutions and advocates for the establishment of safe and legal routes for refugees.
Why we support Sea-Watch
No one should have to die on Europe’s external borders while fleeing their homelands in pursuit of humane living conditions. We have a humanitarian obligation to act instead of standing idly by and watching as people in search of protection drown in the Mediterranean Sea.
We have been supporting Sea-Watch since 2016.
Their mission is, to protect and defend victims of economic crimes drawing on the power of the law. They fight against the new forms of impunity linked to globalization.
Why we support Sherpa
Sherpa pursues of a binding legal framework to make economic actors, and transnational companies in particular violating human rights and causing environmental damages, accountable for their impacts.
We have been supporting Sherpa since 2019.
Stay Grounded is committed to reducing aviation and its negative impacts on health, nature and climate. Aviation is the most climate-damaging form of transportation and one of the fastest growing sources of emissions worldwide.
Stay Grounded is a global network of more than 160 initiatives and organizations.
Why we support Stay Grounded:
Stay Grounded creates a global network across different initiatives and organizations. Aviation is responsible for 5-8% of global warming, in european countries the share is even higher.
We have been supporting Stay Grounded since 2021.
The Stiftung Feuchtgebiete (Wetlands Foundation) supports initiatives for the protection and restoration of natural wetlands. The foundation’s funding areas include not only practical field work in nature conservation, but also project-related research, awareness-raising and public-relations work, educational programmes and lobbying activities for the conservation of wetlands.
Why we supported the Stiftung Feuchtgebiete
Moors play a significant role in climate protection. They are important carbon sinks and offer a unique habitat for numerous plants and animals. The restoration of degraded moors will play a vital role in slowing down the further release of greenhouse gases.
In the autumn of 2016, shortly before decisions were to be made on the free trade agreements between the EU and United States (TTIP) and between the EU and Canada (CETA), a broad coalition of associations and organisations held demonstrations in several German cities.
Why we supported the Stop CETA, TTIP Demo
These types of free trade agreements – which have also been, and are still being, negotiated with other countries – pose the concrete risk that stricter legislation and regulations for environmental and climate protection will be prevented or watered down.
The Institute for Independent Impact Assessment of Biotechnology, which is part of the Munich-based organisation Testbiotech, promotes independent research and social debate on the effects of biotechnology. The Institute focuses on the environmental, social and ethical impacts of new biotechnologies, particularly those associated with the use of genetic engineering in agriculture.
Why we support Testbiotech
What are the consequences of genetic engineering for humans and the environment?Testbiotech shares information on the risks associated with these technologies from a critical perspective. The Institute provides scientific expertise that is completely independent of the biotech industry to help strengthen the decision-making capacity of politicians and society.
We have been supporting Testbiotech since 2012.
In the context of a PhD project at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), project partners in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, are developing a new land-use system that uses sustainable and organic agriculture to restore and preserve eroded and degraded soils and ecosystems. Cooperative, synergistic systems are being created through the specific combination of various measures incorporating environmental technologies.
Why we supported the Slope Farming Project
The loss of fertile agricultural land through soil degradation and erosion is one of the main reasons for the problem of water and food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. These issues are being caused by conventional agriculture and the ever-longer periods of drought associated with climate change. The project’s holistic approach is aimed at finding an innovative solution for the rehabilitation and maintenance of degraded soils and destroyed vegetation.
Those who provide the funds are responsible for the business – or, as they say, “follow the money”: the environmental and human-rights organisation urgewald, with offices in Sassenberg and Berlin, uses this strategic approach to fight environmentally destructive projects. Accordingly, urgewald’s campaigns primarily target the investors and financiers of these projects, because no nuclear power plants, dams or pipelines can be built without loans or investors.
Why we support urgewald
The Paris climate targets cannot be achieved if the unrestricted burning of coal worldwide continues. Banks, insurance companies and investors are being called upon to withdraw their funds from coal and join the “coal divestment” movement. Instead of supporting this harmful industry with further investments, financiers should turn to more environmentally sustainable projects.
We have been supporting urgewald since 2014.
The World Rainforest Movement (WRM), based in Montevideo, Uruguay, is an international network of environmental organisations, social movements and NGOs that support small farmers and indigenous peoples. The WRM works worldwide to protect rainforests for the traditional forest dwellers who rely on them for their livelihood and to defend the rights of these groups in opposition to destructive projects.
Why we support the World Rainforest Movement (WRM)
The world’s last remaining rainforests, with their rich biodiversity, must be preserved as complex ecosystems. In this context, it is essential that they are protected from industrial logging. The WRM encourages major timber companies to move towards environmentally and socially responsible forestry-management approaches that involve local populations in the planning of forest uses and that refrain from clear-cutting and other harmful practices.
We have been supporting World Rainforest Movement since 2015.