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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.