We developed a brand-new campaign on clean air, the climate crisis and youth activism: #Youth4CleanAir. This campaign boosted young people’s awareness of environmental issues and the significance of their role and voice. We mobilised more than 250 youth from five cities, organised workshops and supported them to develop concrete recommendations directed to their mayors for improving the air quality in their cities and minimising climate change effects.

Regulate New GMOs!


Our campaign and online petition for the regulation and labelling of New GMOs in food was supported by a Europe-wide alliance of environmental, farmers’ and consumers’ associations. 420,757 citizens requested the responsible ministers Johannes Rauch (consumer protection), Norbert Totschnig (agriculture) and Leonore Gewessler (environment) to advocate against a weakening of the GMO legislation on European Union level. Consequently, the Austrian federal government is expected to block the current EU GMO legislation.

Fighting “forever chemicals”

BELGIUM (Flanders)

“Forever chemicals” – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – are highly persistent and don’t break down in our bodies or the environment. Despite being extremely harmful, they are frequently used: criminal levels of PFAS have been found in earthworks, landfills and incinerators. We mobilised local committees to tackle this toxic situation. They studied the files and permits, asked questions in the Flemish Parliament, hit the Belgian and Dutch press dozens of times, filed hundreds of objections against various projects and started legal processes to fight PFAS. A first success: The Belgian government tightened up the PFAS permits. However, the fight for good legislation, control and remediation of these toxic substances continues.

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Water management and resilience

Belgium (Brussels and Wallonia)

Around 100 participants attended our conference on water management and resilience. We spent a whole day discussing and exchanging with experts, partners and citizens on how to develop and foster water resilience both at our homes and in society in general. Through speeches and round tables, but also concrete and practical workshops, participants learned essentials of water saving, composting toilets, water management, water filtration, rainwater systems and much more.

Successful advocacy at the Council of Europe

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Like all countries that have signed the Council of Europe’s Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, Bosnia and Herzegovina is required to provide adequate protection for high-value biodiversity sites. In 2020, together with other organisations, we had filed a complaint to the Council of Europe calling out our government for not mitigating the harmful impact of planned hydropower projects in the upper Neretva area. In 2022, we could finally celebrate the success of this appeals procedure: The Council of Europe called for urgent protection of the environment and biodiversity in the upper Neretva River.

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The Air of Sofia is Not a Landfill


We launched an anti-incineration campaign back in 2008 when Sofia faced a waste transportation crisis. The mayor planned to build a waste incineration plant near the city center and we campaigned against it. In 2021, we organised a multimedia action called “The air of Sofia is not a landfill,” projecting artworks and messages on district heating cooling towers. The performance attracted public attention to the need for sustainable solutions to waste management, car traffic, and solid fuel heating. Widespread media coverage helped us raise public awareness. The outcome is a big win for us: By the end of 2022, Sofia was set to lose European funding for the incinerator.

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The Garden is Ours


We played a vital role in building a movement called “The Garden is Ours”. The movement aimed at protecting the city’s historical public garden from being turned into a privately sponsored theme park, made of plastic and concrete. We managed to mobilise thousands of citizens, receive backing by government departments and MPs, all through constant media attention. With our people power we advocated for a public consultation, transparency and compliance with the law through demonstrations, actions, meetings with stakeholders. Ultimately, we filed an appeal to the Court and although we could not yet stop the project as the corporate interests were given priority, we might win the case in 1-2 years.

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Energy for People


According to a study we carried out together with a platform of Czech social organisations, 910 000 people out of 10 million Czech citizens live in a state of energy poverty. This energy poverty, caused by high prices of fossil fuels and by inefficient housing, affects mainly families with children and solitary female seniors. In response to the energy crisis together with social NGOs, we launched a campaign named “Energy for People”, which helps people at risk of energy poverty by insulating their houses and by lobbying for systemic solutions. Thanks to our work the government launched a new funding program for seniors and impoverished families. These people can now upgrade their windows or thermally insulate their roofs. Wider programs for households with low income are being prepared with our support and participation.

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Fighting false dairy claims


The Danish dairy giant Arla launched a campaign selling their organic products as CO2-neutral based on alleged reductions through greenhouse gas off-sets. We filed a joint complaint with the national consumers’ organisation to The Environmental and Food Complaints Board about Arla spreading misleading information and false promises. After the revelation that the rainforest areas Arla claimed to protect burned down, Arla withdrew its campaign and acknowledged the issue of carbon off-setting.

Just Transition


We organised a just transition conference in Ida-Virumaa, our one and only just transition region, in December. Speakers from both national and local levels across different sectors discussed the additional needs for a meaningful just transition (apart from economic diversification), centering our conference around energy efficiency and community energy challenges in the region. The conference was held in Estonian with Russian interpretation, ensuring access to both Estonian and Russian-speaking audiences. We also secured media coverage related to the conference, both before and after the event. We consider this conference a very solid starting point for many future discussions that we will be having in the region in the future.

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Journalists revealing greenwashing


The media plays a key role in shaping the narrative around climate change but in Finland, journalists have struggled to challenge the discourses put forward by big businesses and investors. We developed a journalist training concept to build the media’s capacity to critically examine private sector PR on climate action. The training consisted of webinars and a two-day workshop with Finnish and international experts where journalists gained tools to unpack greenwashing and discussed climate journalism’s responsibilities to the public. Following the training, there have been more articles on companies’ climate (in)action in Finnish media.

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The BNP Case


In October 2022, together with two other organisations (Oxfam France and Notre Affaire à Tous), we launched an unprecedented worldwide legal action against a bank for the risks caused by its financing of fossil fuels. This campaign, named “The BNP Case” targets the French bank BNP Paribas because it is the leading European financier of fossil fuel expansion. We therefore point to its responsibility in the climate crisis. The objective is to force BNP Paribas to stop its financial support for new fossil fuel projects, and that this obligation then applies to all financial actors. Citizens around the world can help us by supporting this unprecedented action by signing the petition available here: https://bnp-case.com.

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Virgin forest protection campaign


In 2021, the Georgian government proposed amendments to the Forest Code of Georgia, on regaining the status of a forest. But the document only partially improves the forest land registration systems, and leaves loopholes” for deforestation and fragmentation of forest ecosystems. Therefore, in collaboration with CENN and Human Rights Center we published an evaluation and recommendations for amendments to be introduced by the Georgian Government in Article 13, Forest Code of Georgia. The process of discussions is still ongoing.

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Stopping the climate-damaging A20


In view of the effects of the climate crisis, we work for a transition to more sustainable mobility. In 2022, the Federal Administrative Court upheld our lawsuit against the first construction phase of the A20 motorway. In doing so, it stopped the most climate-damaging project of the long-outdated federal transport route plan for the time being. Much of the A20 coastal motorway is planned through valuable bog and marshland. Building this highway would destroy 19,000 hectares of natural landscape. The construction, operation and maintenance of the A20 would emit an additional 90,000 tons of CO2 every year.

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First Hungarian accredited
climate training for


LÉPTÉK: this is the abbreviation for the first official climate training for teachers in Hungary. It is difficult to translate into English. The meaning itself is a combination of sufficiency and progress, and the individual letters form an acronym forr “The Inspiring Climate Training with an Experiential Calendar”. Co-developed with two of our member organisations, this training was made for all our members to adapt and deliver – which many already did . We are not only transferring knowledge, but also provide experiential tools for a whole school year, and strengthen links between teachers, schools and NGOs.

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Solar panels to schools


Planning regulations often make it difficult and expensive for schools to install solar panels. To fix this, we mobilised schools and the public to put pressure on the government to change the planning regulations. We built up an appetite for solar energy among schools by running a competition for schools to win solar panels for their schools. We told inspiring stories about these winning schools and their solar journeys through film making, animation and more. We pushed the government to update planning regulations so that schools no longer need to apply for planning permission to install solar. The government also committed to provide funding to install solar panels on every school in the country!

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For greener villages
and cities


In July 2022, the temperatures almost reached an all time high in Luxemburg, as they did in many other European regions. In the context of our campaign “Méi Gréngs an eise Stied an Diefer” (“For greener villages and cities”), we took infrared images in their capital comparing highly sealed streets and public places exposed to direct sunlight to walkways sheltered by tree avenues or public green spaces. The images show temperature differences of up to 25°C. The press coverage was great and on social media alone, we reached more than 45 000 people. A huge success in the Luxemburgish context.

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Faces of the Field


Uċuħ Tar-Raba’ (Faces of the Field) showcased the portraits and stories of 10 Maltese Farmers to the general public. Through the photography of Darrin Zammit Lupi, a prominent photojournalist, the exhibition aimed to illustrate the importance of supporting local farmers. The interviews embarked on an exploration of the farmers’ genuine passion for agriculture which, in the face of several struggles, serves as the fuel that keeps them going. During a precarious moment for food security on our islands, their stories also helped investigate how European policies impact food production locally.

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This Letter Changes Everything


In early 2022, we sent a letter to 29 major polluters urging them to align their climate plans with the Paris Agreement and the verdict in our historic Climate Case against Shell. Over 40,000 citizens signed the letter, which was published in a leading Dutch financial daily under the title ‘This Letter Changes Everything’. All 29 companies submitted their plans, but they are shockingly inadequate, achieving no more than 19% CO2 reduction by 2030. We called on the government, along with 60,000 citizens, to halt climate funds for these companies. However, Pension Fund ABP and Albert Heijn, the Netherlands’ largest supermarket, published new plans in December 2022, committing to the 45% CO2 reduction objective by 2030. A huge success!

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Stop Arctic Oil


In 2022, we stopped Equinor from pumping up oil in the Arctic. Equinor’s plans were to put the Wisting oil field into operation in 2028 and then pump for at least 30 year – eight years after the world must have zero emissions. We have always pointed out the financial risk involved in developing an oil field very far north in a demanding area with no existing infrastructure nearby, and their plans received massive public criticism. In November, Equinor announced that it has postponed the investment decision until 2026. New oil fields in the Arctic are becoming increasingly less of a threat!

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The future of agriculture
in Poland and in


In May we co-organised the international conference “Sustainable agriculture for sustainable sea – the future of agriculture in Poland and in Europe” GRASS 2022, in cooperation with the Coalition Living Earth and the Coalition Clean Baltic. This hybrid event allowed over 150 people from all over the world to discuss the complex issues surrounding the future of Polish and European agriculture. The proposals of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) were discussed, and the participants debated on how to prepare for the upcoming challenges.

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Our Power


Over the past two years, we’ve come together with offshore oil and gas workers to help them develop demands for a just energy transition. These demands, finally published in 2022, lay out a comprehensive plan that would protect jobs and communities as well as the climate. They include removing barriers that make it harder for oil and gas workers to move into the renewable industry; ensuring safety, job security and fair pay across the energy industry; and sharing the benefits of our energy system fairly, with public investment in energy companies and communities. Oil and gas workers are ready to lead a just transition away from fossil fuels. Now we need to work with them to make it happen.

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Big win for


After almost 20 years of work, we managed to create favorable conditions for sustainable energy planning at regional level. Persistent, seemingly ineffective attempts finally proved successful. Following the approval of our demands under the binding National Energy and Climate Plan 2030, the government has earmarked almost €70 million for new planning infrastructure for regional decarbonisation, which will be co-financed by the government and EU structural and investment funds. We thus concluded a key first stage of the transition from the current subsidy-based unsustainable development of energy, towards self-sufficient, ecological and socially just regional energy, and thereby strengthening the economic stability of the regions.

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New energy cooperative


We drove the effort to establish Zeleni Hrastnik, an energy cooperative in a former mining region in Slovenia. We managed to include the municipality in an effort to gain credibility and resources for the cooperative. We facilitated a bottom-up process of establishing the cooperative, and we are one of its founders. Currently Zeleni Hrastnik is setting up the largest community solar plant in Slovenia. We are optimistic that Zeleni Hrastnik will spark a larger wave of energy cooperatives as many municipalities are already interested in following the example. Let’s bring power to the people.

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Power to the people


“Tomemos la energía” is our campaign to empower people to “take the energy”. The current energy sector is one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases and these companies have an oligopoly that controls the market and enrich themselves while the situation for people is increasingly financially unsustainable. Our local groups have organised multiple workshops to show that people are able to generate, distribute and consume their own energy. We reached over 1,000 people in person, setting a milestone on community energy.

The People’s Forum


The climate conference Stockholm +50 received a lot of criticism for not being inclusive, and for not focusing on real action. Together with other civil society organisations, we therefore chose to create an alternative conference ourselves, the People’s Forum, with a broad program that raised and discussed real solutions. The Forum gathered groups from the FoE network as well as other organisations from Brazil, Guatemala and Mozambique, bringing a perspective directly from countries affected by today’s climate change. Txai Surui, an Indigenous activist from Kandidé and Greta Thunberg participated in the huge demonstration that ended the People’s Forum.

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Commune OuVerte


While urbanisation, infrastructure development and agriculture intensification are rapidly destroying biodiversity in many parts of Switzerland, we launched the “Commune OuVerte” project, that aims to mobilise and help communities to reverse that trend through a process of joint identification and restoration of natural values. Starting two years ago with two pilot villages, we provided expertise and support to identify their most important pieces of nature and agree on measures to maintain or restore them, as well as to get those places connected into a network of life and diversity. 20 municipalities of West Switzerland have now engaged in this process and agreed, with a little help from us, how they can make nature thrive again.

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