Last week, governments met at the United Nations in Vienna to discuss potential changes to the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) system. This parallel justice system, benefitting multinationals and elite corporate lawyers, has been widely criticised around the world for its damaging impacts on the environment, on democracy and on public budgets.
Last weekend, people across Europe - at 60 events across 19 countries – gathered for picnics, cooking workshops, farm visits, protest marches and much more. United by a shared drive to change our food system to make local, sustainable food affordable and available for all, and support the small-scale sustainable farmers that feed us, the actions came as part of the #GoodFoodGoodFarming days of action. Here are some of the highlights from what Friends of the Earth groups got up to...
Global 2000/Friends of the Earth Austria campaigners have won a significant victory after forcing the Austrian oil and gas company OMV to end subsidies for oil heaters. OMV will by the end of 2019 phase out funds for a programme known as ‘Heizen mit Öl’ (‘heating with oil’), which promoted and gave financial payments for the installation of oil heating systems in Austrian homes.
Last week, 94 countries negotiated at the UN in Geneva the draft text for a binding treaty on business and human rights. The aim of this treaty is to stop human rights violations by transnational corporations and to give victims globally fair access to justice. You would expect the European Union (EU) to play a leading role in this process - but the EU and member states chose to remain silent.
On October 27-28, farmers, consumers, activists and citizens from across Europe will join forces to call for a fundamental change in our food and farming, demanding agricultural policies that promote a transition towards a better and sustainable society, with quality food for all. On these days, peaceful demonstrations, protest picnics, and other initiatives will take place in 35 European cities, towns and villages.
The European Parliament has leapt forward to protect people and the environment from plastic pollution, but national governments must now show the same ambition, according to the Rethink Plastic alliance.
Every year, big factory farms in the EU rear more animals for meat than there are humans alive on Earth. More than eight billion animals is a huge number of mouths to feed – and much of the food that ends up doing this job is soy, largely imported from Latin America, and increasingly also from the USA.
This week, world leaders will meet at the United Nations in Geneva to negotiate a historic international treaty to ensure companies respect human rights and the environment in their global operations – the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights. Representatives of the European Union will be attending the opening and closing session, but will not participating in discussions on the content of the treaty text. Why this abstention when we are talking about protecting people's rights against damaging corporations, about giving victims of corporate abuse access to justice?
European Parliament must close loopholes, say Rethink Plastic campaigners
Producers could simply market items like throwaway plastic cups as reusable, under changes to a draft EU laws on single-use plastics tabled today in the European Parliament, the Rethink Plastic alliance of NGOs has warned.
In a dramatic show of people power, an estimated 50,000 people gathered on Saturday (6 October) to defend Hambach Forest and the climate.
Under crisp sunshine, they demanded an end to coal in Germany, a clean climate, and the protection of the ancient forest at threat from coal mining expansion.