Markus Ferber, the MEP leading the European Parliament's work on financial markets reform has today published proposals which would go some way to putting the hunger of people before the hunger of financial institutions.
The airlines KLM and Air France vowed not to do business with Dutch company Waterland International following the publication of Friends of the Earth Netherlands report revealing the company's involvement in damaging jatropha cultivation in Java for the production of aviation biokerosene.
The report revealed threats to local food cultivation in Java, and the exploitation of farmers, following investments in jatropha from Waterland International.
Friends of the Earth International has today launched a petition asking people to write to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund calling for an end to all its investments in oil company Shell. Last month 28 Right Livelihood Award laureates wrote a letter to the government highlighting the company's negligence in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, where it is causing environmental devastation
The Dutch government's friendly relationship with big oil companies, and unwillingness to block polluting tar sands from Europe, has been ridiculed this morning by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie.
In a colourful action outside the Shell headquarters in The Hague activists dressed in Dutch national costume had oil poured over them by a 'representative' from Shell. At the same time, an activist playing Joop Atsma, the Dutch secretary of state for infrastructure and the environment, looked on smiling.
Together with the World Development Movement (WDM) and World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Friends of the Earth Europe handed in a petition to the European Parliament's rapporteur on a crucial piece of legislation that could stop banks profiting from hunger, MEP Markus Ferber. More than 8000 people across Europe signed the petition, asking the Parliament to ensure the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) stops big financial players from gambling on food.
European banks and other financial institutions are investing billions into practices which fuel speculation in agricultural commodity markets. These include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Allianz, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. Free speech radio's Liam Moriarty interviews Friends of the Earth Europe's Daniel Pentzlin on our latest report on the issue.
Brussels, January 12, 2012 – European banks, pension funds and insurance companies are increasing global hunger and poverty by speculating on food prices and financing land grabs in poorer countries, according to a new report released today (January 12) by Friends of the Earth Europe .
In a tongue-in-cheek reference to the famous wooden puppet and his very personal conception of truth, Friends of the Earth France awarded three Pinocchio awards denouncing 'greenwashing' by multinational corporations today. The awards were judged by internet voters and awarded to companies whose activities detriment social and environmental rights in countries in the Global South.
A Commission plan about how the EU can make companies more accountable is a step towards ending the global damage European businesses cause people and planet, according to the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ). However, the plans to improve corporate social responsibility (CSR), unveiled by the European Commission today in the CSR Communication, miss the opportunity to make real progress that would help victims of EU-based companies find justice and hold companies accountable for their impacts.
New rules proposed today by the European Commission will shed light on betting on food commodities by financial traders, but will not do enough to prevent speculation from fuelling high and volatile food prices. The warning comes from environment and development groups in a joint reaction to the new draft Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and accompanying regulation.