Activists from Friends of the Earth Europe and Indonesia have completed an awareness-raising tour of Europe, bringing their experiences of environmentally and socially destructive palm-oil production in South East Asia, to the continent most responsible for financing it. Palm-oil companies, often with the backing of European investors, have been involved in land-grabbing, deforestation and the illegal production of palm-oil in Indonesia, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
Illegal and harmful production of palmoil in Indonesia is continuing, reveals a new report released today by Friends of the Earth.
The study concludes that voluntary guidelines, such as those established by the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Environmental, Social and Governance policies (ESG) of European investors have not led to any significant improvement in the situation.
Five years on from the bankruptcy of the Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers, Europe has done little to respond to the ensuing financial crisis, according to a statement from 40 civil society groups. Europe still lacks the solid regulation that could prevent another financial collapse, and the necessary measures to curb the influence of the financial lobby in Brussels.
Environment, consumer and labour groups have written to European Union Heads of State and Government warning them of the dangers to the environment, health, and consumers of proposals to reduce regulatory burden.
The letter was sent by the Green 10, of which Friends of the Earth Europe is a member, together with the European Trade Union Confederation and the European Consumers’ Organisation,
The EU Summit, initially planned to discuss the purpose and effectiveness of the future €1 trillion EU Budget 2014-2020, was instead used to focus on a disputed attempt at a fiscal union and more quick fix bank bailouts – which to date have cost the tax payer over €4.5 trillion . As governments put more money in irresponsible banks, they reduce their capacity to invest in a greener EU budget and economy.
Ahead of this week's EU Summit, the Green 10 network of leading environmental organizations encourages EU heads of government to break the link between the banking and the sovereign debt crises. Governments must regain the ability to implement policies that will transform the EU economy to make it more resource efficient and resilient to worsening environmental conditions. The green groups also welcome that the debate is moving beyond austerity and consider that an EU stimulus agenda, if devised correctly, would help solve the interlinked environmental and economic crises.
More than 60 environmental, development and farming groups are calling on governments and financial institutions to put a stop to land grabbing financed by European pension funds, banks and insurance companies.
The European Parliament is currently reviewing a crucial piece of financial regulation called MiFID. This regulation, if done right, could rein in speculation on food prices, and protect the world's most vulnerable from the whims of Europe's big financial players.
This week, 15th-22nd May, campaign groups and individuals all across the world are taking part in a global week of action for a Robin Hood Tax – the financial transaction tax that would raise millions to fight poverty and climate change, whilst curbing the excesses of our failing financial system.
Just a few years ago, the idea of taxing the banks was unimaginable, but the campaign for a financial transaction tax has taken giant leaps towards becoming reality.
Friends of the Earth Europe and 25 other environmental, social justice, human rights and development groups are urging European governments and parliamentarians to use the review of EU financial legislation (MiFID)  to curb financial speculation in food and other commodity derivatives markets.
Lack of sufficient regulation has led to increased price volatility in the markets for food commodities, contributing to the recent food price spikes that have left millions across the world facing hunger and poverty.