Nov 16, 2011
Friends of the Earth International is inspired and energized by the current unfolding of world-historic, transformative events. From the popular uprisings in Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to the indignados of Europe, from the encampments of the #occupy movement to the student movements in Latin America and the UK, people from all over the world are calling for economic and socio-political justice.
Friends of the Earth International's Executive Committee show solidarity with the Occupy Edinburgh movement, October 2011.
Our history of campaigning against transnational corporations and environmentally destructive economic policies has clearly indicated that we must attain economic justice in order to save the planet.
We believe that the vast inequalities lived by the 99% today are the consequence of the globalized capitalist system which subsidizes dirty industry and invests in military expansion at the expense of securing healthy and just economies with strong social services.
This system has resulted in a legacy of ecological devastation that will be passed on to our children and to the many generations thereafter.
Friends of the Earth International’s key struggles for environmental justice take place at the local level. Whether we are defending the rights and livelihoods of people in Ogoniland, Palestine, Ireland or Honduras, we stand together in the struggle against economic injustice and corporate greed. To save our communities and our environment, we stand united in calling for a profound transformation of the current globalized political economic system.
In many parts of the world people are losing their livelihoods and social security as a result of an expanding economic crisis. In addition, many people are suffering the impacts of other ongoing related crises: in food and water, forests and biodiversity, energy and climate. Each of these crises is the result of an economic system that promotes the endless commodification, privatization and over-consumption of our common natural resources. We see how these crises only exacerbate global socio-economic inequalities.
We also believe that the growing economic inequalities within our societies are coupled with growing inequalities in political power. The great majority of us live within broken, unresponsive political systems. The influence of big business has expanded to such an extent that our national and global governance institutions have largely been captured by corporate lobbyists. The world's democratic institutions should by definition serve the peoples' interest, and in so doing also protect our environment. But if our democratic institutions fail to represent the common good, if our national and global governance institutions are controlled by corporate interests instead, then we must mobilize to the streets to demand that the system changes. Today, the transformation of our world begins with people mobilizing and demanding real, systemic change.
an alternative system
We cannot expect the same global market model that has caused climate change, ecological destruction and poverty to solve the problems we are facing today . We must work together to strengthen our resistance to this system. We must work to create new, transformative economic models that promote our collective prosperity, social equity and real environmental sustainability. We strongly believe that an alternative system must be created, and it must include both environmental and economic justice at its core. We must create economies not for profit, but for life.
The spirit of the times is one of urgency. We at Friends of the Earth International, along with other allied social movement organizations, recognize our own struggles in the struggles of the 99%. We offer our solidarity and our support, and we join this movement whole heartedly.
Mobilize, Resist and Transform!
Oct 21, 2011
Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka is celebrating a recent court victory that will dramatically reduce the amount of lead in paints made and imported into Sri Lanka.
The Consumer Authority of Sri Lanka has set guidelines to the manufacturers and importers of paints regarding the lead content of their products. Sri Lanka is one of the countries which has high lead levels.
The Consumer Affairs Authority published the standards for lead in paints in response to the Fundamental Rights application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) /Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka in the Supreme Court.
Speaking about the victory CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said: "The standards just established are a great achievement for consumers who get contaminated every minute due to unknown toxics in consumer products such as decorative paints at home, in the school or in the work place".
The ruling states that no manufacturer, importer, packer, distributor or trader shall manufacture, import and use or distribute, pack, store or sell or display for sale, expose for sale or offer for sale, wholesale or retail any paints unless such paints shall conform to the corresponding Total Lead Content given hereunder as specified by the Sri Lanka Standard Institution for such paints.
Permissible maximum lead content Paints for toys and accessories for children (soluble in HCI acid) 90 mg/kg, Enamel Paints 600 mg/kg, Emulsion Paints for Exterior use 90 mg/kg, Emulsion Paints for Interior use 90 mg/kg and Floor Paints 600 mg/kg.
In the application Hemantha Withanage sought the Consumer Affairs Authority and others to formulate suitable regulations to compel the manufacturers and distributors to comply with the international standards relating to the presence of lead in paints considering the serious health impacts caused by adding lead to decorative paints.
Lead in paints is highly toxic. It is especially damaging to children. It impacts over 40 million children worldwide, more than 97 per cent of those live in developing countries.
May 26, 2011
Friends of the Earth Europe has produced a spoof newspaper ‘European Noise’ to highlight the baseless and irresponsible lobby influence of BusinessEurope against climate action.
Campaigners singled out prominent EU lobby group and summit organiser, BusinessEurope, for blocking ambitious climate action. BusinessEurope presents itself as the voice of the business community when in fact it favours the most polluting industries and denies there are economic benefits for Europe of early action against climate change.
Friends of the Earth is calling on European policy-makers to reject the skewed arguments of BusinessEurope.
Sonja Meister, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said:
“BusinessEurope has been resisting tougher emission reduction targets and obstructing the climate action we desperately need. BusinessEurope speaks on behalf of the most polluting sectors of industry and ignores its members which have realised ambitious climate policies can be good for our economy and create millions of jobs. BusinessEurope is pushing Europe into the role of laggard in the fight against climate change and decision-makers should stop accepting their arguments.”
The European Business Summit is Brussels' biggest lobby forum and is attended by business leaders and prominent EU decision-makers. This year ten European Commissioners, including Commission President Barroso, will participate. The theme of the event is ‘Europe in the world: leading or lagging?’.
Summit organisers claim, ‘EU decision-makers should put companies first for Europe to maintain a leading position in the world’. Friends of the Earth Europe believes that it is exactly this approach that is fuelling the climate crisis, and has led to Europe’s most severe financial crisis in the last 80 years.