GLOBAL 2000 was founded in October 1982 in Vienna and has been a member of the Friends of the Earth International network since 1998. With 55,000 honorary members, GLOBAL 2000 is one of the largest and best-known Austrian environmental protection organisations. The work is financed mostly by fundraising and donations from private individuals. As an environmental lobby GLOBAL 2000 not only uncovers environmental scandals and the responsibility Austria has in international environmental problems, but also offers ecological approaches for solutions.
The instruments used in campaigns are political lobbying, broadly effective media work, non-violent direct action, operations designed for public participation, pilot projects, advertising and marketing. GLOBAL 2000 is most decidedly against any form of discrimination, fascism and dictatorship. It struggles to secure peace and the personal liberty of each and every individual, to strengthen the means of direct democracy and civil rights.
The main campaigns of GLOBAL 2000 are:
- Nuclear campaign – Since 1993 the main objectives have been to stop unsafe nuclear power plants in neighbouring countries. The first focus was on Temelín (Czech Republic) and later Mochovce (Slovakian Republic). Since 1999, the objective of the Nuclear Campaign has been to use EU-enlargement to induce nuclear phase-out. A recent victory has been to stop imports of nuclear electricity to Austria by making labelling of all electricity supplied to Austrian customers and storage plants mandatory on a legal basis. Also, the strong opposition to nuclear power made it possible to get the Austrian government to take legal action against public subsidies for new nuclear plants (UK Hinkley Point) and speak out against nuclear as “solution” to Climate Change at the Paris COP-21.
- Besides this anti-nuclear campaigning, GLOBAL 2000 also runs a charity project in the Ukraine to support children with cancer – resulting from the late after-effects of the nuclear accident in Chernobyl – through direct medical help, equipment and recreational holidays in Austria.
- Genetic Engineering – Since 1995, GLOBAL 2000 has been campaigning against genetic engineering, with the focal points being foodstuffs and agriculture. A referendum initiated in part by GLOBAL 2000 was signed by 1.2 million Austrian citizens. GLOBAL 2000 was able to prevent, up till now, the release of genetically manipulated plants in Austria.
- Pesticides – GLOBAL 2000 has been working nationally and internationally to ban the most problematic chemicals and pesticides such as Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby products. A recent case was the European Commission discussion on the carcinogenic pesticide Glyphosate.
- Climate & Energy – In order to expose the inappropriateness of the energy policy, and to save valuable river landscape areas, GLOBAL 2000 has in the 1980s and 1990s organised campaigns against senseless H.E.P. stations and occupied, with partial success, some of the construction sites (Hainburg, Lambach, Lechtal).
- A major campaign in the run-up to the Climate Conference COP-21 in Paris was the call for 100% Renewables in Austria by 2050, not just in the field of electricity but also transport and heating.