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Annual Review 2015

People are leading the way From saving bees to keeping fossil fuels in the ground

Thank you for all the ways you supported our work in 2015. I hope you enjoy reading about the important successes we achieved together, like the protection of bees, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and adding wild beavers, once again, to the list of native English species. I first started campaigning with Friends of the Earth as a young teenager, so it’s an incredible honour to have been appointed Chief Executive of this remarkable organisation. It’s an organisation with a proud history of protecting the environment and enhancing people’s lives. But the science is clear – many environmental trends are still heading in the wrong direction. Nature is still in decline and we’re not cutting climate emissions fast enough. The poorest people in society, and future generations, will face enormous challenges in the years ahead. We knew long before the climate summit in Paris that, regardless of the outcome, it would not suddenly solve these challenges. We can dare to be optimistic though. Fresh leadership is coming from communities around the globe, like the many people up and down the UK creating new habitats for our pollinators; the hundreds of thousands who responded to a consultation to defend laws that protect

To support Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland please telephone 020 7490 1555 Friends of the Earth England The Printworks 139 Clapham Road London SW9 0HP Tel: 020 7490 1555 Fax: 020 7490 0881

Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland Email: Friends of the Earth Cymru Email: Editorial team: Dominic Murphy, Phil Byrne Creative Director: Glen Colegate Design and art direction: Glynn Perkins Picture research: Amelia Collins

nature; and the Welsh community we worked with to stop the new Nant Llesg opencast coal mine. These people are drawing lines in the sand to protect their wellbeing and the environment. They're way ahead of politicians. It was Friends of the Earth, back in the 1970s, that coined the phrase "Think Global, Act Local" and it’s more relevant today than ever before. I’m convinced that in the years ahead, it will be people coming together who will secure lasting change: in communities where they live; in online and offline communities of interest, ethnicity, religion, and profession; and in businesses with a clear social purpose. It is possible to look at all the problems in the world and feel disheartened. But nature teaches us that even the smallest creatures can have a huge impact when working together in big numbers. Friends of the Earth is exceptionally well placed to connect people and, using our vision and influence, to create a world where humans and nature can thrive once again.

Chief Executive

Contents 3

Naturally making a difference


Climate change success

8 What a successful 2015 we've had 10 Where your support goes. Thank you 12 The year ahead

Photo: Kim Taylor

Naturally making a difference

Nature is essential to our health and wellbeing, yet it’s in decline. We’re helping communities to restore nature – not only for human benefit, but for its own sake. People are taking action to protect and improve the conditions for nature to thrive. They’re drawing lines in the sand, expecting access to nature just as they expect access to local schools, shops, health, transport and other services. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to celebrate successes like these…

Bees matter From the Scillies to the Shetlands, people have been helping bees by supporting our Bee Cause campaign. In May we partnered with Buglife and Waitrose to bring you The Great British Bee Count 2015. Over 100,000 bees were spotted. The data is giving experts a better understanding of bee health in the UK. More than a quarter of our bee species are under threat. Schools, churches, businesses and gardeners have been busy planting bee-friendly habitats and drawing up plans to restore bee populations to good health. On the back of the National Pollinator Strategy, which we successfully campaigned for in 2014, our local groups have been holding Bee Summits and planting Bee Worlds to bring communities together to transform their neighbourhoods for the good of people and pollinators.

Swarming to the rescue Word got out that the Government was about to allow some farmers to use seeds treated with two banned bee-harming pesticides known as neonicotinoids. More and more studies show that the use of these pesticides harms bees and other pollinators. Thousands of you signed our petition to the Environment Secretary – putting the Government under intense public pressure. However, it ignored the science and authorised the pesticides to be used in the autumn despite the European restrictions. Thanks to your generosity, our small but brilliant legal team challenged this decision. Although unsuccessful this time, we’ll continue working to ensure that our fields and gardens are safe for bees to thrive.

The return of the natives


Amelia Collins

Hunting once drove them to extinction. Now, thanks to you, beavers have made their home in the English countryside for the first time in hundreds of years. A surprise colony was spotted in 2014 in Devon. Our campaign against the Government’s plans to remove


We're campaigning for strong laws to help nature flourish – and for governments to properly implement these laws to protect the wildlife and sites that we all love. Oyster catchers on salt marshes, South Harris, Outer Hebrides, July 2013

Right: Local community members planting wild flowers to establish natural bee habitats. In the last 60 years our bees have lost much of their natural habitat – including 98% of wildflower meadows.

them won widespread support. It was a huge victory for local people, and the public, who wanted the beavers to remain in the wild. Over 10,000 individuals took action on our website. Video footage of the beavers on our Facebook page received nearly 50,000 views. After being tested and declared disease free, the beavers were returned to the wild. News that they’d given birth to kits broke in June. Beavers bring huge benefits to the countryside – boosting biodiversity and keeping the rivers clean.

Record-breaking response During the summer over half a million people told the European Commission not to weaken laws that protect our nature sites and wildlife. It was the biggest ever response to a European consultation. We’d joined forces with 100 UK voluntary organisations and European conservation organisations to enable as many people as possible to feed into the consultation. We've also launched a nature map so that supporters can tag their favourite nature sites with photos and memories. We’ll be sharing your stories with the Commission and UK politicians to remind them why nature really matters.

Special areas of conservation In Northern Ireland we’ve been fighting to protect bird and wetland habitats. The unlawful dredging at Lough Neagh, probably the biggest unlawful quarry in Europe, takes place in the middle of a Special Protection Area, yet has no planning permission. The Lough has seen a 75% decline in local bird populations and water quality is at breaking point. We’re taking the Northern Ireland Government to court for failing to protect the Lough.

Rewilding Britain For the next two years, we’re hosting an exciting new charity called Rewilding Britain. It’s campaigning for the re-introduction of native species to the countryside. Our bees and beavers campaigns have shown how passionate you are about championing nature. We believe this relationship will extend our influence in doing exactly that.

Paul Gorringe

Friends of the Earth Annual Review 2015

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Climate change is the single biggest environmental threat facing us. We can tackle climate change but we need decisive action. The Government thinks that a little more coal, another gas power plant or one more runway won’t trash the climate. The truth is, it will. Thousands of people want an end to fossil fuels: from challenging the development of unconventional reserves, like shale gas, to pushing for energy-efficient homes and a level playing field for renewables. They’re leading the way when our governments aren’t doing enough. Thanks to you, we’ve been with them every step of the way.

Lancashire celebrates fracking decision There were ecstatic scenes on the streets of Preston in June. Lancashire councillors rejected two fracking applications. Both were hugely unpopular with the local community.

of a 200-strong alliance called the Energy Bill Revolution (EBR). The EBR includes children's and older people's charities, and businesses. The Scottish campaign was led by the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland, a coalition of housing, environmental, fuel poverty and industry organisations calling for urgent action to make Scotland’s housing stock fit for the 21st century.

South Wales rejects coal Meanwhile in South Wales there was high drama. An application for a new opencast coal mine near Merthyr Tydfil was unanimously thrown out by the local council. It was a testament to the community’s sustained campaigning, supported by Friends of the Earth. Thousands of our supporters signed a petition backing the local people. The devastating effects of opencast mining include noise, lung-clogging coal dust and enormous visual impacts. Friends of the Earth Cymru Director, Gareth Clubb, presented the climate change impacts to councillors in advance of

Climate change successes: People resisting dirty energy Councillors were applauded by residents for putting their interests ahead of an industry that poses risks to health, quality of life and the climate. The fracking company is trying to appeal the decision. Campaigning to reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels, Friends of the Earth has been supporting this community and others threatened by fracking. Our experts have been providing legal and campaign advice as well as helping with logistics. Tens of thousands of people have taken action with us. There’s still a long way to go, however. The Government is doing everything it can to force fracking on communities. So it’s perhaps even more impressive that, at the time of writing, the UK has been free of fracking for four whole years.

Warm, affordable and low carbon homes In a campaign breakthrough, the Scottish Government made energy efficiency for all buildings a national infrastructure priority. It’s a measure we’ve been championing as part


their landmark decision. The proposed coal mine would have released 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases – more than the combined total of every planning application the council has ever approved. We’re championing this success to urge the Welsh Government to introduce a moratorium on opencast coal, as they’ve done already on fracking.

Saving our solar Reducing UK dependency on coal and gas means backing advanced clean technologies like solar power. We’ve long championed and defended schemes that support a thriving renewables industry. Schemes like the Feedin Tariff (FiT) which has helped the solar industry grow exponentially. Despite this the Government is proposing to end FiTs with no plans for an alternative. This will decimate the rooftop solar industry – risking thousands of jobs and increasing our carbon emissions. We’re working with a diverse range of organisations, including Panasonic, IKEA and RenewableUK, to save UK solar.

"We stopped a coal mine being set up where I live and Friends of the Earth was with us every step of the way" Alyson Austin, Merthyr Tydfil resident. Behind her is a view across Merthyr Tydfil to the Ffos-y-fran opencast coal mine.

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What a successful 2015 we've had Josh Malcolm

Hungry for change Our Meat Free May challenge inspired 1,000 people and several businesses, including Triodos Bank, to take part in 2015. Eschewing meat for a month, participants posted scrumptious photos of their meat-free meals on Twitter and Instagram – search for them under the hashtag #meatfreemay. Most said they would eat less meat in the future. Meat and dairy production causes at least 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We’re asking supporters to make a pledge to eat a planet-friendly diet at

Observer Ethical Award winner Campaigner Anna Watson won Green Briton of the Year in the Observer Ethical Awards. She was recognised for her groundbreaking work leading our Run on Sun campaign to make it easier for schools to get solar panels. 1,050 schools signed up to the campaign. It also inspired the creation of new community energy groups in Manchester, Liverpool, North Tyneside and Hull. We've reached an amazing 40,000 new people and 34% of schools in Northern Ireland now run on solar power.

Biofuel bubble bursts Europe is finally turning its back on using biofuels in transport. In April, the EU committed to cut the crop-based biofuels target by a third. It was a significant victory after a six-year campaign during which we carried out joint advocacy work with RSPB and Greenpeace. Together we also succeeded in getting the Department of Energy & Climate Change to publish its biomass carbon calculator, which confirmed our findings that burning


whole trees for electricity creates more greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal. Significantly, the EU has also committed to ending member state aid for crop-based biofuels after 2020. Other countries, who see the EU as a global leader on climate mitigation, are likely to follow suit.

Wales promises wellbeing for all Wales could become a world leader in redefining economic success. In March, the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act became law after three years of campaigning by Friends of the Earth Cymru and 30 other groups. The Act puts the wellbeing of people, nature and future generations at the heart of decision-making. It ties Wales into the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all – using its fair share of the world’s natural resources.

Four Footprints making tracks Our pioneering Four Footprints could be at the heart of making European business more efficient. With academics, we designed Four Footprints to measure the consumption of carbon, water, land and raw materials. Reducing resource consumption is far more likely if you are measuring it in the first place. Currently our economy behaves as if there aren’t any limits. For example, the UK imports so many agricultural and forestry products that we require around 80 million hectares of land outside the UK to produce them. We’ll be helping our Brussels colleagues work with supportive MEPs to get all four footprints embedded in EU policy over the course of 2016.

Fighting land grabbing

Transparent trade

Land grabbing by palm oil company Wilmar International is devastating local communities in Uganda. Working with Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth Uganda, we've been collecting evidence for a legal action to bring the agribusiness giant to justice. With articles in The Guardian and petitions to HSBC, which is funding Wilmar, we continue to offer support in ending this environmentally and community-damaging practice.

We’ve been campaigning with groups from across the UK and Europe to stop the secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Controversially, TTIP could make it harder to protect our environment, stop fracking and combat climate change. Over three million people have signed a petition opposing TTIP and calling for transparency in trade negotiations. Tellingly, Labour MEPs voted against a pro-TTIP position because of public pressure.

New local campaigners Get ready for a new wave of local campaigners. We're extremely proud of the first intake of our accredited Campaign Organisers course. Our class of 2015 have already been doing great things in their communities, from reducing food waste and championing solar panels, to resisting fracking and helping vulnerable people like those struggling to heat their homes. Chayley from Huddersfield launched one of the first campaigns in the country to persuade a local authority to pull its investments out of fossil fuels. She was named Friends of the Earth Campaigner of the Year.

Saving lives in Liberia As part of a global network, we work closely with international groups defending human and environmental rights. So when the Ebola epidemic broke, we launched an emergency appeal to help Friends of the Earth Liberia carry out life-saving work in rural communities. Thanks to your donations they were able to reach thousands of vulnerable people – distributing prevention kits and raising awareness about the virus. By April, Liberia was well on the way to being classified Ebola free.

Big ideas about business Book launch Guardian columnist George Monbiot wrote that our Big Ideas Project is “a remarkable set of contemplations”. It’s also about spurring real change. We’ve now identified 15 key interventions for enhancing lives, preventing the mass extinction of species and looking after the planet. In May we united businesses, academics, investors and leading NGO thinkers to set out the changes needed for the dominant form of business to become socially and environmentally minded by 2030. We’re now exploring ways we can campaign together to achieve these outcomes.

In November we launched our new book, Why Women Will Save the Planet. Our online shop sold out of copies within days. The book is a collection of articles from women across the globe. It demonstrates that gender inequality is both a symptom and a cause of an unequal and environmentally damaging existence. We hope the book will help to unite the environment, women's and social justice movements in their pursuit of a fair, equal and sustainable society.

Friends of the Earth Annual Review 2015


Where your support goes

Friends of the Earth comprises two separate legal entities – Friends of the Earth Trust (a registered charity) and Friends of the Earth Limited (a not-forprofit company limited by guarantee). They work closely together, sharing staff, resources and a brand, in order to achieve their separate but similar objects as cost effectively as possible.

Friends of the Earth Trust Friends of the Earth Trust is committed to the conservation, protection and improvement of the environment and promotes sustainable development for public benefit. It furthers these objectives by campaigning, undertaking research, education and publishing, and providing an information service on solutions to environmental problems.

Statement of financial activities for the year ended 31 May 2015 Friends of the Earth Trust






Surplus for the year

g f


Breakdown a) Climate and Energy









e) Nature and Ecosystems



f) Cost of generating funds





b) Land Use, Food and Water c) Economics and Resource Use d) Fair and Planned Transition

g) Governance costs

a e d



Thank you Many thanks to everyone whose incredible generosity has helped make our work possible this year. Special thanks to: 1970 Trust

Jacob and Miranda Cnattingius

Reed Foundation through the Big Give Challenge

Annapurna Recruitment

Martin Rayner

Richard Constant

Ariane Braillard and Francesco Cincotta

Martin Taylor

Roger De Freitas

Barbara Cairns Trust

Mike and Kathy Smyth

Brian Gaze

The Miss RCR Angel Charitable Trust

Roger Ross, all those at Lots Road Auctions and the Rainmaker Foundation

The Co-operative


The D G Charitable Settlement

Nichol-Young Foundation

Dr Antony Lewis, WordWeb Software

Nigel and Margaret Woodward, founding Trustees of the Network of Wellbeing

Ecotricity European Climate Foundation Eurostar The Freshfield Foundation Good Energy Graham Hales Ian Hall

Orwells Restaurant Paper Round Ltd Patagonia Peck & Strong Bakery Players of People's Postcode Lottery Portobello Fund The Raphael Trust

Full audited accounts for both companies are available at


Rosie Pearson The SEM Charitable Trust ShareGift Shine Investments Ltd Stephen Brenninkmeijer, founder and principal of Willows Investments Triodos Bank The Underwood Trust Viridian Waitrose Wedderspoon

“2015 marked 10 years of our partnership. It provides a positive call to action for people wanting to choose renewable energy and helps support Friends of the Earth’s important work on tackling climate change. This year we’ve been delighted to support their relaunched business programme and became the first ever sponsor of their national Basecamp event.” Good Energy Friends of the Earth Limited Friends of the Earth Limited is a campaigning organisation and exists to protect and improve the environment through influencing political policies and business practices, inspiring personal and political action, and stimulating wide and intelligent debate.

Statement of financial activities for the year ended 31 May 2015 Friends of the Earth Limited






Deficit for the year

b c


Breakdown a) Campaigning and information provision



b) Fundraising



c) Management and administration




Gifts in Wills We would like to pay tribute to those supporters who generously donated gifts in their Wills to protect the long-term future of our planet. Our grateful thanks go to: Ms P Bailey

Miss E Carson

Mr W Gillibrand

Miss M Lloyd-Davies

Mrs K Shaw

Miss B Tweed

Mr R Barris

Ms E Chalk

Mrs P Gledhill

Ms E MacShane

Miss J Shuffey

Mrs S Ungar

Mr A Bartram

Mrs G Chambers

Ms M Gould

Mr K Matthews

Miss A Sleap

Mr F Unstead

Mr J Batten

Mr M Citron

Mrs S Griffin

Mr C Middleton

Miss M Smith

Mrs E Upton

Mr A Beardsley

Mr M Connaughton

Miss J Groom

Miss P Mills

Miss P Smith

Mr R Vahey

Dr L Bentley

Mrs M Coombs

Mrs P Hadfield

Mrs S Morgan

Mrs M Stevens

Mr A Vincent

Mr P Betteridge

Ms E Corbluth

Mrs B Hardwick

Mr Orpen

Mr H Stewart

Mr M Wandless

Miss U Birch

Miss J Craven

Ms A Holt

Ms C Palmer

Mr G Strickland-Clark

Mrs G Wayre

Ms J Birley

Mrs P Cumin

Ms E Holyoake

Ms J Pawsey

Mrs A Struthers

Mr E Whittle

Miss J Booth

Mr R Day

Mrs J Hopkins

Mr J Richardson

Mrs P Suffill

Dr A Wightmore

Miss J Brierley

Mrs H Dell

Mr J Iliff

Miss E Road

Miss W Summerfield

Miss H Wills

Miss A Brooke

Miss M Eggleston

Miss P Irving

Mr H Salmon

Ms B Swanwick

Miss P Wingett

Miss M Brown

Mrs Elsner

Mrs R Kendall

Dr M Salt

Mr A Taylor

Miss A Wood

Ms S Brown

Mr V Evans

Ms S Kettlewell

Mrs P Selby

Ms P Thomas

Mrs R Wybrow

Mr J Burden

Mrs E Fairhall

Mrs R Klemperer

Mr S Seymour

Miss S Thornhill

Mrs M Campin

Mr P Gaggini

Ms C Ledgard

Dr M Sharp

Mrs M Trevor

Friends of the Earth Annual Review 2015


There is mounting evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides harm bees and other wildlife such as butterflies. Pictured: chalkhill blue butterfly and buff-tailed bumblebee feeding on lavender.


The year ahead In 2016 we will: > protect the bees, and other pollinators we depend on, from neonicotinoid pesticides > launch a long-term campaign to ensure that nature flourishes in the places where most people live – our major towns and cities > stop new opencast coal and unconventional gas extraction adding to a world already flooded with climate-wrecking fossil fuels > look at ways of tackling air pollution, which is second only to smoking as a cause of premature death in the UK > prevent the watering down of EU nature protection laws that are so crucial to preserving vital ecosystems > support the development of businesses that aim to deliver environmental and social gains for people and the planet

Kim Taylor

> speak out in favour of continued EU membership to ensure a shared approach to shared environmental problems.

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For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently.

Friends of the Earth Trust, registered charity number 281681, company number 1533942. Friends of the Earth Limited, company number 1012357. Our paper is totally recycled and our printers hold EMAS certification which means they care about the environment. January 2016. Cover photo: Bee world in the Secret Garden, Battersea, London. Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth Annual Review 2015  
Friends of the Earth Annual Review 2015