META: 5 GREEN IDEAS FOR THE EU IN NEXT 5 YEARS

MARIE-AMÉLIE BRUN, Published JUNE 6, 2019, original article here

Picture credit: Frank Hui, flickr.com

CLIMATE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE EUROPE PROTECTS FEATURED PODCASTS RULE OF LAW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

After the European elections, META has great ideas to help new MEPs and potential Commissioners with five green ideas that could blossom in the next five years.

A short synopsis of the options offered:

1. A European Green New Deal

The European Union needs to get the ball rolling on a new environmental action programme – or European ‘Green New Deal’.

2. New European Commission Vice-Presidents for…

The European Commission plays a crucial role in the lawmaking process of the European Union. Various Vice-President positions already exist in the Commission, but the Environment and Climate roles are not yet represented at this level.

3. A Sustainable Development Goals strategy

17 Goals have been developed by the United Nations to achieve a sustainable future for all. These goals, called the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ – or ‘SDGs’ – target all aspects of sustainability, from poverty to clean oceans.

4. Net zero emissions

At the end of last year the European Commission presented a strategic long-term vision of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Last month eight EU countries called for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

5. A ‘Paris moment’ for Biodiversity

A study carried out by the world’s top nature scientists and representatives from 132 governments warned us recently that humanity faces a global environmental emergency.

The three-year assessment into the health of our planet’s ecosystems reveals the alarming extent of global biodiversity breakdown with up to one million species set to disappear within a few decades.

Marie-Amélie Brun sums it up in her article: 5 Green Ideas for the EU in the Next Five Years

For further reading: www.meta.eeb.org

A Blog Looking Back at the Cooperation of The Crowd and the Bees

25 March 2019

By Andrea Carta, Greenpeace EU Senior Legal Strategist

My collaboration with “The Crowd Versus” began in September 2016. At that time, I was providing EU law expertise to Greenpeace International, who had intervened in a case that Bayer and Syngenta had started against the EU Commission: the two agrochemical companies were trying to annul a regulation that prohibited the use of three active substances for pesticides (neonicotinoids), which the Commission found to be harmful for bees. 

Together with other NGOs engaging in the protection of bees and pollinators (Bee-Life.eu, Bugslife.org, and Pesticides Action Network-Europe), we decided to intervene in the proceedings in support of the Commission’s ban.

The Crowd Versus made their platform available for a fundraising campaign, to help us pay the costs of the court intervention and to provide communication opportunities around the case. 

Getting the fundraising campaign started was a relatively easy process. The Crowd Versus uses a simple and transparent standard agreement and it provides the parties with all the basic information to develop the crowdfunding page. At the design stage, requests for input on Greenpeace’s side were minimal, and limited to a short description of the legal case and to some pictures. 

The Crowd Versus produced a dedicated webpage and a video. It also took care of the launch of the crowdfunding via social media like Facebook and Twitter. Communication was regular and all the adjustments that proved necessary (text, timeline and target) were made practically in real time. 

On 29 September 2016 we were online and the campaign ended on 15 February 2017 with € 1.680 and 85 individual donors, most of which from the Netherlands, where The Crowd Versus is based.

Considering that we were practically running a pilot, and that The Crowd Versus was mainly counting on its own audience, I think the result of this short campaign was encouraging, even if it did not reach the target that we had initially set. 

What could have we done differently to achieve the target?

Based on my experience with the bees’ case, I think that, beyond a thorough preparation, communication is the factor that can determine the success of a crowdfunding campaign. Here are my two advices:

Communicate frequently and widely around the case

This should be easier for grassroots organisations, whose main focus is on one legal cases (or a small number of them), than for large organisations like Greenpeace, who have many campaigns and initiatives running at the same time. 

Find a way to make (administrative) law appealing

Administrative law is already boring for law students. Don’t expect it to be entertaining for the public unless you put some serious work on it!

Beyond a doubt, our case was important from both the legal and the environmental perspective. However, mobilising supporters was very difficult, given that cases before the EU Court of Justice are very slow, very technical and very quiet. 

With a well-designed and planned communication strategy, a crowdfunding campaign can bring, in addition to the monies that are necessary to run a legal case, a valuable opportunity to mobilise around it and turn a lawsuit into a real campaign.

BIO

Andrea Carta works as Senior Legal Strategist for the European Unit of Greenpeace, where he advices on a broad range of EU environmental law issues, including pesticides, GMOs, energy, access to justice, illegal timber imports and trade policy.