Urgewald is a non-profit environmental and human rights organization. It is based in Sassenberg, a small town in western Germany. In addition, it has a 2nd office in Berlin. For 25 years, Urgewald has been fighting against environmental destruction and for the rights of people harmed by corporate profit interests. During these 25 years, Urgewald has evolved from a small group of people to a powerful organization.
How To Win Campaigns? An Example:
Urgewald’s strategies for winning campaigns have developed during the last 2 decades. First of all, we follow the money. Our campaign to convince the Norwegian Government Pension Fund to get out of all major coal investments shows how we do it. An in-depth understanding of the worldwide coal industry was central for our strategy.
As a first step, we researched and wrote a report on Norway’s Pension Fund’s coal investments. Next, with the support of Norwegian environmental organizations, we started a round of talks with Norway’s parliament and the Fund’s management. Urgewald asked Norway’s parliament to divest all climate-damaging coal holdings. But, all these actions did not sway the decision makers.
We realized that we needed to put more pressure on Norway’s politicians and the Fund’s investment managers. Therefore, we brought people whose lives had been negatively affected by coal to Oslo. They came from China, Colombia, the Philippines, USA and South Africa. In public meetings, they described how coal destroys peoples’ lives, their health, the environment and climate. Finally, the pressure tipped the balance in our favour. The Norwegian parliament decided to do the right thing. It rewrote the Fund’s guidelines as Urgewald had proposed.