Small environmental organization prevails over big banks
In 2006, Bewegungsstiftung gave EUR 6,500 to support a campaign as a result of which urgewald prevented the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria from being financed by German banks. Urgewald was successful: the banks have abandoned their plans.
It is the kind of story the press loves: a handful of women from the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Sassenberg take on Europe’s biggest banking groups. And win. When urgewald heard about the banks’ plans for Belene, the activists first began distributing postcards, then they appeared confidently at the banks’ annual general meetings to put the shareholders in the picture, before launching an e-mail campaign, thereby rallying more and more people to the cause.
What sets urgewald apart as an organization is that whatever it undertakes, it is persistent and energetic in pursuing the cause. The bank managers seem to have realized this too. The breakthrough came shortly before a planned week of action outside of bank branches in 60 German towns and cities. HypoVereinsbank and Deutsche Bank sent urgewald a fax informing it that they were abandoning the deal.
Bewegungsstiftung also played a small part in this success in addition to the funding it provided: some of its endowment donors are good customers of the banks in question. They made it very clear to the management what they thought about their money being directed into nuclear power projects by threatening to close their accounts.
Urgewald fights on: now the women from Sassenberg are putting pressure on HypoVereinsbank’s Italian parent company, Unicredit. They are calling for it to withdraw from all nuclear-related business.
on Facebook Visit us
(For your own safety: We recommend always to open Facebook in a special browser.)
on Twitter Follow us
Become an endowment donor now! Strengthen social movements
as part of the network!
Make engagement possible! Become the direct sponsor of a movement worker. From 10 Euro per month.
You want to change the world?
We support you with grants and consulting!
Telephone: +00 49 (0)4231 957 540
Fax: +00 49 (0)4231 957 541
DE56 4306 0967 0046 3144 00