Friends of the Earth Europe and 25 other environmental, social justice, human rights and development groups are urging European governments and parliamentarians to use the review of EU financial legislation (MiFID)  to curb financial speculation in food and other commodity derivatives markets.
Lack of sufficient regulation has led to increased price volatility in the markets for food commodities, contributing to the recent food price spikes that have left millions across the world facing hunger and poverty.
Palm oil corporations Wilmar International and BIDICO, along with the Ugandan Government and the World Bank, have funded huge palm oil expansion on islands off the coast of Lake Victoria.
A quarter of the islands have already been planted with oil palm. Most of this land belonged to local communities and indigenous peoples.
Markus Ferber, the MEP leading the European Parliament's work on financial markets reform has today published proposals which would go some way to putting the hunger of people before the hunger of financial institutions.
The airlines KLM and Air France vowed not to do business with Dutch company Waterland International following the publication of Friends of the Earth Netherlands report revealing the company's involvement in damaging jatropha cultivation in Java for the production of aviation biokerosene.
The report revealed threats to local food cultivation in Java, and the exploitation of farmers, following investments in jatropha from Waterland International.
Friends of the Earth International has today launched a petition asking people to write to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund calling for an end to all its investments in oil company Shell. Last month 28 Right Livelihood Award laureates wrote a letter to the government highlighting the company's negligence in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, where it is causing environmental devastation
The Dutch government's friendly relationship with big oil companies, and unwillingness to block polluting tar sands from Europe, has been ridiculed this morning by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie.
In a colourful action outside the Shell headquarters in The Hague activists dressed in Dutch national costume had oil poured over them by a 'representative' from Shell. At the same time, an activist playing Joop Atsma, the Dutch secretary of state for infrastructure and the environment, looked on smiling.
Together with the World Development Movement (WDM) and World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Friends of the Earth Europe handed in a petition to the European Parliament's rapporteur on a crucial piece of legislation that could stop banks profiting from hunger, MEP Markus Ferber. More than 8000 people across Europe signed the petition, asking the Parliament to ensure the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) stops big financial players from gambling on food.
European banks and other financial institutions are investing billions into practices which fuel speculation in agricultural commodity markets. These include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Allianz, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. Free speech radio's Liam Moriarty interviews Friends of the Earth Europe's Daniel Pentzlin on our latest report on the issue.
Brussels, January 12, 2012 – European banks, pension funds and insurance companies are increasing global hunger and poverty by speculating on food prices and financing land grabs in poorer countries, according to a new report released today (January 12) by Friends of the Earth Europe .
In a tongue-in-cheek reference to the famous wooden puppet and his very personal conception of truth, Friends of the Earth France awarded three Pinocchio awards denouncing 'greenwashing' by multinational corporations today. The awards were judged by internet voters and awarded to companies whose activities detriment social and environmental rights in countries in the Global South.