09 December 2020
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2020 has been challenging in many ways. However, ClientEarth has led some fantastic achievements for our planet in the past 12 months. Thanks to support from our players, it has protected nature, blocked dirty coal and held governments to account.
Some of these achievements include:
- Defending wildlife and forests around the world. In Portugal, it is challenging plans for a new airport that would ruin one of Europe's most important wetlands for birds like the flamingo and ibis. It stopped two dams that would have destroyed beautiful wildlife areas in Albania, and just one week later, the government pledged to turn the region's mountains and rivers - known as the Blue Heart of Europe - into a national park. And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the government passed a law that ClientEarth has worked on with local communities for years. The new rules give people who depend on the forests a say in how they are used and protects them from illegal logging.
- Banning plastic drink stirrers, straws and cotton buds, in line with ClientEarth's recommendations. You might notice a change next time you grab a takeaway coffee. These single-use plastics can be disastrous to sea creatures and a terrible use of resources, especially when green alternatives are widely available.
- From tiny bits of plastic to huge coal power plants, ClientEarth has had a massive success in challenging Europe's biggest producer of CO2, Poland's enormous Belchatow power station. The judge told the company behind the plant to work with ClientEarth on a solution to the polluting plant, which pumps out the same amount of emissions as the whole of New Zealand, every single year.
- Taking on another giant and winning. ClientEarth challenged BP over its latest advertising campaign, which was misleading consumers about its focus on clean energy, when in reality, 96% of its annual spending was on oil and gas. Just two months after it launched the campaign, BP pulled the adverts and said it wouldn't do any more. Fossil fuel companies using advertising to mislead the public over their climate impact have been put on notice.
But it doesn't just go head to head with polluters. It also works with business and government to create real change. After ClientEarth wrote to the European Investment Bank about the impact of its investments, it agreed to stop lending to fossil fuel companies. And the UK Government asked for its help on pensions funds, which is the first step to making sure these huge pots of money - valued at £2.2 Trillion in 2019 - are invested in things that don't harm our planet.
James Thornton, Chief Executive at ClientEarth, said: "None of these successes would have been possible without the generous support of the players of the People's Postcode Lottery. We have big plans for even greater wins for the planet next year, and we couldn't do it without you."
Will Humpington, Climate Change Advisor at People's Postcode Lottery, said: "The role ClientEarth plays in holding governments and big businesses to account on their impact is vital work and a key component in fighting climate change. The success they’ve achieved this year shows the long-term difference that can be made, and gives us reason to be hopeful. I’m looking forward to seeing what will come next in 2021 with further support thanks to our players."
ClientEarth has received a further £2 million raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery to continue its vital work in fighting for the planet in 2021.
This comes as part of the Postcode Climate Challenge initiative, which sees 12 charities benefiting from £20 million raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery.