Following my post at Bishop Hill, I thought I’d use the EU’s transparency site to check out a few more arrangements between the EU and NGOs. As I pointed out in my post, only the accounts for the years 2007-2009 are listed. This isn’t news, by the way, we knew that the EU funds green organisations before. I just wanted to see what it is these days.

First, Friends of the Earth. Here’s the report.

1 2009 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE ASBL*FOEE Belgium (1050 BRUXELLES)
€813.721,00 SI2.532419.1
Subject of grant or contract: OPERATING GRANT FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

2 2008 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE ASBL*FOEE Belgium (1050 BRUXELLES)
€790.020,00 SI2.502536.1
Subject of grant or contract: OPERATING GRANT TO FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE (FOEE)

3 2007 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE–COORDINATION EUROPEENNE DES AMIS DE LA TERRE EUROPE* Belgium (1050 BRUXELLES)
€777.818,00 SI2.480177.1
Subject of grant or contract: Operating grant to Friends of the Earth Europe

4 2008 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH MIDDLE EAST -ECOPEACE MIDDLE EAST ENVIRONMENTALNGO FORUM* Israel (66102 TEL AVIV)
€399.872,00 SCR.718701.2
Subject of grant or contract: REALLOCATION OF FUNDS FROM 2008 FUNDS TO 2007

5 2009 THE GREENS MOVEMENT OF GEORGIA UNION*FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GEORGIA FOE GEORGIA GMG Georgia (0194 TBILISI)
€140.000,00 SCR.CTR.213148.01.1
Subject of grant or contract: Create local capacity for sustainable rural development

6 2009 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE ASBL*FOEE Belgium (1050 BRUXELLES)
€38.000,00 D45.B0808.005479.1
Subject of grant or contract: PROJETS DE DEMOCRATIE PARTICIPATIVE : The Countdown to Copenhagen: The European Voice on the future of climate change

7 2009 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE ASBL*FOEE Belgium (1050 BRUXELLES)
36.345,40 SYM.0000010475.1
Subject of grant or contract: FORMATION ET MISE EN RESEAU DES PERSONNES TRAVAILLANT DANS LE SECTEUR :BUILDING CAPACITY FOR YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE

8 2009 FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE ASBL*FOEE Belgium (1050 BRUXELLES)
€9.469,50 SYM.0000010473.1
Subject of grant or contract: FORMATION ET MISE EN RESEAU DES PERSONNES TRAVAILLANT DANS LE SECTEUR : BUILDING CAPACITY FOR YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE

9 2009 THE GREENS MOVEMENT OF GEORGIA UNION*FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GEORGIA FOE GEORGIA GMG Georgia (0194 TBILISI)
€5.000,00 SI2.543881.1
Subject of grant or contract: CLIMATE WEEK 24-31 OTOBER 2009

So Friends of the Earth took €3,010,245 from the EU between 2007-9.

Now WWF.

1 2007 WWF – WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE*FONDS MONDIAL POUR LA NATURE WELT NATUR FONDS FONDO MUNDIAL PARA LA NATURALEZA FONDO MONDIALE NATURA Switzerland (1196 GLAND)
€3.499.999,00 SCR.632677.1
Subject of grant or contract: Strengthening Indigenous Community Based Forest Enterprises (CBFEs) in Priority Ecoregions in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa

2 2009 WWF – WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE*FONDS MONDIAL POUR LA NATURE WELT NATUR FONDS FONDO MUNDIAL PARA LA NATURALEZA FONDO MONDIALE NATURASwitzerland (1196 GLAND)
€2.500.000,00 SCR.CTR.152063.01.1
Subject of grant or contract: Projet de Développement d’Alternatives Communautaires à l’Exploitation Forestière Illégale Phase II (DACEFI II)

3 2007 WWF – WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE*FONDS MONDIAL POUR LA NATURE WELT NATUR FONDS FONDO MUNDIAL PARA LA NATURALEZA FONDO MONDIALE NATURASwitzerland (1196 GLAND)
€1.550.000,00 SCR.650794.1
Subject of grant or contract: Programme dAppui à la Production Agricole durable en périphérie de la réserve de Luki et à la Sécurisation Alimentaire dans les districts de Boma et du Bas-Fleuve (PAPASA Luki)

4 2008 WWF VILAG TERMESZETI ALAP MAGYARORSZAG ALAPITVANYT*WWF WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE HUNGARY FOUNDATIONHungary (1124 BUDAPEST)
€1.075.896,00SI2.512715.1 Subject of grant or contract: CONSERVATION OF ALLUVIAL HABITATS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST

5 2007 WWF – WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE*FONDS MONDIAL POUR LA NATURE WELT NATUR FONDS FONDO MUNDIAL PARA LA NATURALEZA FONDO MONDIALE NATURASwitzerland (1196 GLAND)
€128.700,00 CCR.IES.C382691.X0.2
Subject of grant or contract:

7 2007 WWF VILAG TERMESZETI ALAP MAGYARORSZAG ALAPITVANYT*WWF WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE HUNGARY FOUNDATIONHungary (1124 BUDAPEST)
€40.000,00 SI2.481752.1
Subject of grant or contract:

So the WWF enjoyed gifts of €8,794,595 from the EU. Actually, it got more. It was a joint beneficiary on over €28million euros of EU funds, but I’ve only listed the direct payments from the EU to the WWF.

There’s a lot more. For instance, the Climate Action Network Europe received €1,514,720. in total, then, three searches reveal €13,319,560.

Now, I’m not one usually given to ‘follow the money’ arguments. This is because I thought the green arguments about oil companies funding scientific research to disrupt climate policy-making were completely absurd. My view was that ‘what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’, and so the argument about ‘well-funded denial machines’ was easily shown as hypocrisy. On that basis, we could exclude complaints about ‘special interests’ dominating the policy-making process as double-standards and special pleading.

But here we have something quite different. Here we have a government funding environmental organisations campaigning and researching  efforts, and we can see a direct effect of that campaigning and research in policy. In an era of ‘evidence-based policy-making’, if you only fund the evidence-making that suits the policy you’ve already determined, then we can only call it ‘policy-based evidence-making’.

So where is the research grant to climate sceptics and other critics of environmentalism? We can see a lot of green NGOs getting paid money they would not need if they were truly autonomous. Aren’t NGOs now just outsourced government departments? If you’ll pardon the expression, doesn’t it look here like climate change establishment has its collective head up its arse?

Where we have seen relatively small sums passed between energy companies and independent think tanks, it has drawn the ire of the likes of Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. It should be remembered here that the Grantham Institute itself is the beneficiary of a whopping £24 million gift from Jeremy Grantham, a very rich man indeed. And also in the employ of the Grantham Institute is Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review, the document which continues to inform UK climate policy.

I wonder how big all of this really is, and how independent the research that informs national and international policies really is. If you’ve any ideas, or find anything ‘interesting’ in the EU transparency database, or anywhere else, please mention them in the comments below.

23 Responses to Fun Finding the Eco Lobby’s Funding

  • The US environmental activist circuit in its latest run of funding in support of climate activism displays the same “head up its own arse” breed of incestuousness. The total amount involved in this case: $500 million

    I documented it here:
    Climate Money: The Hewlett and the Packard

    Richard North at EURef has gone along this trail, a good while ago.

  • From the Financial Transparency System website, we can see some money has gone to INFORSE-Europe, or the International Network for Sustainable Energy – Europe, “a network of 80 NGOs that are working for sustainable energy solutions to protect the environment and reduce poverty”.
    http://www.inforse.org/europe/
    http://www.inforse.dk/presentation.php3

    In 2007 INFORSE-Europe received €107,949.00, in 2008 €87,446.00 and in 2009, €90,000.00. Which makes the total €285,395.00 over three years. Not a lot, compared to some other beneficiaries, but every little helps!

  • Thanks Shub and Alex.

    Here’s another interesting one.

    Year:2007 Amount €:10.713.441,00
    Responsible Department:Energy and Transport
    Budget line name and number: Completion of the sixth EC framework programme (2003 to 2006) (06.06.05.02)

    Sustainable Energy Ireland is government agency. It describes its “Key Strategic Objectives” as:

    * Energy efficiency first: implementing strong energy efficiency actions that radically reduce energy intensity and usage
    * Low carbon energy sources: accelerating the development and adoption of technologies to exploit renewable energy sources
    * Innovation and integration: supporting evidence-based responses that engage all actors, supporting innovation and enterprise for our low-carbon future.

  • 8< --- snip --- >8

    [BEN: Context, Lewis, context.]

  • Ben, re the SEAI, here’s an article which expresses a bit of doubt about future funds for grants for EVs in Ireland. Given the state of the Irish economy at the moment, I wonder how many people will be spending €20,000 to €30,000 on a new electric car next year.
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/only-first-1000-electric-car-buyers-to-get-euro5000-grant-2624421.html

    Now here’s another beneficiary – NERC – the Natural Environment Research Council, based in Swindon – who seem to be getting quite a bit of dosh from the EU, but it’s difficult to see exactly how much, altogether – type in “Natural Environment Research Council” at the Financial Transparency site and lots of other organisations pop up too. Here’s their website:
    http://www.nerc.ac.uk/

    “NERC funds world-class science in universities and our own research centres that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. We are tackling the 21st century’s major environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards.”

    And on climate change:
    “NERC spends about £40m each year on climate change research. Our scientists are world-leading authorities on this issue, and advise the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recognised worldwide as the definitive source for climate change information.”

    I’d hazard a guess that much of that £40m would come from the EU; exactly how much though, I’m not sure.

    Here’s one that I looked for but couldn’t find – a climate change awareness campaign that aimed to create a “virtual community of young ‘changers'” in various European countries, between 2006 and 2009.
    http://eufunding.welcomeurope.com/?p=165

    “The final stage of the campaign will cost €1.5 million taking the total cost of the campaign since it was launched two years ago to almost €6.2 million.” That’s quite a bit, and it must surely come under some category in the Transparency website, but which one? Haven’t located it yet.

  • There’s an air of putrefaction about the site of INFORSE linked by Alex at June 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm above. (Does anyone know how to discover how many hits a site gets? I had the uncanny feeling of being the site’s first visitor, alone in a maze of interlinked sites – 60 NGOs on three continents translated into 14 languages).
    And what do they do? Well, attend seminars of course. Durban, Hamburg, Brussels, Belarus, Abu Dhabi – it’s a sort of Rough Guide to Airport Departure Lounges. And take money from the the Danish government to translate stuff into Albanian. Monty Python couldn’t make it up.

  • Geoff & Alex. From the INFORSE site:

    • January 25, 2011
    INFORSE-Europe joins Declaration:
    “100% Renewable Energy in Europe by 2050″
    Initiated by Greenpeace, EREC and EUFORES.
    Supported by more than 50 entities, among others:
    – NGO networks (INFORSE-Europe, EEB, CAN-Europe, FoE-Europe, WWF) and national NGOs
    – European renewable energy industry associations (EWEA, EUBIA, EPIA, ESTIF, ESHA, AEBIOM, EOEA)
    – 38 members of the European Parliament
    – several companies from the field of energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

    The Declaration is open to join by organisations, networks and companies until October 2011. Contact: frauke.thies@diala.greenpeace.org .

    There just seems to be an endless stream of this stuff. I can’t work out if it’s really about trying to whip up some kind of public enthusiasm for renewable energy, or just protecting politicians from the fact that nobody cares for the project.

    Here’s another:

    International Sustainable Energy
    Summer Youth Camp and Festival
    Theme: Sustainable Energy
    Organized by Belarus Environmental NGOs
    in cooperation with INFORSE-Europe
    Date: August 7-11 and 12-14, 2011
    Place: Minsk, Belarus
    Read more: Program and Registration

    I mean, really! A renewable energy youth camp?!

    Not since the Hitler-Jugend or perhaps the Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union have Europe’s teenagers been offered so much fun-based state-funded ideological programming.

  • Now here’s another beneficiary – NERC – the Natural Environment Research Council, based in Swindon – who seem to be getting quite a bit of dosh from the EU, but it’s difficult to see exactly how much, altogether – type in “Natural Environment Research Council” at the Financial Transparency site and lots of other organisations pop up too.

    Alex, you raise a point I hadn’t considered. I left out the joint-ventures from the transparency site, since there seemed to be a lot of universities involved. My concern was about the seemingly ‘independent’ organisations — i.e. just trades associations — doing EU-funded research for EU policy, but there seem to be many universities working towards pre-determined research outcomes too. I wonder if any other studies used in the IPCC WGIII sustainability report came from such funding streams.

  • Budget of NERC: 400 million pounds.

  • hi Shub, do you have link for that? On the transparency site, it lists ‘only’ E137million to NERC, much in JVs.

    Here’s one that wasn’t a JV…

    Year: 2009 Amount €: 9.994.842,00
    Subject of grant or contract: ICE2SEA
    Responsible Department: Research Budget line name and number: Cooperation — Environment (including climate change) (08.06.01)
    Beneficiary Name: NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL*

    According to its website, http://www.ice2sea.eu/Deliverables.html

    Ice2sea is a science programme that is funded by the European Union Framework-7 scheme. Ice2sea will improve projections of the contribution of ice to future sea-level rise.

    I’m not suggesting much here. Scientific research is funded by the state across the EU, so it’s not surprising to find climate research funded by the EU. However, it pops up on my radar, it being about modelling, for a start, and ends up having some use for policy-making. I guess what I’m saying is that research which is so ‘relevant’ to issues/policies is always more suspicious that scientific research for its own sake.

    Indeed, on the ‘framework7′ EU funding site, we see that there is a particular agenda at work in the EU’s funding of research.

    The broad objectives of FP7 have been grouped into four categories: Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. For each type of objective, there is a specific programme corresponding to the main areas of EU research policy. All specific programmes work together to promote and encourage the creation of European poles of (scientific) excellence.

    Again, I guess there’s nothing that strange about a funding agency having an agenda of some kind. Our questions should be about the legitimacy of that agenda, not the fact of an agenda. Then I guess there is the question of how much that agenda as influenced the outcome. Is it surprising to find that there’s a greater weight of scientific research ‘in favour of the AGW hypothesis’ than against it, if, as there seems to be, there are budgets of E1.89billion available to research on the environment and climate change from the EU (according to the EU Framework 7 budget proposals 2006 — http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/budget_en.html )

    There’s a horrible circularity to this. Ecological precepts dominate the political debate, albeit under the surface and hidden behind ‘science’. This in turn, drives the research agenda, which — no surprises — finds what it was looking for, legitimising the politics.

  • Ben
    The Climate Youth Camp idea is not new. Kofi Annan’s Global Humanitarian Forum organised some and they all wore green shirts – or Greenshirts, to continue the parallel. In fact, that’s the only thing the GHF did before it wound itself up, apart from sponsoring the infamous report which was the subject of the “300,000 deaths a year” meme.
    Alex, Ben,
    I don’t think I have the gift for this serious research lark. I was ferreting about at the INFORSE site and somehow found myself at an article on the renewable fur trade headlined “Near-naked protest at fur fashion show”. Disappointing – except for this short interview with an Inuit fashion designer showing off her renewable green sealskin coat
    Fashion designer: This one’s made from four skins
    Interviewer (not sure if she’s heard right): Oh. Four skins.

  • Geoff, I think that humour is also welcome when researching this stuff – it’s either laugh or weep, sometimes!

    On the subject of climate and youth, there’s also the British Council, which in 2009 received upwards of €50 million and in turn spends huge amounts on climate change related programmes:
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/british-council-spends-35-million-on.html

    Some more thoughts:

    1) It is definitely like an ecosystem, as I think, Ben, you mentioned in the BH post, with organisations that are growths or offshoots of other organisations, or sometimes parasitical entities like bromeliads or fungi growing on giant trees in a rain forest, and others that are umbrella organisations that form a sort of over-arching green canopy, and smaller organisations clustered beneath them. In all the greenery, it is difficult to see where one organism ends and another begins. Flowing through it all is the EU, like a mighty river with hundreds of tributaries, feeding the myriads of bureaucratic organisms with a constant flow of life-giving euros. An endless stream, indeed.

    2) There seems to be a lot of built-in redundancy – agencies and organisations that appear to be doing similar things, e.g., promoting renewables (EREC, EUFORES, etc.) but either in parallel to one another or sometimes forming hierarchies, with umbrella organisations feeding and supporting smaller ones. Do any of them compete with one another, I wonder? Are there winners and losers in this ecosystem? And if there are several different NGOs doing more or less the same thing, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that much of the money is being spent simply on providing employment for people, and this may be partly the point of it.

    3) Geoff, you mentioned the air of putrefaction about the INFORSE site – I’m wondering what the general effect would be on this ecosystem in the event of a severe financial drought, for instance if Greece were to default and the Eurozone started to implode. Would many of these organisms just wither away, perhaps, leaving empty husks of themselves on the internet?

  • Ben,
    They mention it here: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/site/guides/policy.asp

    NERC use its budget of about £400m to fund environmental science both in universities and within our own research centres. Some of our research …

    and here: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/about/work/budget/

    Financial Summary 2009-10
    £479.5·million (grant-in-aid + external funding)

    NERC employs 2,454 people.

  • Thanks, Shub.

    Presumably, however, some of that research is meaningful, and not as obviously about supporting an agenda as such. Have you any thoughts on how to make a distinction between policy-based evidence-making, and worthwhile studies?

  • On a suitably fishy note (and tying in with both this and the next thread), recent research into CO2-induced deafness among clownfish, which made headlines at the beginning of this month, was part-funded by NERC.
    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2011/7656.html

  • They’ve updated the EU’s Financial Transparency site with 2010’s figures now. Some are pretty much as expected (e.g., FoE received just under a million Euros, a little less than in previous years, but not by a lot.) There may be some surprises in there, haven’t yet had a chance to look around yet.

  • great! i’m so glad that if found your blog I will be marking this for later!
    – real estate new orleans is an interest of mine and and your “Fun Finding the Eco Lobby

  • NERC is one of the academic research councils of the UK that allocate public funds to academics – in a similar light to MRC for medical research, STFC for science and technology, BBSRC for Biology It’s not a political/campaign/pressure group type of body, but part of the state’s mechanisms for funding academic research in the UK from public money – equivalent to the US National Research Council and NAS.

    The aim is that the Research Councils are independent entities that provide a buffer between politicians/government funding and the actual allocation of monies for academic research. Anyone applying for a PhD in the UK pretty much has to apply to the research councils for funding and large swathes of university research are built on Research Council funding. Please don’t confuse this with funding for green groups.

  • Samd – … not a political/campaign/pressure group type of body…

    That’s a matter of opinion, it seems. Plenty of new university departments, research schools, and the academy more broadly, has been funded precisely to service an agenda, from private and public sources.

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