5 huge campaign wins that show people power works

Tired of watching non-stop climate doom news? Don't give up hope! Our work together as a movement is creating lasting change for the planet and future generations. Find out how people power really can create positive change.
  Published:  03 Nov 2023    |      2 minute read

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing our campaigns succeed. And we’ve had some big wins recently, both at home and overseas.

No new oil or gas: there’s no future in fossil fuels

Our vision is simple: no more oil, gas or coal. It's clear that new fossil fuel developments, including extracting new oil, coal and gas that'll add more emissions to the atmosphere, aren't compatible with tackling climate change. It’s why we’re fighting new fossil fuel developments, alongside local communities and groups.

1. No more Ffos y Fran

Ffos y Fran, the UK's largest opencast coal mine, is to close after councillors unanimously decided to reject an application to continue mining until March 2024. This decision follows years of campaigning by Merthyr Tydfil Friends of the Earth and other local community groups.

For residents like Chris and Alyson from Merthyr Tydfil Friends of the Earth, who've been tirelessly campaigning against Ffos y Fran for 20 years, this is the news they've been waiting for. They'll no longer have a dirty, noisy coal mine on their doorstep.

Quarry lorries move materials around the Ffos-Y-Fran opencast coal mine on November 17, 2009 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
The blot of opencast coal mining on the Welsh countryside

2. Opencast coal mine Glan Lash rejected

Glan Lash, Wales’ last opencast coal mine proposal, has been turned down. Councillors at Carmarthenshire County Council received over 800 objections from people living in the area and voted against the proposal, prioritising climate and nature instead of destructive fossil fuels. If it’d been approved, up to 95,000 tonnes more coal could have been extracted from the mine.

The decision to stop further coal extraction at Glan Lash is another clear signal that the era of opencast mining in Wales is coming to an end.

3. Fighting fossil fuel funding projects abroad

We've helped secure a new UK policy to stop future investment in international fossil fuels using public funds. The change was catalysed by our legal challenge against the financing of a mega gas project in Mozambique, an investment of £900 million. While the Supreme Court disappointingly rejected our case in June 2023, thanks to your support and donations we can continue to back Friends of the Earth groups in Africa in their fight against future fossil fuel projects.

A group of climate protesters of different ages and ethnicities standing outside the Royal Courts of Justice with placards reading "Stop funding gas in Mozambique"
Friends of the Earth outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Credit: Friends of the Earth

International solidarity campaign win

Across the sea, we’ve taken action to show international solidarity with Indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo.

4. SLAPP lawsuit dropped

The legal uncertainty hanging over SAVE Rivers, an organisation fighting illegal deforestation alongside Indigenous communities in Malaysian Borneo, has ended in a win. Timber giant Samling tried to sue SAVE Rivers using a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation), a tactic companies use to silence and bankrupt activists. We joined international organisations in a “Stop the SLAPP” campaign. Minutes before the legal case, Samling announced it was dropping the lawsuit. This is a huge victory, but there’s still much to do to ensure Indigenous communities’ rights are upheld and forests are protected.

A group of 18 people are gathered on a green lawn looking serious. They're all holding posters which read "STOP THE SLAPP"

Challenging the government in the highest courts

5. Net Zero Strategy back in court

Thanks to your support, Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project are taking the government to court over its Net Zero Strategy for a second time. In July 2022, a landmark victory saw the High Court rule that the government’s plans to reduce UK climate emissions by 2050 didn’t meet its obligations under the Climate Change Act. The government was ordered to show exactly how its policies would meet climate targets. The revised strategy, called the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, was published in March 2023. This new plan still isn’t good enough, and the High Court has granted us another hearing in February 2024.

People demonstrating with giant postcards outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Demonstrators at the Net Zero Strategy court case
Credit: Megan Barclay, Friends of the Earth

Together, we’ve been creating change for over 50 years. From our campaigners and lawyers to local action groups and supporters across the country, we push for change for people and planet.

But we can only do it with the support of people just like you.

Please help support our important work. It really does make a difference.