young friends of the earth europe

The Young Friends of the Earth Europe network finalised its two year long SYSTEM:RESET project! It aimed at building platforms across Europe to bring people from under-represented communities into decision making at different levels. Together they developed collective visions for a socially just and ecologically sound future.

The project empowered 3300 young people and brought awareness to 150,000 European citizens. Youth across Europe had the opportunity to gather, learn, and share through workshops, meetings, youth hubs, discussion evenings, online trainings, actions and camps. All these activities were organised by the different Friends of the Earth groups who led the programme in nine countries.

As part of the project, eight activists travelled to Glasgow to participate in the COP26 UN climate talks. Young Friends of the Earth Europe was inside and outside the conference. For two weeks, they followed the negotiations, organised and took part in actions, and showed solidarity with local and global communities and those who were excluded from this space.

Young Friends of the Earth Europe concluded the SYSTEM:RESET work by publishing their own youth proposal for a Green Deal for Europe. This paper presents visions that were collected during this two-year pan-European project. It presents the future young people want and demands for the urgent intersectional transformation that is needed in our society.

SystemReset project final meeting. © Young Friends of the Earth Europe

Solidarity – more than a buzzword

In an uncertain world, rocked by climate breakdown, Covid-19 and other crises, Europe has a responsibility to respond with solidarity. Solidarity is more than a buzzword. We believe it means stepping up, with deeds and not only with words, to change things for the better.

We set out to stimulate conversations about EU solidarity and how to strengthen it. We worked with a young Irish artist to bring to life real stories which encapsulate solidarity. From Poland to Palestine, and from Bosnia to El Savador, we shared inspiring true stories of solidarity. At the same time Friends of the Earth member groups in 8 countries organised 47 different events around the theme of solidarity. Over the course of 9 months our project succeeded to reach over 9 million people.

We brought the message of solidarity to the UN COP26 climate talks where our illustrated stories featured in an exhibition in a gallery in Glasgow, and helped bring the voices of those under-represented at the conference.

Photo exhibition: “From Scotland to Sarawak: Global stories of climate resistance” Shown at Tramway venue in Glasgow alongside COP26. © Megan Barclay / Friends of the Earth

Organising for the energy transition

We trained 23 people from 13 different countries to be community organizers for the energy transition. Over a course of 10 online sessions, the participants gained knowledge about European energy policy, and practical skills to be able to set up their own clean energy projects.

The course was unique in the way it brought together technical information on legal structures, financing, technologies and the role of municipalities, with leadership, storytelling, team-building, and other vital organizing skills. Too often community projects fail because communities lack organizing know-how. Now 23 more people are out there making community-controlled renewable and efficiency projects happen all over Europe.

The course was based on FoEE’s Handbook – Community Energy: a practical guide to reclaiming power.

There is a worrying omission of Renewable Energy Communities and this threatens to leave community projects without the support they need.
Molly Walsh, Community Energy campaigner
in The Guardian.
Green Energy Cooperative in Croatia © Zelena Energetska Zadruga

The economy is designed, and we can redesign it!

We want to inspire action to wholly transform the current dominant growth-based, capitalist, neoliberal economy. And to dismantle the power structures maintaining and driving it. This economic system is at the root of the destruction of our shared planet and of people.

Over more than a year, we led a bottom-up process of interactive webinars and workshops with our members all over Europe, to develop seven transformational ideas for a new economy for Europe.

It is not a utopian ‘blueprint’ or manual, rather a broad and inspiring vision. We broke down this vision of a new economy into seven parts – seven interdependent areas which together can transform our economy to sustain life within Earth’s limits.

Now we want to galvanise collective action from governments and people to redesign an economy that serves the wellbeing of all and our shared planet.

Read our 7 Sparks to Light a New Economy.

The Von der Leyen Commission’s plan for a circular economy is out of touch with the reality and urgency of the planetary emergency… because it is written to satisfy the demands of endless economic growth, over the needs of people and the natural world.
Meadhbh Bolger, Resource justice campaigner
in Euractiv.

Our Campaigns

Future of Europe

Climate justice and energy

Corporate power

Food, farming and nature

Resource justice