Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.
– Being a bold and fearless voice
Friends of the Earth, as an outspoken leader in the environmental and progressive communities, seeks to change the perception of the public, media, and policymakers — and effect policy change — with hard-hitting, well-reasoned policy analysis and advocacy campaigns that describe what needs to be done, rather than what is seen as politically feasible or politically correct. This hard-hitting advocacy has been the key to our successful campaigns over our 47-year history.
– Fighting for systemic transformation
The world’s problems are too big for tiny fixes around the edges. We are working to transform our economic and political systems through strategic reforms that lead to systemic, radical changes. The corporate pesticide industry douses our environment with billions of pounds of toxic pesticides every year and uses their outsized influence to block fundamental protections for people and the planet. But, using the power of our grassroots membership, we convinced the world’s largest garden retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s, along with Walmart, Costco and more than 135 others, to phase out bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.
– Organizing and building long-term power
We are committed to growing and strengthening our activist base to fight for change. We collaborate with broader movements, because the fight to protect our planet is intrinsically tied to the global struggle for justice. When a political appointee or a threatening piece of legislation looms, we work together to stop it. Trump’s corrupt EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was attacking our clean air and water while cozying up to corporate polluters. We worked with our members and our partners across the broader movement to get him out of office.
Friends of the Earth U.S. was founded in California in 1969 by prominent environmentalist David Brower after he left the Sierra Club. The organization was launched with the help of Donald Aitken, Jerry Mander and a $200,000 donation from the personal funds of Robert O. Anderson. One of its first major campaigns was the protest of nuclear power, particularly in California.
Friends of the Earth U.S. runs campaigns that generally fall into four major categories, supporting the organization's overarching principles: promoting sustainability, fighting for worldwide social and economic justice and encouraging systemic change for lasting results.
Climate and Energy
Rally against the Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington, DC
The Oceans and Forests program contains a number of campaigns covering topics ranging from international deforestation to marine pollution. The organization's international forests campaign works against the increasing trend of deforestation that is responsible for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions. The palm oil industry has been cited as the driving force behind much of this deforestation, as well as the displacement of local farmers and communities through sometimes secretive land deals between investors and governments, also called land grabs.
In 2012, Friends of the Earth partnered BankTrack to assess the environmental and social standards of the China Development Bank. Because of China's growing role in international development finance, the bank is the world's largest development bank by total assets. The report examines how funds were raised and distributed, includes case studies and outlines best practices for development banks. Although the framework of the report criticized the bank's involvement in environmentally harmful projects, the report also recognized the potential of the bank to finance environmentally beneficial projects.
Friends of the Earth U.S. has claimed victories on a number of issues in recent years. In 2013, they successfully campaigned to permanently shut down the San Onofre nuclear power plant in southern California. The price of natural gas was a consideration when the determination was made to not pursue re-opening the plant. The same year, they successfully pressured MidAmerican Energy Company to abandon its plans to build new nuclear power reactors in Iowa; it instead announced a new $1.9 billion investment to expand to its wind generation fleet.
Friends of the Earth Action (FoE Action) is the political and legislative sister organization to Friends of the Earth U.S. Friends of the Earth Action makes thoughtful political endorsements, provide direct support to candidates, and place environmentalists in the field for critical campaigns.
The Green Scissors Campaign and report are published by Friends of the Earth and Taxpayers for Common Sense. The report, written in collaboration with other environmental, taxpayer and consumer groups, outlines how the government can eliminate harmful agriculture, energy, infrastructure and public lands projects.
Friends of the Earth was one of the founding campaign members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2002. The Campaign seeks to phase out the use of chemicals in health and beauty products to protect the health of consumers and workers.
WASHINGTON, DC 20005-5002 | Tax-exempt since Dec. 1974
Classification (NTEE) Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Environmental Quality, Protection and Beautification )
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.