Milieudefensie (Dutch for "environmental defense") is a Dutch environmental organization, founded on January 6, 1971, by a group of scientists in response to a report by the Club of Rome.[clarification needed] It still performs research and brings out its own reports (sometimes requested by the government) but has also developed into an action group, often operating together with other organizations, such as the political party GreenLeft, and is the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth. Milieudefensie is part of the 30 national organisations that Friends of the Earth Europe represents and unites at the European level.
Milieudefensie has approximately 90,000 members and focuses on five main themes:
Climate change: "Not with My Money"
In recent years, climate change has become a major issue. For example, in 2006 and 2007, Milieudefensie started a campaign called "Niet met mijn geld" ("Not with My Money") to stimulate public awareness about the role of banks in climate change. Together, Dutch banks manage a total of 2,700 billion euro, by which they have a huge influence on which projects can go through and which cannot. According to Milieudefensie, the four major Dutch banks cause CO2 emissions that are three times that of the Netherlands through their investments. They listed the ABN Amro bank as being the "worst", followed by the ING bank and Fortis. According to Milieudefensie, the "best" banks in terms of CO2 emissions would be ASN and Triodos.
Milieudefensie also uses legal methods, such as sueing companies and the government. Possibly the most eye-catching action of Milieudefensie was one designed to stop the construction of a fifth runway at Schiphol airport. For this, they bought part of the land on which it was to be constructed and then sold small pieces of that land to many individuals. As a result, all those people had to disown the land separately. On this terrain, a forest was planted, the Bulderbos ("thunder forest").