About Milieudefensie

In Milieudefensie’s 50-year existence, we have contributed to numerous improvements. Since 2016, our main focus has been on the climate crisis and we have since become the most influential climate organisation in the Netherlands. We are proud to introduce ourselves to you.

Milieudefensie / Friends of the Earth Netherlands in numbers:

- Milieudefensie was established in 1971 as Raad voor Milieudefensie (Council for the Defence of the Environment).
- End 1972, the Council became an association.
- Since 1972, we have been a member of Friends of the Earth International, the largest grassroots environmental network in the world with millions of members and supporters.
- Milieudefensie has over 110,000 members and donors.
- Over 200,000 changemakers support our work with time and money.
- The contributions of our members and donors make up the majority of our funding (61%). Of each euro we receive, 92 cents are spent directly towards our objectives.
- At our office in Amsterdam, we have, in total: 125 paid staff, 67 office volunteers and 17 trainees.
- JMA, our youth organisation, encourages younger people up to the age of 28 to get involved. Get in touch with JMA. 

Our Mission and Vision

Our Mission: A decent life for all people on the planet, now and for generations to come

A safe and healthy environment, equitable distribution of and access to the natural wealth of our planet, respect for nature and a voice for people on how to achieve this are a prerequisite for realising our mission.

Milieudefensie is working on the changes this requires together with citizens, movements, organisations, businesses and governments that also want this shift. The climate crisis occupies a central position in our work.

We opt for just solutions – solutions without adverse effects for the Global South or for generations to come.

Pungkat, a village in Indonesia, is fighting the advancing palmoil industrie that treathens their way of live.

Photograph: Inhabitants of Pungkat, a village in Indonesia, oppose the advancing palmoil industrie that threatens their way of live.

Our mission can be captured in just two words: climate justice

To solve the climate issue, we must look at its cause: the unequal distribution of money and power across the globe. Rich people are causing by far the most damage, while vulnerable and marginalised people bear the brunt of the impacts. If we want to stop the climate crisis, this vicious circle must be broken.

This is why we stand up for climate justice: A decent life on a healthy planet for all, regardless of how much you earn, who you are or where you live.

We stand up for the workers and locals living in the vicinity of polluting companies in the Netherlands and people struggling with energy poverty. And also for farmers in Nigeria, human rights activists in Indonesia or oppressed peoples in the Amazon.

Our Vision: an equitable distribution of the planet‘s wealth

Our way of life is depleting the planet. We lay too great a claim on natural resources and agricultural lands. This leads to excessive emissions of greenhouse gases which, in turn, results in climate change – we are thus placing the future of humanity in jeopardy.

These problems are intensified by an economy in which profit is valued above all else. Our wasteful economy is dependent on fossil fuels and cannot solve the problems we face. On the contrary, it makes them worse.

Milieudefensie wants all people on the planet to be able to lead a decent life, now and in the future. This requires respect for nature and a safe and healthy environment accessible to people and their communities. It also requires a just distribution of the earth’s wealth.

Our strategy

System change
Milieudefensie aims to replace the current economy with a sustainable and just alternative.

Reinforcing and expanding the climate movement
Replacing the current system will not happen by itself. Pressure is needed. A major part of our work comprises mobilising and organising people into a powerful movement. And linking up with other social movements.


Photograph: Climate March 2019, 40.000 people gather on Dam Square in the pouring rain.

We cooperate with many other organisations, institutions, governments and businesses that share our mission, both in the Netherlands and abroad.

We feel that the broadest shoulders should carry the greatest load in fighting climate change. That is to say, the large polluting companies and their shareholders. In reality, the exact opposite is happening. That is unfair. This is why we prioritise addressing the large polluters, and call on the government to protect lower-income households.

These are our current campaigns:
>The Shell Climate Case
>Upping the pressure on other large polluting companies

>Read more in our General Policy Plan Summary 2016-2025

More information about Milieudefensie