NGOs’ Role in Governance

NGOs [non-governmental organisations] campaign to change government policies and share information to encourage people to improve things. For example, the World Wildlife Federation gives information about climate, food, forests, fresh water, and oceans.  Greenpeace shows ways to improve energy use and help protect the oceans and forests.

NGOs have more influence with the government than a single person would have. When an NGO writes a letter to the councillor, they are backed by all their members – so it makes a stronger impression than a letter from just one person.

NGOs influence with politicians is limited for two reasons: they have no legal power and they are funded from voluntary donations from their members.


Environmental NGO Examples

Environmental networks raise awareness and educate the public, and campaign and lobby to change environmental policy. The following are some examples of environmental NGOs at global, EU and national levels.

Global examples

EU examples

  • Energycities is the “European Association of local authorities in energy transition” with more than 1,000 towns and cities who are members from 30 countries
  • European Christian Environmental Network is a “church network promoting co-operation in caring for creation”.

National examples

  • An Taisce is a “charity working to preserve and protect Ireland’s natural and built heritage.”
  • Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) “facilitates communication and interaction between persons interested in the environment through colloquia, seminars, workshops and publications.”
  • Irish Environmental Network is made up of 34 Irish Environmental NGOs that “work individually and, as appropriate, jointly to protect and enhance the environment, and to place environmental issues centre state in Ireland and internationally.”


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