Urgewald is a German environment and human rights NGO with the goal to establish strong environmental and social standards for the international finance industry. It was founded in 1992 to monitor the activities of European banks and companies abroad and provide advocacy services to communities whose environment and livelihoods are threatened by controversial investment projects.
A special trademark of Urgewald’s work is the combination of in-depth research, media outreach and public campaigning. In 2015, it played a key role in moving two of the world’s largest investors - the Norwegian Government Pension Fund and the German insurance company Allianz to divest from the coal industry. These are up to now the world’s two largest coal divestment actions. These two successes inspired Urgewald to begin compiling the Global Coal Exit List (GCEL). The database was first launched in 2017 and is updated each year. In 2021 Urgewald launched an additional project: the Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL). These publicly available databases are used as divestment tools by financial institutes and as campaigning and research tools by NGOs around the globe.
Apart from "Investing in Climate Chaos", Urgewald publishes the financiers of GCEL companies annually since 2020. At COP27 in November 2022, Urgewald published "Who is Financing Fossil Fuel Expansion Africa", revealing the coal, oil and gas expansionists on the continent and their banks and investors.
This research is published in partnership with a broad collective of NGOs: