SMK Awards: David & Goliath winner 2021!

Posted on: 18 May 2021

JRRT is proud to sponsor the David & Goliath Award at the SMK Awards, which celebrates individuals or small campaign groups that take on much bigger organisations and challenge vested power.

And the 2021 winner has now been announced at a virtual ceremony…

Congratulations to the UK Overseas Fossil Fuels Campaign!

The UK Overseas Fossil Fuel Campaign, led by a small number of campaigners from a diverse range of organisations, ‘used every tool in the box’ to bring taxpayer funding of fossil fuels to an end. The campaign evolved into a well-run coalition effort, which helped set a new global standard for climate action.

For decades, the UK provided billions in taxpayers’ money for fossil fuel projects all over the world. The UK taxpayer has helped support coal mines in Russia, oil refineries in Bahrain and gas projects in war-torn Mozambique. This financial support has made climate change worse, and locked developing countries into fossil fuel use instead of moving towards clean energy.

By lobbying MPs, staging noisy protests, publishing media-friendly investigations, and allying with communities affected by UK-funded projects, the campaign turned a highly technical issue into a simple message that resonated across the political spectrum – ‘stop funding fossil fuels overseas’.

In December last year, the Government announced that all taxpayer support for fossil fuel projects overseas would end. The UK is the first major country to make this commitment and campaigners predicted that if the UK moved first other countries would follow. Within weeks, it was announced that the new Biden administration would follow the UK and end their overseas fossil fuel support. Several EU countries are known to be planning similar moves. The campaign has started a domino effect.

Adam McGibbon, campaign coordinator, says: “It’s really exciting to have won the David & Goliath Award! In just three years, stopping the UK Government’s multi-billion taxpayer finance for fossil fuels overseas moved from being an ‘impossible’ idea to a reality. This was a campaign run on a shoestring budget, but with a massive global impact. It’s been really encouraging to hear about other governments who are set to follow the UK’s lead. The fossil fuel era is ending – this campaign hopefully will help bring that end date a little closer.

Organisations involved in the campaign are Global Witness, E3G, Tearfund, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth (EWNI), Greenpeace, Bretton Woods Project, Oil Change International and Global Justice Now.

Visit for more details …

And watch the full 2021 Award ceremony below