In May 2020, Reclaim Finance publishes a report revealing that the European Central Bank’s corporate asset purchases significantly finances all fossil fuels. Four months later, the NGO reveals in a new memo that companies supported by the ECB greatly contribute to fossil gas expansion in Europe and worldwide.

Titled “Quantitative easing & climats 2: Fueling the fossil gas frenzy”, the document shows that the ECB’s asset purchase lock us in a fossil dependent world by supporting companies that greatly contribute to the expansion of the fossil gas sector.

Reclaim Finance calls on Christine Lagarde and the Eurosystem governors to put an end to asset purchases of fossil fuel companies. The NGO underlines doing so in a few years would mean favoring the continuous development of the fossil gas sector. 

The main points of the report

  • The ECB’s quantitative easing supports 24 gas companies operating 123 gas power plants, extracting gas from 48 sites in Europe, and operating 96 gas pipelines and 97 LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminals worldwide.
  • Companies supported by ECB purchases plan on building 62 new gas infrastructures, with 4 companies responsible for 45 projects: Total, Shell, Engie and Enel. Total and Shell alone are developing 36 projects.

Methodology: This note matches the list of fossil fuel companies previously identified in Reclaim Finance’s report entitled Quantitative easing and climate: The ECB’s dirty secret with data from the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker and the Europe Gas Tracker available at the end of July 2020. The note distinguishes between fossil gas infrastructures that are already being operated and new projects, whether under construction or proposed. When several actors are involved in an infrastructure or a project, the infrastructure or project is counted in the individual data of each company involved but counted one time in the aggregated data. The Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker is a tool published by the Global Energy Monitor and the Global Oil and Gas Network that lists oil and gas pipelines, and LNG terminals being developed, currently in service or frozen. The methodology is available at http://ggon.org/fossil-tracker/methodology/. The Europe Gas tracker is a tool published by the Global Energy Monitor that lists European gas infrastructures being developed, currently in service or frozen. The methodology is available at https://globalenergymonitor.org/tracker/.