Time is fast running out to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avoid the sixth mass extinction. Yet, with governments’ tacit agreement, banks, insurers and investors remain loyal supporters of the fossil fuel industry. No major private financial institution has adopted measures to stop supporting the expansion of oil and gas, even though many have pledged to go net zero or to align their businesses with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In short, all bark, no bite. And it must stop. Climate science tells us that the production of fossil fuels must go down by 6% annually starting now and the International Energy Agency has made clear that if we are to stay under 1.5°C, we must immediately halt any coal, oil and gas projects that increase fossil fuel supply. Financial institutions must stop supporting such projects and the companies behind them.
COP26 must be a turning point. As citizens, we have the responsibility to expose empty net zero promises on climate. These 16 dirty financial institutions bear a major responsibility for the climate catastrophe. Together, we can pressure them to change. It’s time to reclaim finance and make it work for the climate.