Frank Vanaerschot, email@example.com 0487-671627
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President Obama has taken an important step to confront climate change. The goal to reduce carbon emissions by 30% in 2030 will put a lot of pressure on the coal industry, as it provides for almost half of US electricity generation. The dependency on coal has to be cut back in Europe as well. FairFin, Climaxi and BankTrack ask banks to take their responsability.
Who thinks coal is a case of far away or long ago, is mistaken. In Europe alone, 71 new (!) coal plants are planned. This despite the fact that coal is one of the most polluting ways of generating energy. Moreover, a choice for coal blocks the transition to a green energy provision.
"We are here to protect public health and the environment," says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The US wants to set an example in the world and shows that this can only be done by taking difficult decisions that force the industry to change. If the US can do it, why can't Europe?
Five banks active in Belgium invest €1.38 billion in coal
The choice for coal is largely maintained by investments made by 'our' banks in coal companies like RWE, Vattenfall and PGE. BNP Paribas invests €668.2 million in those three companies, Deutsche Bank €575.4 million, ING €98.6 million, Belfius €26.5 million and KBC €17 million.
FairFin, Climaxi and BankTrack call on banks to stop funding new coal plants, invest in renewable energy, create proper sustainable savings and investment products, provide cheap credit to green projects and only call their services or products 'green' or 'sustainable' if they can prove they are.
Action plant a power plant
Bank clients can ask for 'seed bombs' at the FairFin office, which they can plant near the banks investing in coal. The banks' gardens will soon blossom in beauty, hopefully their investments will as well.