Natasha Ion, Climate campaigner at BankTrack
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From 6th until 18th November 2022, governments meet in Egypt for the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. BankTrack will monitor news related to banks and climate during the conference. Find our events calendar on the Fossil Banks No Thanks campaign page here.
Move banking beyond burning
COP27 takes place as the world faces multiple, urgent and overlapping global crises. We are facing an acute and rapidly accelerating climate crisis and the planet is heading towards ecological breakdown, which further exacerbates the probability of new pandemics emerging. At the same time, human rights continue to be violated around the world and people are struggling to cope with the immediate consequences of these global crises. It is clear that urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle each of these crises and no one can be solved without addressing the others.
Banks play a key role in facilitating each of these global crises through the finance they provide to the fossil fuel industry, big agri-businesses and mining, or the biomass industry. Between 2016 - 2021, the world's largest 60 banks financed the fossil fuel industry to the tune of USD 4.6 trillion. Leading financial institutions have pumped USD 267 billion into forest-risk commodity companies since the Paris Agreement, and as of September 2022, investors held USD 40 billion in bonds and shares in those companies destroying the world’s precious forests. This does not match up to their “net zero” commitments or their climate or biodiversity pledges. Additionally, banks are providing finance to the wood biomass industry that has been falsely labelled as renewable, despite its significant carbon emissions.
To read more about how banks can act urgently and decisively to address these global crises and redirect their finance to those businesses that are supporting a just and equitable transition, see here: on climate; on nature; on biomass; and on human rights.
Burning fossil fuels, biomass, nature...
Beyond Burning: A Just Transition
While the move from fossil fuels to renewables is vital, urgent and inevitable, it is essential that the transition is just for communities in the Global South, Indigenous communities and those on the frontlines of extraction. Read more about finance, extractivism and a Just Transition beyond burning.
Human Rights at COP27
BankTrack joins other civil society groups in concerns around human rights and the restriction of civic space by the Egyptian government, in particular ahead of COP27. BankTrack is a signatory of a petition signed by 1400 groups, parliamentarians and individuals from over 80 countries urging Egypt to open civic space and release political prisoners. In light of reports of Egyptian security arresting dozens ahead of the conference, it is clear that this is an issue of extreme importance and urgency.
For a calendar of banks & climate-related events for COP27, check our Fossil Banks No Thanks events calender.