Our money, our future:

Turn off the money tap to fossil fuels

On the last day of the Finance in Common Summit and in the lead up to COP 26,
the undersigned economists recognize the urgency of ending public finance for fossil fuels
as part of the efforts to implement the Paris Agreement, which this year will celebrate its 5-year anniversary.




We call upon all Financial Institutions to commit to an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy.

Getting finance institutions out of fossil fuels is an urgent task. To date, G20 public finance institutions alone provide three times as much finance for fossil fuels as for clean energy each year – this support has not dropped since the Paris Agreement was adopted. This is only a drop compared to the finance flowing to the fossil fuel industry from commercial banks, central banks and government subsidies. The largest financiers of fossil fuels are the wealthy countries, which are also the ones most responsible for the climate crisis. They finance projects in the poorest countries of the global South, where instead of benefiting the most vulnerable communities, they cause more inequities, injustices, displacements, human rights abuses, as well as weaken environmental laws and, ultimately, the already fragile democracies

Ongoing global climate change and environmental destruction are happening at an unprecedented scale, and it will take unprecedented actions to limit the worst consequences of our dependence on coal, oil and gas.

Equally as critical as drastically curbing the carbon intensity of our economic systems is the need for immediate and ambitious actions to stop exploration and expansion of fossil fuel projects, and manage the decline of existing production in line with what is necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals.

Research shows that the carbon embedded in existing fossil fuel production will take us far beyond safe climate limits. Similarly, the IPCC found last year that, in pathways towards Paris alignment that take a precautionary approach to negative emissions, the global production and use of fossil fuels must decrease significantly by 2030. Thus, not only are new exploration and new production incompatible with limiting global warming to well below 2ºC (and as close to 1.5ºC as possible), but many existing projects will need to be phased out faster than their natural decline. The decline of the fossil fuel industry will prompt substantial adjustments to global financial systems. Those changes will impact the balance sheet and the operations of banks and will expose them to unprecedented risk. it’s in the interests of the financial sector to act now and adopt a Paris aligned risk assessment which inevitably will lead to a complete halt on all new fossil fuel financing. Simply put: there is no more room for new fossil fuel infrastructure and therefore no case for ongoing investment.

It is time for the community of all financial institutions, commercial banks and central banks, to fully embrace safe, just renewable energies, end their support to fossil fuels and ensure a just transition for workers and communities affected. This letter affirms that it is the urgent responsibility and moral obligation of all financial actors to lead in putting an end to fossil fuel development.

A global transition to a low carbon future is already well underway and we recognize that a full transition away from fossil fuels is an opportunity for a new economic paradigm of prosperity and equity. Continued expansion of coal, oil and gas is only serving to hinder the inevitable transition while at the same time exacerbating conflicts, fuelling corruption, threatening biodiversity, clean water and air, and infringing on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable communities and nations.

Energy access and demand can and must now be met fully through the renewable energies of the 21st century. Assertions that new fossil fuels, such as gas, are needed for this transformation are not only inaccurate; they also undermine the speed and penetration of renewable energy.

The global financial community has the power to create the conditions under which this shift is possible. Current and future investments in fossil fuel production are at odds with a safe and equitable transition away from ever-stronger climate disasters.

Starting at the  Finance in Common Summit and no later than COP-26, governments and financial institutions must recognize that continued investments in fossil fuel production supply-side is irreconcilable with meaningful climate action. Instead, let us all prioritize the tremendous investment opportunities for a 100% just and renewable future for all, that support healthy economies while protecting workers, communities, and the ecological limits of our planet.

Are you an economist or do you work in economics or finance capacities (i.e. institutional investors, finance ministers, business school professors, etc.)? Add your name to the list below


Signers of the Declaration on Climate Finance: