October 19, 2020

Media Advisory – Climate Protest at European Central Bank Headquarters

On Wednesday 21st October in Frankfurt, Germany, climate activists will stage a protest outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) to demand that the bank stops fuelling the climate crisis by supporting fossil fuel companies. A press release with photos and video footage of the action and quotes from campaigners will be available at around 9 am CET on Wednesday, for immediate release.  

Who: Activists from Koala Kollektiv, a Frankfurt-based grassroots climate justice organisation.

What: Protestors will set fire to a model planet earth to symbolise the destruction of our planet by bankers propping up the fossil fuel industry. 

When: Between 6-9 am CET, just hours before the Bank hosts its “ECB listens” event (11.30 am EST) where it will gather input from civil society groups to help shape the bank’s future direction and priorities. 

Where: Outside the European Central Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

Why: Despite the EU’s objective to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the ECB continues to purchase assets in fossil fuel companies like Total and Shell. The President of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, said the bank should ‘explore every avenue’ to tackle the climate crisis, but recent research shows that the bank purchases bonds from at least 38 fossil fuel companies through its trillion-euro Covid recovery package. Through the principle of ‘market neutrality’, the ECB hopes to avoid influencing the market by purchasing bonds that mimic the market’s structure and composition. However, in reality, the ECB’s portfolio is mainly composed of carbon-intensive assets, more exposed to fossil fuels and less to low-carbon transport than the market.

Today (19th October) campaigners will formally hand-in a petition signed by more than 160,000 people to the ECB, demanding that it cut its support for fossil fuels and that it supports people, not polluters. More than 80% of 24,000 people recently surveyed said that climate, environment and social issues should be a high priority for the central bank. The climate activists that will be protesting outside the Headquarters of the ECB on Wednesday will add their voices to the growing call for the bank to match its words with concrete action, by cutting its support to the fossil fuel industry that is fuelling the climate crisis. 


Notes to editor

Media Contacts 

(EN) Mark Raven, Europe Communications at 350.org, [email protected], +44 7841474125

(DE) Sebastian Bock, Germany Campaigner at 350.org, [email protected], +49 1738667167

(EN) Jon Date, Communications on behalf of SumOfUs, [email protected], +44 7533011983

(FR/EN) Paul Schreiber, Campaigner at Reclaim Finance, [email protected], +33 6 89 02 07 88