December 12, 2020

Media Statement: In 2021, it’s time to make fossil fuels history by cutting off their lifeline

On Saturday, 12 December, world governments converged virtually at the Climate Ambition Summit to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement. The meeting takes place in the lead up to COP26, scheduled for November 2021. 

May Boeve Executive Director for said: 

“The eyes of the world are on national governments to take action now with  bold climate plans, including COVID-19 recovery plans, and new financial commitments.

Since world governments signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, carbon dioxide emissions have steadily risen and the globe has faced an unprecedented wave of climate impacts. Floods, drought, hurricanes, storms, and mega-fires have destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods.

Throughout the past five years financial institutions — both private banks and public investment banks — have maintained a strong flow of capital into the very activities pushing us into climate breakdown. Major global banks have collectively spent US$2.7 trillion on fossil fuels since 2016. 

But more people than ever are standing up for climate justice and are bringing about powerful change.  To date, investors worth US$14.48 trillion have divested from fossil fuels. Just this week we celebrated New York divesting its US$226 billion dollar pension fund from fossil fuels.

We need financial institutions and governments to commit to ending fossil fuel finance. No money for fossil fuels means no new dirty projects, less pollution, lives saved, sacred lands protected, and a chance to avoid breaching 1.5°C and prevent further climate disasters.

In 2021, it’s time to make fossil fuels history by cutting off their lifeline — money. 

Instead of funding the big polluters that destroy our climate, money needs to flow into solutions that benefit people. In the midst of a health and economic emergency,  in a world that needs a just recovery from the pandemic, that money must be invested in healthier and more equitable jobs, community-owned renewable energy, climate-resilient public transit and housing, and care and repair for communities most impacted.

From now until the next UN climate gathering, we are mobilizing to pressure some of the world’s dirtiest and most powerful banks and governments to stop funding the climate crisis.”