The European Central Bank is about to wrap up their open public consulation. Its results will help guide the Bank in setting a new strategic direction in the coming years.

We have a clear message: we need the ECB and its President Christine Lagarde to choose people, not polluters.

The ECB’s months-long consultation was open – but it wasn’t accessible. Between experts, lobbyists and politicians, the Bank didn’t make much space to hear the voices of European people concerned about our climate and a just, green recovery.

Last week, we asked 350 supporters in Europe to help make sure that the ECB bankers see and hear the real people behind the 165,000 petition signatures and our demand for an end to fossil fuel finance. We received dozens and dozens of personal, thoughtful, powerful audio and video messages, recorded by people of all ages from all corners of Europe. We put together this a short video featuring some of them, and showed it to the ECB staff during a petition hand-over meeting earlier this week.

Have a look, and share our voices, to make sure they resonate across Europe:

Watch and share on Twitter

Watch and share on Facebook

Or, watch on Youtube.

Earlier this week, we shared these messages with Director General Frank Smets and other staff members of the European Central Bank. During the online meeting we were able to hand over petition signatures and survey results, and show the overwhelming support of European people for an ECB that takes a strong stance against the climate crisis, using every tool in their toolbox.

What did we hear back? The ECB staff shared their appreciation for our involvement, and ensured us that our demands, and the voices of European people, will be heard and taken into account. They confirmed: addressing the climate crisis is one of the key issues facing the ECB in the upcoming review of their strategic direction, and our campaign helped make sure that climate doesn’t fall off the agenda, as post-pandemic recovery took center stage in the past months.

That’s all great, but there’s one problem: while the Bank acknowledges they need to act on climate, they want to deliberate first, act later. If they wait to take any action until after their new strategy is in place in a year or more, that will mean billions and billions of euros of ECB funds continue fueling destructive fossil fuel companies, and burying our chance to stop the climate from collapsing.

We know that giving billions to fossil fuel companies is a disastrous decision to make. We know that we can still ensure a healthy, prosperous, clean future – but only if we keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition our economies, now.

More than 165,000 people signed our petition, run in collaboration with our partners at SumOfUs and Reclaim Finance, asking Christine Lagarde and the European Central Bank to stop funding fossil fuels – and instead spend the money on a just recovery that prioritises people, not polluters. The audio and video messages we put together in the 2-minute-long film represent the real voices and faces of people from across Europe who have a stake in the decisions Lagarde makes in the coming weeks and months. But there are many, many more of us, and our message is urgent. We need the ECB to start acting right now. First step: stop buying bonds from fossil fuel companies.

So we’re not going away. With this video, we’re making sure that our message spreads more widely, reaching other people, journalists, politicians, decision-makers, and bankers. Please help share it on Twitter or Facebook today, before the end of the #ECBListens consultation. And watch out for more – we’re not done yet!


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