Even if we, as individuals, try to reduce our negative impact on the environment, our money serves to degrade it. Can we prevent this?
The portal nexusmedianews.com described the ways in which each of us, most often unknowingly, contributes to generating huge CO2 emissions. It is all about where we keep our money. The website describes this issue from the perspective of the United States, but the mechanisms are similar everywhere in the developed world.
We are all sponsoring the climate crisis
According to the Banking on Climate Chaos report, published annually by Rainforest Action Network and other civil society groups, the world's 60 largest banks have invested more than $5.5 trillion in fossil fuels since the 2016 Paris Agreement, aimed at stemming the climate crisis, was signed.
That's why climate activists are targeting the biggest banks in an effort to prevent further CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
"We wouldn't have things like the Willow Project (oil drilling project in Alaska) or Line Three (a pipeline from Canada to the US) if we didn’t have these big banks underwriting them by lending them all this money," - Cathy Becker, director of the responsible finance campaign at the non-profit organisation Green America, told nexusmedianews.com.
How do we "decarbonise" our finances?
Four ways we can move our finances away from fossil fuels are, according to nexusmedianews.com:
- giving up your credit cards,
- quitting your bank or threaten it you are to move to a more climate-responsible institution,
- moving your retirement funds and other investments accordingly,
- organising pressure on banks to stop funding fossil fuels.
The European Commission also calls on us to look at how banks and other institutions invest our money. On 5 January 2023, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) came into force. It strengthened the rules on social and environmental information that major companies, including banks, must make public.
Europe still lacks alternatives (such as Green America in the United States) to banks investing in fossil fuels. This is why it is so important to put pressure on those where we keep our funds and force them to give up financing environmentally destructive projects.