On Monday September 12, the NGO Reclaim Finance, which promotes greener finance, launched a website for the general public, "change-de-banque.org". Its aim: to help individuals and professionals choose their bank based on environmental criteria. Find out more about your bank's environmental impact.
Fossil fuels: $352 billion in financing over 6 years
Despite the various commitments made by banks in favor of the environment and the climate, the financial sector continues to invest massively in fossil fuels.
In March 2022, a report(Banking on climate chaos) published by a group of NGOs, including Reclaim Finance and Friends of the Earth, revealed that the Paris financial center had disbursed " $352 billion in financing over the past six years ". This put France at the top of the list of European Union member states in terms of support for fossil fuels.
However, this financing varies widely from one institution to another, as Reclaim Finance intends to demonstrate through its "Change de banque" website. Indeed, the more than $350 billion allocated to fossil fuels since the signing of the Paris Agreement has been provided by a handful of groups, namely Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and BPCE.
🟢 Putting your money to work for the climate, it's possible!- Reclaim Finance (@ReclaimFinance) September 12, 2022
Since 2016, banks 🇫🇷 have allocated $352 billion to fossil fuels 💣😱
Fortunately, responsible ➕ alternatives do exist 💪
➡️ We explain it all on https://t.co/ybTJITPcYV!!#ChangeDeBanque pic.twitter.com/dpFv2Bzse1
"An engine for transforming finance
By contrast, other banks are making efforts that are welcomed by Reclaim Finance, such as La Banque Postale, Crédit Coopératif - which belongs to the BPCE group but is independently managed - and the neobanks GreenGot and Helios.
GreenGot places its customers' deposits with Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, whose financing and investment activities have, according to Reclaim Finance, " very little exposure to fossil fuels compared with the major traditional banks ".
For its part, Helios places its deposits with Solaris Bank, a German bank which, as the NGO points out, " is committed to channelling part of these funds (40%) into green bonds to finance projects that help accelerate the energy transition ".
" Finance is often left in the hands of 'experts', and it's about enabling everyone to take back control of their money to send a clear message: banks must no longer finance climate chaos," says Lucie Pinson, founder and director of Reclaim Finance, in the NGO's press release.
For his part, Raphaël Cros, in charge of the Civil Society Commitment campaign, believes that " refusing to collaborate with banks that continue to finance new fossil fuel projects can become a driving force for transforming finance when action is taken at a collective level ".