As climate strikes roar around the globe, the fossil fuel industry’s social license to pollute our planet is looking increasingly likely to expire. Even more than that, campaigners are starting to hit the fossil fuel industry’s sources of income.
Financial flows from banks and insurers to oil and gas companies are an important lever. If we can stop the funding, pipelines and drilling sites cannot go ahead, and fossil fuels will have to stay where they belong: in the ground.
The G20 Finance ministers are meeting in Japan this weekend ahead of the summit meeting at the end of June. But they’re not showing enough leadership to stop the climate crisis. Repeatedly we’ve seen leaders around the world stand down from their responsibility to address the climate crisis. Thankfully, local campaigns everywhere have their eye on the money.
Here are some recent campaigns as well as key wins in the ongoing fight to stop fossil fuel finance:
1. Asian banks dump coal in lead-up to G20
Asia’s banks are taking their money out of coal, the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. In financial hub Singapore, the big 3 banks: DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank, and the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation have each announced ending financing for new coal-fired power plants in the last month. And one of the world’s biggest banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) of Japan, announced a stop to new project finance for coal power in May 2019.
But Japan needs to do more. 350 Japan just held a press briefing in Marunouchi to hold up Japanese citizens’ commitments to divest and urge the financial sector to get in line with the Paris Agreement. As chair of this upcoming G20, Japan has an opportunity to lead, by stopping any new finance for coal development and rapidly shifting investment to renewable energy.