The hot topic of climate finance was on the table when world leaders and finance chiefs met in Paris on Tuesday. We weren’t going to let them get away with weak words and slow actions. So, in the early hours of the morning, hundreds of people gathered in front of the iconic Pantheon to spell out the only real climate finance solution there is: Not a penny more to the fossil fuels of the past.
We came together with civil society groups from across France to say that, we won’t solve the climate crisis by only improving climate finance for the clean energy of the future — we must take action to stop the funding of fossil fuels projects around the world.
This came just days after more than 100 prominent world economists demanded the finance industry immediately cease investment in fossil fuel production and infrastructure. Then on Sunday, a “People’s Tribunal” in nearby Montreuil raised up the voices of people who are directly affected by fossil fuel projects, and unanimously condemned the financing of fossil fuels.
Despite the warm words at the summit — governments, multilateral development banks, and private finance keep investing in climate-destroying fossil fuels. But we’re not giving up: over the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue the fight for a Fossil Free world, by pressuring the investors and institutions who prop up the fossil fuel industry.
There are many reasons for hope. At the end of the day on Tuesday, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced it will yet again delay its decision on a 1.5 billion euro loan for a massive gas pipeline spanning the Adriatic, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
It’s likely that the powerful resistance of the local community in Salento, Italy, will have been in the back of their minds, as well as the thousands of people who have shown solidarity across the world. From creative actions to thousands of letters written to the EIB’s directors, we’ve seen people coming together to demand institutions stop putting money into more dirty energy project like pipelines.
The announcement came just hours after The World Bank committed to end investment in upstream oil and gas, and AXA, the French insurance giant, divested 2.4 billion euros from coal and 700 million from the Canadian tar sands.
Wherever the world meets to talk about tackling climate change, we prove that the climate movement is truly global. The Paris summit has shown that if we lead, politicians and the biggest banks will ultimately not be able to resist the pressure to make some big changes. We’re on the right path and will keep pushing to keep fossil fuels in the ground.