350.org – The climate crimes European public money pays for

Billions of euros for fossil fuels – again?

Next week, Christine Lagarde and the other heads of the European Central Bank will announce hundreds of billions of euros more in emergency recovery funding, to help Europe through the second wave of lockdowns and the difficult winter ahead.

But without any safeguards in place, this money will likely end up funding coal, oil and gas corporations like Shell and Total. [1] Companies with well documented links to environmental destruction, human rights abuses, and massive CO2 emissions that are fuelling the climate crisis. [2]

Our campaign has already pushed President Lagarde to express support for ambitious climate action. She’s showing that she heard our demands and she cares about her legacy. But so far, these are just words, and promises for the future. We have no time to waste. We must act now to make sure she chooses the right path, before it’s too late.

Take action: send an email, a tweet or a facebook comment, and tell Lagarde that not one euro more of public money must fund fossil fuel corporations and climate chaos.

There is a simple choice facing Lagarde next week. Her bank can keep on supporting the companies responsible for the climate crisis, such as Shell and Total, or choose to protect people and our planet.

We think there’s only one right choice here: the ECB must stop supporting climate criminals by excluding them from its recovery funds.

The ECB funds the climate crisis by indiscriminately purchasing bonds – basically, long-term, low interest corporate debt issued by big companies. We have a good reason to be worried, because we’ve seen this money end up in the pockets of fossil fuel executives before. [3] Oil and gas giants have taken advantage of this no-strings-attached European money, meant to help Europe recover from the pandemic, to boost their profits.

At the same time, their core business — digging for and burning fossil fuels — destroys our hopes of avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis. It also threatens the lands and livelihoods of vulnerable local and Indigenous populations — in the Amazon, Argentina, Mozambique, East Africa and other parts of the world.

The hundreds of billions of euros the ECB will inject into the economy over the coming months must be used to strengthen our public services, to help workers and the most vulnerable — to build a sustainable and just future for everyone.

Take action and tell President Lagarde: “You have a huge responsibility today. What legacy do you want to leave behind?”



[1] Quantitative easing and climate: The ECB’s dirty secret

[2] Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions

[3] ECB coronavirus response injects €7.6 billion into fossil fuels companies

[4] Your Voice: delivered to the European Central Bank

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