Actress Emma Thompson, TV presenter Stephen Fry, and musician Brian Eno are part of the group of artists who have written to banks such as Santander to demand that the entity stop financing fossil fuel expansion.
“Greenwashing”, when companies are only green in appearance
the letterwhich is aimed at affiliates in the United Kingdom, is also available for any citizen to submit and has already collected more than 7,500 signatures, including economists Christiana Figueres – executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – and Kate Raworth or former director of multinational Unilever Paul Pullman.
The message is part of the campaign Make my money count (Kind of like Make My Money Matter), it was started by screenwriter and social activist Richard Curtis in Notting Hill. Refers to the washing process or Green wash Among the five largest commercial banks in the UK are: Santander, Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Lloyds. Despite her recent climate commitments, which have been reported in the press, A.J investigation He revealed that these entities are still allocating huge sums of money for coal, oil and gas cultivation projects.
130,000 million oil and gas
According to data from A.I a report Published in March 2022 Between 2016 and 2021, these five banks have funded €130,000 million ($141,000 million) for the top 50 companies with growth projects in the oil and gas space.
Until now, banks have financed the expansion of fossil fuels on a seismic scale, but they have managed to disguise these activities. Only one in five consumers is aware that their bank is financing fossil fuels or that it is contributing to the climate crisis,” explains Jacinta Dillon, Coalitions Director for the Campaign Make my money count.
Until now, banks have financed the expansion of fossil fuels on a seismic scale, but they have managed to disguise these activities
According to this organization, Banco Santander stands behind other large financial institutions in its commitment to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Santander could join HSCB and Lloyds and take the first steps to end this dangerous relationship. Although they have eliminated direct financing of expansion projects in oil, they have not yet done so with gas, which is necessary,” says Dillon. Although we approached them on several occasions, we were unsuccessful. Today they are still investing in Projects that destroy the planet,” he says.
Customers believe banks need to take responsibility. According to research by this organisation, 70% of customers in the UK want their entity to contribute to avoiding climate change and 44% would like it to stop financing the expansion of fossil fuel use.
Actions Make my money count They are trying to, in the words of founder Richard Curtis, “make people aware of the power of their money.” In addition to asking banks to take action, their other big goal is to educate the public on the importance of investments made with their pensions.
Much more effective than going vegan
According to his research, a pension made for sustainable investments is 21 times more effective at reducing an individual’s carbon footprint than going vegan, switching to a renewable energy provider or not flying, all together. “However, it is almost unheard of,” says Jacinta Dillon.
The five banks targeted by this campaign have publicly responded to the letter and confirmed their commitment to the energy transition. The entities, which signed a financial alliance launched by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney at the 2021 climate conference in Glasgow, pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050. That means, in the words of the United Nations, cutting greenhouse emissions as close to zero as possible. Zero emissions, with some of the remaining emissions reabsorbed into the atmosphere.
However, groups such as Funding recovery They believe that if short-term investments continue to fund the expansion of fossil fuels, treaty It just results in a “Greenwash” procedure.
As Dillon sums it up:Make my money count He calls on banks to stop financing fossil fuel expansion as climate science warns and their customers demand it.”
“Future teen idol. Hardcore twitter trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble travel evangelist.”