The pressure is working. Three amazing announcements have come out in the last week that are direct results of years of pressure from amazing work done across the climate movement. Here’s a quick rundown:
1. Lloyds bank takes a step ahead of major UK banks
Lloyds bank is committing to end direct bankrolling of new oil and gas fields (via project financing). This follows European banks BBVA and ING who have similar commitments. Lloyds is cutting back funding for specific oil and gas projects, but it’s still lending money to the companies that build the projects. Lloyds’ commitment is only a first step, but it’s a big one for a major UK bank.
And it means that all eyes are on HSBC and Barclays, the UK’s biggest fossil fuel funders, to take similar steps.
This is a huge step for a major UK bank.
The dominoes are falling. @Barclays & @HSBC_UK – you gonna step up to the plate?#DefundClimateChaos https://t.co/ZtqUNzZsMB
— Bank On Our Future (@bankonourfuture) October 24, 2022
2. Societe Generale is stepping up too
French mega-bank Societe Generale is announcing that it will reduce its “financed emissions” by 20% before 2025. Financed emissions is just fancy talk for the emissions of the fossil fuel companies they finance. This is great because it’s rare for banks to set 2025 targets. Most banks like to set targets way off in the future to stop them being held properly accountable. So seeing a solid short-term target is a great thing to see!
It’s not water tight. It still allows Societe Generale to fund fossil fuel companies, which completely goes against the science. But again, it’s a major bank taking a major step. And it wouldn’t be happening without global pressure from the climate community building.
🔴 @SocieteGenerale pourra continuer de soutenir l’expansion pétro-gazière, à rebours des recommandations scientifiques 💣
Une fois de plus, les annonces de la banque 🇫🇷 sont loin de répondre à l’urgence climatique.
Notre communiqué de presse⬇️https://t.co/0PYY639fLL
— Reclaim Finance (@ReclaimFinance) October 24, 2022
3. Deutsche Bank joining the party
Deutsche Bank is Germany’s biggest funder of fossil fuels, and the 15th biggest in the world! They’re joining the party too. Well, they’re standing awkwardly in the corner, but they are making moves!
Deutsche Bank just committed to cutting back its total financed emissions (in the oil & gas sector) by 23% before 2030, and 90% by 2050. It’s another step that would have been impossible without global pressure on the German giant.
Big banks are starting to move. And one by one, they’re realising they must stop funding fossil fuels to keep a safe world.