October 29, 2021

Wave of actions ahead of COP26 demand financial institutions to end fossil finance

Mobilizations will spread across all regions of the globe, including the UK and the COP’s host city, Glasgow

Global — From October 29th to November 6th, 350.org and allies in every region of the globe will unleash a wave of over 120 coordinated actions in 26 countries targeting financial institutions that continue to prop up the fossil fuel industry. The actions express the public feeling of urgency and see people taking action into their own hands to stop the criminal funding of fossil fuels that is killing populations around the world right now, and to demand climate justice.
From Manila to New York, Sao Paulo to Nairobi, London to the Pacific and across Europe, thousands of people will be taking to the streets and protesting in front of some of the world’s biggest banks and financial institutions to demand that they end all funding for fossil fuels and direct resources to finance a just energy transition, supporting the most vulnerable nations to tackle climate breakdown. Creative protests will include street murals and projections. Climate memorials will be held to remember those who have already lost their lives to the climate crisis.
Planned actions by region/country:

  • Africa: A series of actions are being planned across Africa, targeting Presidents, the COP26 country delegates, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), FMO, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Total – including amongst other things: street actions in Ivory Coast, street art and twitter action in Togo, and delivery of a letter to the Senegal President to stop the Bargny coal plant.
  • Europe: In Europe, dozens of creative and disruptive actions will be taking place in several of the world’s biggest financial centres – including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Brussels and Amsterdam. This will include actions targeting the Bank of England, ABP, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Barclays, National Bank of Belgium, and French banks funding Total.
  • United States: Organizers around the US are gathering in person and virtually in over 20 actions to demand the Federal Reserve, Chase Bank and CitiBank to end fossil finance and account for climate risk.
  • Asia: Youth organizers around Asia are leading actions, both digital and offline, in 7 different countries. In Malaysia, there will be a webinar/panel discussion & film screening about indigenous women resilience & loss and damage.
  • Turkey: There will be photo opportunities led by volunteers and local groups on November 5th, and the plan also includes a letter to be shared with financial institutions to demand divesting from coal, and a specific action on Hunutlu coal power plant.
  • Pacific: The Pacific Climate Warriors will be taking the #Youth4Pacific Declaration on Climate Change to COP26, with a 7-day challenge that includes sign-making, TikTok, Instagram selfies, defund climate chaos online rally against Adani investors, and a youth empowerment training.
  • Latin America: Indigenous peoples and environmentalists will join forces in a creative direct action challenging the greenwashing narrative of a major bank in Latin America, that keeps claiming to be “green” while investing billions of USD in fossil fuels exploration expansion in the Brazilian Amazon and other key areas for the planet.

Quote Sheet
“The era of fossil fuels is over, and people are rallying against fossil finance and those who run it. We need decision-makers and financial institutions to seize the opportunity to speed up climate action and build healthier, more equitable societies and resilient economies. It is past time for rich countries and financial institutions to fund the energy transition we need fast and at scale.”  Farzana Faruk, climate justice activist from Fridays for Future Bangladesh, and member of the Most Affected Peoples and Areas (MAPA)
“I believe that the youth is a self-constituted historical actor, that will define its own future, and that we cannot expect anything from the others. Our expectations have already been disappointed. Time is running out, and we must act.” Joaquín Herrero, Argentinean climate activist at Jóvenes por el Clima
“With the support of leading financial institutions, the fossil fuel industry has continued to wreak havoc on the environment and local communities in Africa. Some of the countries in the continent that have contributed the least to climate change are suffering the most from its effects. Financial institutions should stop funding fossil fuels and instead channel those funds towards helping these vulnerable countries to adapt and transition into a sustainable future fuelled by clean energy.Landry Ninteretse, 350.org Africa Managing Director
“We call on world leaders meeting at COP26 to align with the interests of the world’s majority, who are rising up to the challenge of thriving amidst the heating climate. Governments must act with true solutions and policies which include fair, ambitious and binding emissions reduction targets under their nationally determined contributions, not just zero carbon pledges that look good but provide inadequate action. This can only happen if economic stimulus is rerouted to renewable energy solutions, especially those that are locally-owned and controlled, and investments must also be put in place to ensure resilience for future crises.” Chuck Baclagon, 350.org Asia Regional Finance Campaigner
“Urgent collective action is required especially for the most affected nations and communities. Financial institutions who run our economies, especially banks in developed countries, must do their part by halting all of their funding of climate chaos, and directing resources to climate finance for adaptation and mitigation. The Pacific has felt the impacts of climate breakdown over the past few years as tropical cyclones have become more frequent, destructive and unpredictable. COP26 will be a pivotal event, and failure to deliver on its goals means bringing literal disaster not just for Pacific Islanders but for communities across the world.” Joseph Sikulu, 350.org Pacific Managing Director
“Many financial institutions including world’s biggest banks are still directly funding fossil fuel assets, which means funding the climate crisis. At COP26, each and every actor shall make it loud: with just transition policies, the costs of transitioning to net zero targets are less than the disruptive impact of climate change on companies, banks and the economy. It is time especially for financial institutions to take the responsibility and to stop funding fossil fuel assets once and for all.” Selen, Baycoll, 350.org Turkey Finance Campaigner
Activists in some of the world’s biggest finance hubs – including London, Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich – are taking to the streets to demand that European banks stop profiting from destruction. By financing fossil fuel projects in countries such as Argentina, Uganda and Bangladesh, they’re trampling on human rights and the environment, just so their wealthy shareholders and executives can get even richer. This is climate colonialism, and it has to stop. It’s hypocritical for UK and EU leaders to present themselves as climate champions while their countries’ biggest businesses and banks continue to wreak havoc around the world. Enough is enough. It’s time to end fossil fuel finance.” Tonny Nowshin, 350.org Germany Campaigner 
“Ahead of the pivotal global climate convening COP26 in Glasgow, organizers around the United States gathered in person and virtually to demand our central bank, Federal Reserve, account for climate risk. We know that for decades, Big Oil has known and lied about the reality of the climate crisis. That’s why we are targeting the Federal Reserve. The window of opportunity to tackle the climate crisis is nearing its close. If Biden is truly the Climate President he says he is, we demand he ensure consistent and bold climate legislation and choose a Climate Chair to head up the Fed.” Brooke Harper, 350.org US Regional Campaign Strategist
“By continuing to support the expansion of gas and oil in the Amazon, banks are telling their clients that they just don’t care about the risk of disasters, deforestation and the impacts on Indigenous Peoples. That’s why several indigenous representatives and climate activists are coming together to prevent financial institutions from continuing to invest in the expansion of oil and gas in this region. Expanding these sectors in the world’s largest tropical forest means opening a risk box, from which historic disasters can emerge. A strategy of unsustainable, irresponsible short-term profit is a shot in the foot of the banks themselves.” Ilan Zugman, 350.org Latin America Managing Director
Images will be available after the actions HERE from October 29th onwards.