Will fossil fuels finance your retirement? Bank.Green tells you if your money is helping climate change

3rd Min read

Many bank customers are not aware that it could make a difference in the climate crisis where they save or invest money. This is the premise of the divestment movement, which is pressuring the financial industry to stop funding fossil fuels to protect the planet. But how do you, as the average individual customer, find out whether your bank is one of the bad guys? This is where Bank.Green comes into play.

The new online tool Bank.Green, launched in April this year, helps everyday bank customers find out if their money is funding some of the world’s most polluting projects. On the website, users can investigate their bank’s fossil fuel records and whether they contribute to the staggering $ 3.8 trillion put into dirty energy projects since the Paris Agreement.

As soon as they find out which climate-damaging activities their bank could be involved in, Bank.Green offers users the opportunity to Discover sustainable banking alternatives and how you can contact your bank to switch accounts – Streamlining the entire bank draft process to make it easy for individuals to ensure their money isn’t harming the environment.

Source: Bank.GreenVevolution banner

Past climate activists have conducted important public awareness campaigns against banks that finance fossil fuels, and we look forward to building on their work.

Zak Gottlieb, campaign coordinator, Bank.Green

Some examples of green banking alternatives that have popped up lately are the Florida-based Climate First Bank (I / O), which offers customers all the classic bank services but with special ESG services such as credit options for solar projects . Neobank Aspiration has also grown in popularity for its 100% clean financial services and has the support of Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr.’s new climate technology venture fund.

“Past climate activists have run major public awareness campaigns against banks that finance fossil fuels and we look forward to building on their work,” said Zak Gottlieb, Bank.Green campaign coordinator for the website Money movement Initiative.

Money Movement aims to raise the alarm about the role of the banking sector in climate change and provide information to empower individuals to act. Bank.Green says many customers still don’t know that their banks – big names like HSBC and Barclays – are actively funding fossil fuels.

“Our campaign is based on the conviction that in addition to campaign groups, banks also need to hear directly from their customers. It’s one thing to ignore a campaign group, but if your customers are dissatisfied, your business is in trouble, ”explains Gottlieb.

Source: Bank.Green

Banks need to hear directly from their customers. It’s one thing to ignore a campaign group, but if your customers are dissatisfied, your business is in trouble.

Zak Gottlieb, campaign coordinator, Bank.Green

“That’s why we’re building a community of customers who are empowered to take action against their own banks.”

As public awareness rises, banks are likely to come under more pressure to clean up their policies. HSBC, for example, is facing a shareholder vote that could force the banking giant to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels over the next year, while Goldman Sachs has made its bold promise to hit net zero by 2030 to avoid scrutiny.

Investors have also increasingly turned to sustainable or ESG approaches in recent months, especially since Covid-19 when the demand for green financial products increased.

However, as sustainable investing becomes a trend, a recent report warns of rampant greenwashing in the financial industry, with the world’s 20 largest ESG funds “replete with polluters and stocks of sin”.

Mission statement courtesy of Hannah McKay / Reuters.

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