Shifting finance away from dirty, dangerous energy

Background - 1 July, 2016
Today the flow of money to dirty, polluting fossil fuels and nuclear projects stands in the way of a clean, safe and secure future for all. We need to fix this broken system that drives climate change and destruction of the lands and oceans we love. Instead the financial sector must become part of the path to the healthy, sustainable and prosperous future we all want. By shifting investment to solar, wind and other clean, safe energy the financial sector can accelerate the leap to our 100 percent renewable energy future.

Why we must stop financing fossil fuels

We know burning fossil fuels is the main cause of our climate crisis. Yet big companies are still raising money for thousands of polluting coal, oil, gas and nuclear projects around the world. This financing continues despite international agreements to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to avoid a climate crisis.  

Big companies rely on this money to exploit these dirty and dangerous fuels in places already suffering the damaging effects of climate change:  new coal power plants in Indonesia, extreme oil drilling in the fragile Arctic, and coal mining expansions in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Big money but no sense

In recent years global annual investment in coal power plants, mines and infrastructure still exceeded 100 billion US dollars. In China alone it amounts to tens of billions of US dollars per year just for coal mining and washing. (That's not even counting further investments in Chinese coal plants, ports, railways and other coal-related infrastructure.)

The big companies that exploit fossil fuels profit, while people and the environment lose. What makes this unjust, broken system even more senseless is that investors have also lost a lot of money in recent years. Year after year, investments in new energy resources have outperformed fossil fuel companies. And it's only going to get worse for fossil fuel investments.

The solution is clear

Everyone knows business as usual is no way forward. The flow of new money to coal, oil and gas projects must stop!

Instead of standing in our way, the financial sector must become a lever for positive change.

The money the power industry plans to spend on new coal plants, for example, could instead provide electricity to 1.2 billion people currently living without it, and boost solar photovoltaic and wind power installation by 30 percent.

The finance community must advance investment in the future we all want: power from clean, safe energy from the sun, wind and other renewable sources. We need everyone with us, from politicians to investors, to make this urgent leap to 100 percent renewable energy.

Right now is the perfect time to make the shift. Far more exciting, innovative and necessary investments await renewable energy. These industries are already growing incredibly fast, creating millions of jobs and changing lives.

What is Greenpeace doing?

In the past, the financial sector was shielded from "traditional" campaigns to foster change. The financial market's complexity, and the very technical language used by its players were some reasons why.  

But no more! Now Greenpeace is at the centre of an exciting and ambitious movement to push the finance industry to shift their role.

Greenpeace aims to get all the banks and public asset owners to say, 'we don’t put our money in coal, gas or oil.' Shifting finance away from environmentally destructive companies is a crucial underpinning goal that bolsters success across all our campaigns.

Read more about our work.

Successes keep rolling in!

So far our financial campaign has had huge success, including:

What you can do?

The finance sector is not used to hearing from people like you or me! Speak out and make your concerns heard.

Urge them to make investment decisions that will make our 100 percent renewable future a reality. At the same time, you can also make positive choices as a consumer or shareholder to speed up this crucial shift in the financial system.