Whilst international climate negotiations stagnate, CO2 emissions continue to rise dramatically.
The burning and use of coal as an energy source is the biggest contributor to human induced climate change. The International Energy Agency has consistently warned that almost two thirds of the planets’ fossil fuels reserves should stay in the ground if global temperature rise is to be limited to 2°C.
With some banks - including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - publicly stating they will reduce their investments in coal, it is now time for private banks such as Société Générale to make this pledge.
The French bank Société Générale is one of the top investors in the coal industry. The bank has provided more than 3,755 million euros for coal-fired projects and companies from 2005 to mid 2011, and another 1,927 million euros for coal mining from 2005 to mid 2013.
And now it is part of one of the world’s largest planned coal projects. Société Générale is providing advisory service for the Alpha Coal project, a huge coal mine in Australia that, if constructed, would emit 1,8 billion tonnes of CO2 over a 30-year lifespan. The project is supposed to reach financial close by the end of this year.
Whilst Société Générale publicly encourages energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental projects, it is actively contradicting itself through its direct involvement in the Alpha coal project. If the bank finances the mine it will help accelerate global climate change by opening up massive new coal reserves to be burnt - reserves that must stay in the ground.
This is why we need to act now: Joining with Les Amis de la Terre, we urge you to sign this petition to Société Générale to call the bank to divest from fossil fuels, starting by immediately ending its support to the Alpha Coal mining project in Australia. Go Fossil Free!