Invest in sustainability
Change your bank account
The major European banks are among the biggest financers of fossil fuels and climate change. And with a few exceptions, smaller banking groups are not the most virtuous either. Almost all "normal" banks finance companies or projects that disregard human rights or destroy the environment, such as armaments or coal companies. That’s because when making financial decisions, banks usually pay attention to neither the environment, nor the climate, nor the people.
This must change quickly if we are to avoid climate change and stay under the global warming limit of +2°C, the threshold above which human life on earth will be irreversibly at risk. As a bank customer, you don’t have to support this business model. You can use your consumer power and withdraw your money from these banks.
Faced with climate challenges, it is up to us to ensure that no more fossil energy infrastructure is developed, that those in operation are closed soon, and that the conversion and needs of workers are guaranteed. Today's financing builds tomorrow's society; our money must support the transition towards energy efficiency and renewable energies. Projects that work for our environment, our jobs, and our health are everywhere, and the needs are enormous. We have the ability to redirect financial flows and contribute to building solidary systems locally, at the same time as sustainable societies globally.
It doesn’t mean that big amounts have to be invested; small regular savings quickly add up to three- or four-digit amounts. The elaborate advertising of banks also makes it clear that a good image is important to them, in social and ecological matters as well. The decision to leave a conventional bank for ethical reasons is scratching their image, and the louder this decision is, the deeper the scratch. The more people do it, no matter how much money they have in their accounts, the more likely it is that conventional banks will change their minds and start paying more attention to sustainability.
Fortunately, changing bank has been made easy in Europe! According to European rules, your new bank will help you switch your bank account by taking care of transferring data from your old bank as well as any recurring payments you wish to keep. It will also inform third parties (employer, social security provider and utilities providers) that you are changing your account. So no need to worry and only one thing left to do…
Look for ethical banks in your country, so that your money goes to people and projects you are happy to support! It might be hard to imagine being able to make a bank move towards more sustainable values... But it has been done by many, and many more have the power to do it!
Because the money they use is ours. Convince others to change bank!
"Where we invest is where we see the future."
by John Tanner, City of Oxford
@ Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash