GLOBAL—As the world looks to Glasgow and COP26, new campaign group Bank.Green is seizing the moment with its “Swap for COP” campaign, encouraging bank customers to move their money away from banks that continue to finance fossil fuels on Nov. 15.
The buildup to COP26 has seen the financing of fossil fuels by private-sector banks emerge as a key focus. Bank.Green’s mission is to accelerate awareness of this climate-destroying activity amongst bank account holders around the world.
Running alongside the summit from Oct. 31 – Nov. 15, Swap for COP asserts that moving one’s money out of fossil banks is not only one of the simplest, but also one of the most impactful things that an individual can do to help mitigate the climate crisis. The goal of the campaign is to generate a swell of account closures on Nov. 15, sending a clear message to the banking industry to get out of fossil fuels.
Bank.Green’s online bank-switching tool at https://bank.green/ streamlines the switching process for bank customers. Visitors can quickly and easily discover their bank’s climate record, find out how to challenge their own banks directly, explore sustainable alternatives, and be guided through the bank-switching process via resources and email reminders.. Since the Paris Agreement, the world’s 60 largest private-sector banks have poured $3.8 trillion into fossil fuel projects. As recently affirmed by the International Energy Agency, any further fossil fuel extraction is entirely incompatible with keeping global temperature rise under 1.5ºC and avoiding runaway climate chaos, yet most bank customers are not aware of their bank’s contribution to this. Eighty percent of Barclays and HSBC UK customers, for example, were unaware that their banks finance fossil fuel extraction, for example. “The net-zero pledges of major banks are in total opposition to their conduct,” says Zak Gottlieb, director and cofounder of Bank.Green “At a time when people are starting to make serious lifestyle changes to fight climate change, we believe that if more of them knew their own money was being used against their interests, there would be an exodus from fossil banks.”
To coincide with COP26, Bank.Green’s Swap for COP will run Oct. 31 – Nov. 15 2021. throughout which the campaign group will encourage and enable as many retail bank customers as possible to move their money to a sustainable bank by Nov. 15.
Launched in April 2021, Bank.Green is a not-for-profit group of volunteers who are educating the public on the environmental destruction financed by the banking industry, while fostering an empowered community to take action.