Climate protesters target the ECB

October 21, 2020|Written by Camilla Schramek|European Central Bank

Climate campaigners have set fire to a model planet Earth outside the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Frankfurt headquarters. The event was staged in protest at the bank’s continued financing of fossil fuel companies.

Intended to symbolise the destruction caused by ECB support for fossil fuels, the action follows growing criticism of the bank’s purchase of bonds issued by fossil fuel companies in its Corporate Sector Purchase Programme

Wednesday’s protest was led by Frankfurt-based climate justice group Koala Kollektiv, which campaigns for the ECB to exclude fossil fuel companies and high-emission sectors from monetary policy purchases. “We demand that the ECB stops giving money to industries that threaten our future,” said a Koala Kollektiv spokesperson. “That means: getting out of coal, oil, gas, and combustion engines.”

The protest occurred as ECB president Christine Lagarde and chief economist Philip Lane met with 22 civil society organisations at an ECB consultation event focusing on the bank’s review of its monetary policy strategy.

A recently released study reveals significant bias towards high-emission sectors in ECB corporate bond purchases. While these sectors accounted for approximately 62.7% of the value of corporate bonds held by the ECB, they contributed to only 17.8% of euro area employment and just 29.1% of gross value added. The high-emission composition of the ECB’s corporate bond portfolio puts it far out of alignment with the Paris agreement pathway to keep global heating below 1.5C.

The ECB is currently conducting a major strategy review with a strong focus on climate change, and is considering the introduction of climate and sustainability criteria into its monetary policy.

This page was last updated April 23, 2021

Share this article