Cutting off financial flows to the expansion of the oil and gas sector
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require a speedy phase-out of fossil fuels. Yet, oil and gas production is still on a growth trajectory. The availability and cost of finance can determine whether new oil and gas projects will ever be built and how quickly existing ones will be retired. To meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the French organisation Reclaim Finance has set out to make French and European financial institutions remove their financial support for fossil fuel companies.
The French banking sector being the fourth largest in the world, France has the potential to be a highly impactful testing ground for Reclaim Finance’s theory of change. As French financial institutions have put forward some of the most progressive exclusion policies on coal, there is a strong precedent to build on regarding oil and gas. With support from KR Foundation, Reclaim Finance will work to replicate the successes from the coal campaign. If French institutions start to move away from supporting oil and gas, it could create ripple effects in the wider European and ultimately global financial system.
The organisation applies a combination of in-depth research, public campaigning and direct engagement with key stakeholders to move the financial sector in a more sustainable direction. While Reclaim Finance's work has so far been focusing mainly on exposing European financial institutions’ exposure to coal, they will now scale their growing focus on oil and gas, leveraging the momentum created by recent climate commitments in these sectors.