Berlin-based Ecosia, a green search engine that dedicates 100 per cent of its profits to the planet, announced that it is extending its fossil fuel icon tool in Berlin, Germany, to expose and call out major financial institutions like banks and insurers that support the fossil fuel industry.
This move aims to increase awareness about the role of these institutions in funding environmental degradation.
Ecosia’s fossil fuel icon tool
Ecosia’s fossil fuel icon tool is being added to the websites of the top 32 banks that each invested or funded over $50B for fossil fuel emitters and producers. This includes major institutions like Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Bank of America.
The tool will highlight banks funding various aspects of the fossil fuel sector globally, from extraction to distribution and combustion.
The tool aims to expose greenwashing in the finance sector to empower users to make sustainable choices. It highlights major banks’ fossil fuel involvement and promotes climate-friendly options like Triodos Bank, aiding informed and eco-conscious decisions.
Ecosia uses data from Banking on Climate Chaos to pinpoint financial institutions heavily supporting fossil fuel producers. This source provides details on fossil fuel financing by the top 60 global banks, featuring a Coal Policy Tool for policy assessment, net-zero commitments, and real stories illustrating the negative impact on diverse communities.
Why expose the banking sector’s role in the climate crisis
Fossil fuel emitters rely on substantial financial support, including equity investments, loans, and other products from major global banks. Banks in Wall Street and the City of London have lucratively profited from funding oil, gas, and coal industries, despite environmental harm.
Some of these banks have recently reported record profits, capitalising on the robust financial performance of companies like Shell, which announced $5B in profits due to “ultra-high” energy prices.
Dr Ruben Korenke, Product Manager Green Team, Ecosia, says, “At Ecosia, we take the view that the public is provided with too little – if next to no – information about if and how their bank is financing and fuelling the climate crisis, via direct funding for fossil fuel initiatives.”
“We strongly believe that our users should have extended access to information which independently verifies a bank’s climate impact, and their stated net zero ambitions versus their real-world climate impact, so they can take a personal view on who to bank with.”
Korenke further adds, “It’s also our ambition to ensure that over time we can help push these big banks away from financing fossil fuel projects, by making the wider world aware of just how toxic and damaging their behaviour has become – turning it into a reputational issue which will in the long-run detract from the profits available from this destructive industry.”
Brief about Ecosia
Founded by Christian Kroll in 2009, Ecosia claims to be the world’s largest non-profit search engine that uses all profits to support the environment and plant over 175 million trees in collaboration with communities across 35+ countries.
The company, Germany’s first certified B Corporation in 2014, operates solar plants producing twice the energy needed for searches. In 2018, Ecosia gave its shares to the Purpose Foundation, preventing profits for individuals.
Read the orginal article: https://siliconcanals.com/news/ecosia-to-unmask-banks-funding-fossil-fuel-industry/