Over 350 persons gathered in Paris last Tuesday (1 September), for our international conference on fossil fuel divestment “Stop Financing Fossil Fuels - Fight Climate Change.”
Organized by the European Green Party (EGP), the Green Group in the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and the NGO 350.org, the conference brought together several key stakeholders for an in-depth debate, including institutional representatives, media outlets, political and financial actors, as well as climate policy experts and activists. The participants advocated for the divestment movement by making an appeal to public institutions and private investors to divest from fossil fuels.
As EGP co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer explained: “Today, we want to send out a message to the world’s investors and decision-makers: fossil fuels are not the future. If burnt, the global fossil fuel reserves that are known would emit more than three times the maximum threshold than our climate could bear. Investing in fossil fuels is not only catastrophic for the planet, but is also very dangerous from an economic and financial point of view. We ask all of the world’s leaders to implement concrete roadmaps, ahead of the COP21 summit in December: divesting from fossil fuels and investing in a green, renewable and sustainable future is only the first step towards fixing the disaster we have inflicted upon our planet up until now”.
Missed the event? Get up to speed by watching these recordings of the conference:
Welcome - Bütikofer, Boeve, Cosse
Reinhard Bütikofer, co-chair of the EGP, welcomes the participants together with May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, Emmanuelle Cosse, National Secretary General of EELV.
Keynote - Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, quoted as being “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist” in the US, gives his keynote speech
Video Message - Achim Steiner
A video message from Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP & under-secretary-general of the UN
Keynote - Marjan Minnesma
Marjan Minnesma, co-founder & director of the Dutch NGO, Urgenda, reports on the lawsuit that the NGO won against the Dutch Government, for inactiveness vis-à-vis climate change.
Panel 1 - Divestment Stories (Boeve, Heintz, Grape, Randerson, Christian)
Among the participants: Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which decided to invest its funds in more sustainable assets. Student leader Julia Christian from the University of London Fossil Free Campaign. Full list of participants from the programme at the bottom.
Video Intervention - Desmond Tutu,
South African Anglican cleric, who distinguished himself for his role in the opposition to apartheid in South Africa
Divestment Dialogue - with Olivier Rousseau (FRR) & Dagmar Dehmer
Divestment Dialogue with Olivier Rousseau, executive director, Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (French Pension Reserve Fund), and member of UNEP Finance Initiative’s Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition.
Panel 2 - Promoting a Sustainable Financial System (Dehmer, Campanale, Canfin, Simm, Menou, Robins)
Among the participants, Mark Campanale, director of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, which has calculated figures related to the carbon bubble and the financial risks of the carbon sector. Nick Robins, who works on the design of a sustainable financial system for UNEP’s Finance Initiative. Full list of participants from the programme at the bottom.
Concluding Remarks - Nicolas Hulot
Nicolas Hulot, special envoy of the French president for the protection of the planet & president of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation, gives his concluding remarks.
Closing - Yannick Jadot
Yannick Jadot, MEP, concludes the conference.
For more information about the Carbon Bubble click here.
For more information about the speakers' profile and the programme of the event click here.