POW Calls on YOU to Divest From Fossil Fuels

With COP26 just weeks away, Protect Our Winters Europe challenges the Outdoor Community to stop inadvertently financing the global fossil fuel industry.

While outdoor lovers are out there getting dirty on their favorite trail, up a hill, or in the woods, our money is still used to finance fossil fuel companies around Europe, says climate advocacy NGO, Protect Our Winters Europe (POW Europe). So, in the run up to COP26, POW Europe is pushing Divest The Dirt, a global campaign that aims to highlight use of public and private money to finance the dirty fossil fuel industry.

Despite growing pressure on governments and banks to focus energy financing on greener alternatives, some of the world’s biggest banks have continued to increase their financing into companies active in the fossil fuel life cycle. A recent report by Reclaim Finance reveals that oil and gas firms are planning to ramp up their fossil-fuel production in the Arctic by more than 20% over the next five years, partly thanks to the financial support they receive from the banking sector. Another report from Rainforest Action Network shows that 17 of the 35 biggest investors in the global fossil fuel industry are European. In 2019, European bank investment in all sectors of the fossil fuel industry grew by four percent from 2018, and by 7.7 percent from 2016, amounting to more than 197 billion euro in just one year and around 760 billion euros between 2016 and 2019.

Photo: Dan Evans

Put our money where our mouths are

With world leaders coming together at COP26 this November to discuss the way forward on tackling the global climate crisis, decisions will be made that will affect the future everyone’s lives. Climate finance is a big topic on the agenda, with governments deciding on how to leverage national funds and financial systems to affect the real economy and drive the transition to a low carbon future. Through the global campaign, Divest the Dirt, POW Europe and the worldwide outdoor community want to grasp the opportunity to put pressure on financial institutions to make ambitious commitments ahead of the meetings.

The European outdoor community alone has a huge combined capital and the power to make change. POW Europe will be leveraging their global following, to give the community the tools to take personal action and use their money to help finance a greener world. With chapters in Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Italy and the UK, actions are specific to countries; POW UK is highlighting the pension pots of local councils, POW Norway will target fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic Circle, and in general, POW Europe and POW US are taking aim at fossil fuel financing by retail banks.

Photo: Steve Buissinne

Three steps to divest fossil fuels

“The outdoor community has the power to move mountains for the climate, just by putting our money where our interests are,” says Sören Ronge, POW Europe Coordinator.

“POW Europe’s three-step campaign makes it easy and fun: find out if your money is fighting or fueling climate change, put pressure on financial institutions to end fossil fuel financing and, if you’re not happy, move your money to a more sustainable financial institution.”

Through Divest the Dirt, POW Europe aims to empower the outdoor community to take action, by getting in touch with the financial institutions relevant to their countries, asking them how they are aligning their investments with the Paris agreement and letting them know that climate is a key decision-maker for their financial choices. Moving money from one place to another, from investments in dirty, high greenhouse gas emitting industries like fossil fuels, to feel good, sustainable investments like renewables is the goal. Together, POW Europe hopes, everyone in the outdoor community can raise their voices to protect the places they love from the effects of climate change by moving mountains with money.


Want to learn more? Visit POW Europe to find out how you can take action where you live.


Photo: POW Europe


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