Tuesday, July 9, 2013

European Commissioner for Climate Action Urges Development Banks to Divest from Fossil Fuels

The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Climate Action has urged development banks to cease supporting fossil fuels and divest from related projects, plants and infrastructure.

Connie Hedegaard is the first ever EU Commissioner for Climate Action. Prior to 2010, She was an accomplished journalist and a distinguished politician. When she was elected to the Danish Parliament in 1984 she was the youngest person ever to be a Danish MP. In 2007 she was appointed the Danish Minister for the Environment where she set up the 2009 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. In 2008 she published Da klimaet blev hot, [When the climate got hot]. In addition to her work as a politician, journalist and author she is also a lecturer who has sat on a number of committees and boards.

In a June 25, 2013 report she singles out three institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank.

Although the 3 banks have policies aimed at encouraging lending to renewables and energy efficiency, Hedegaard suggests that they "take a lead role in eliminating public support for fossil fuels"

Hedegaard said that one of the best ways to decrease fossil fuel investments is to press for greater transparency in reporting on emissions. She also called on the banks to increase investments in renewables and energy efficiency.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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