Greenpeace has called on the Luxembourg public to participate in the public consultation on the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB).
A Greenpeace analysis released in June concluded that the ECB, as part of its efforts to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, has invested more than €7.6 billion in bonds issued by fossil fuel companies between mid-March and mid-May 2020. With bond purchases from just seven major polluters, the ECB contributed 11.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, more than Luxembourg's annual emissions, according to Greenpeace.
Analysis of corporate bond purchases showed that €4.4 billion went to energy suppliers, including major polluters like Engie and EON. More than €3.2 billion euros have been injected into the oil and gas industry, and among the bonds purchased are those of Shell, Total and Eni, continued the non-governmental environmental organisation.
“The European Central Bank is one of the biggest buyers of bonds in the world. Any purchase of assets by the bank can have a considerable impact on the “green” economic recovery in Europe and on the global climate crisis”, explained Martina Holbach, Climate and Finance campaign manager at Greenpeace Luxembourg. "It is therefore all the more important that citizens support an ECB monetary policy which is respectful of the environment and sustainable".
The ECB has set up an online platform where anyone can submit proposals by the end of October 2020 on how the ECB's monetary policy should be revised. To facilitate participation in the public consultation process, Greenpeace has offered a guide and pre-written answers on a dedicated page.
Martina Holbach concluded: “The ECB and other central banks need a change of course. Assets purchased by the bank in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are contributing to the climate emergency. But the status quo is not an option, as the climate crisis worsens. Public money should no longer be spent on fossil fuels. The ECB must therefore exclude these, as well as other greenhouse gas-intensive assets, from its future purchases".