Financial flows that endanger the planetary and social boundaries (G1) must be stopped and instead distributed in a climate-friendly way (G2) . Climate justice requires solutions to the climate crisis that take into account the consequences for those hardest hit, especially in the global south. It also demands a special effort from those who are primarily responsible for the climate crisis: the rich countries and their (financial) corporations. In the longer term, the role and functioning of financial institutions should change fundamentally.(6)
Important first steps are:
The needs of all people worldwide, especially those suffering most from the consequences of the climate crisis, must be central.
Our demands to financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset management companies)
Transparent financial flows
No money for fossil fuels, ...
Immediately stop new investments, loans and insurance services for projects and companies that are active in fossil energies (coal, oil, natural gas)(8), destroy ecosystems and violate human and indigenous rights(9). Existing fossil financial flows must be stopped as soon as possible (10).
OUR DEMANDS ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE CANTONS, THE SNB (NATIONAL BANK) AND FINMA
The SNB must assume its social responsibility!
Therefore, we make the same demands on the Swiss National Bank (SNB) as on all private financial institutions:
1. Transparency of financial flows
2. No Money for Fossil Energies
Immediately stop new investments, loans and insurance services for projects and companies that are active in fossil energies (coal, oil, natural gas)(8), destroy ecosystems and violate human and indigenous rights(9). Existing fossil fuel financial flows must be stopped as soon as possible(10).
The federal government, the cantons, FINMA and the SNB must implement the demands on private financial institutions (A1 Transparency of financial flows and A2 No money for fossil fuels, ...) and enshrine them in law.
Use SNB profits in a climate-friendly way (G2)!
(G2) CLIMATE JUSTICE
Climate justice claims to think together issues of social justice and environmental protection. Accordingly, those who have contributed most to the climate crisis in the past and currently must also take the most responsibility. The needs of all people worldwide, especially those who suffer most from the consequences of the climate crisis, must be central.
The planetary and social boundaries describe the safe and equitable space in which humanity can operate in long term. We use this concept from Kate Raworth's Doughnut Model.
(G1) PLANETARY AND SOCIAL BOUNDARIES
(G3) ECOLOGIAL FOOTPRINT
The ecological footprint can be calculated at all levels, whether for selected activities, individual private persons, companies, communities, cities or countries. Contrary to the CO₂ footprint, the ecological footprint also takes into account other environmental impacts in addition to CO₂ emissions.
6 Financial institutions should become pure service providers for a sustainable and needs-oriented real economy rather than using other people's money to increase their wealth on the capital market. They act in the spirit of climate justice and respect social and planetary boundaries. They must themselves be organized democratically, participatively and cooperatively and be owned by the general public.
7 This also sheds more light on the active role and consequential responsibility of financial institutions in the planetary and social crisis.
We assume that every financial institution is aware of this, both on the investment as well as on the funding or insuring side. After all, part of good risk management is knowing which sectors, industries and countries your money is flowing into in order to avoid potential cluster risks. Swiss financial institutions should be able to meet this requirement by the end of 2021, as we assume that the information is available or can be processed quickly. This requirement has already been outlined in more detail by the AG Finanzplatz from the Climate Strike: See Argumentarium Klimastreik Schweiz p. 8-10.
8 As long as fossil fuel plants are not shut down and the development of fossil fuel reserves is not stopped, the 1.5 degree warming target cannot be achieved. Even the International Energy Agency is calling for no more funding for new fossil fuel projects from 2021 onwards in order to stand a chance of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2050. See: new fossil fuel projects for net-zero 2050 goal: (IEA 2021)
9 In order to stop the climate and biodiversity crisis, it is crucial that not only projects and companies working in the fossil fuels industry are no longer financially supported, but also other companies that contribute massively to these crises. As already mentioned in the section on our vision, social justice is also a central concern for us. Respecting human rights and in particular the rights of indigenous people are key first steps.
10 In this context, it is important to sell the plants immediately and not to renew existing financing or to terminate contracts at an early stage.
11 If necessary, the federal authorities must oblige the SNB (and FINMA) to comply with the Paris agreements and its mandate to "serve the interests of the entire country". The cantonal authorities, as the SNB's main shareholders, must intervene in this sense. Other central banks such as the European Central Bank are already moving in this direction through divestment strategies.
12 The SNB's distribution reserves now amount to around CHF 100 billion, see Finews.com as well as the SNB Observatory 2021 report and presentation on the SNB's profit distribution. According to the economists involved, "the SNB's profits belong to the people and as much of it as possible should be distributed".
13 The existing legislation stipulates that ALL surplus profits of the SNB are to be distributed to the Confederation and the cantons. However, the SNB distributes only a small part of it and retains almost 100 billion Fr. as "reserves for future distributions". In this time of multiple crises, these huge public revenues must be mobilised to respond to acute social and climate emergencies locally and globally, and to take our responsibility for the climate chaos which rich countries have caused in the Global South. One way to do this is through climate funds managed by the people (communal, cantonal, Swiss-wide, global). This idea will be elaborated during the climate camp.