Finance

“The influence of finance on our lives and our environment is very real”, denounces Lucie Pinson, director of the NGO Reclaim Finance

PRESIDENTIAL: ONE DAY, ONE VOICE (36/50) – So, this campaign? Until April 9, “Télérama” gives carte blanche to fifty personalities from the world of culture and ideas. Today, the activist, awarded for her work on the end of the financing of fossil fuels, is tackling finance, a major absentee from the electoral campaign.

If there’s one topic you won’t find in the pre-election commentary hours, it’s finance.

The campaign is now muted. For the worse, the destroyed lives of Ukrainians, as for the better, it makes less noise for nothing. But whether the campaign is in full swing or not, finance is not an election issue. You will object: in 2012, he spoke about Holland, about finance. He talked about it but said nothing about it. Do you remember what he proposed?

No, and it is not very serious because the subjects of the presidential sequence do not matter.

The election does not involve anyone, including the lucky ones. Candidate François Hollande was critical this adversary who governs without having been elected. President-elect François Hollande will ultimately have done little to contain the grip of finance on our lives.

His adviser to the Elysée on economic and financial affairs will leave in 2016 for a senior management position at the largest European asset manager and subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole group, Amundi. Nothing very original. After all, we currently have a banker as president. We should therefore not be surprised at the lack of enthusiasm of our leaders to constrain the world of finance: they are not far from being part of it.

No, and it’s not very serious either because no one asked us.

Finance is a serious thing, for men, to be left in the hands of experts. Political leaders like Europlace do not want us to put our noses in there. It would be a good topic though.

The banks alone finance 70% of the European economy. No infrastructure, apart from a few nuclear power plants, could be built without the coverage provided by insurers. As for asset managers? AXA, Amundi (well, him again), and other BlackRocks are already eyeing the fruits of a future pension reform that they will have encouraged in order to develop new savings products… The influence of finance on our lives and our environment is very real.

Given the ecological emergency, it would be wise to get down to getting our banks, insurers and investors out of fossil fuels. Make it a presidential campaign topic, why not. Make it the subject of the next ten years, certainly. The news blows it away every day, from environmental disasters to migration crises to Putin’s war in Ukraine.

French finance is involved in this news. Indeed, BNP Paribas is the first bank in the European Union to finance the expansion of fossil fuels. Cock-a-doodle Doo. Crédit Agricole is Gazprom’s fourth banker. Second crap. The same Crédit Agricole is also the leading banker and second investor in TotalEnergies, which today refuses to leave Russia – so as not to jeopardize 40% of its gas reserves. Third croaking, and that’s a lot.

To put an end to these sad exploits, here are some of the topics to consider: banning toxic financial services from activities incompatible with our carbon budget; develop citizen investment programs to support projects in tune with the social and environmental realities of the territories; taxing financial transactions; multiply complementary local currencies; rethink from A to Z a new insurance system to offer minimum coverage to all and support those impacted by the consequences of climate change; withdraw investments for the ecological transition from the 3% of Maastricht and put an end to the dogma of the ECB’s market neutrality.

What to occupy us in the between-two-presidential elections.

Lucie Pinson is the director of the NGO Reclaim Finance. She has been working for almost 10 years on the responsibility of financial actors in the ecological crisis and leads actions aimed at transforming the existing practices of banks, insurers and investors to bring them into line with climate imperatives. In 2020, she received the Goldman Prize for the Environment in recognition of her work for the end of coal financing.

> Tomorrow, Sunday March 27, carte blanche to director Alain Guiraudie

> Find here all the contributions to our campaign diary “One day, one voice”

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