Press Release 12/21/20

Credit Suisse fails to take action commensurate with its involvement in the fossil fuel sector and must stop double-talk

 
Reiterating its commitment to the objective of the Paris agreement, Credit Suisse announces internal changes, the establishment of “Science-based Targets within 24 months”, a general horizon for action “in the coming decades” and an increase in its investments in renewable energy [1]. 
 
The FOEN’s recent findings and the pressure exerted by the Swiss climate movement are prompting the bank’s management team to try to justify themselves [2]. Nevertheless, these announcements are based on a time horizon that is far too vague and late; Include no new policy of exclusion; and are part of the bank’s double-talk that has become its trademark in the face of the climate crisis. 
 
Indeed, while announcing that it is striving to respect the objectives of the Paris agreement, Credit Suisse is massively financing sectors such as shale gas extraction, the violent exploitation of gas and oil in Africa, or the trading of Amazonian oil through its support to companies such as AngloAmerican, Total or Apache Corporation. It is the leading European bank in the financing of US companies in the fracking industry [3]. The second in the Amazonian oil trade [4]. Finally, it is involved in the serious crisis due to its illegal and corrupting loans to Mozambique in the context of a violent rush on the country’s gas deposits [5].
 
Credit Suisse regularly repeats that its involvement in the fossil fuel sector enables it to have a positive impact on this sector. While it has signed the Climate Action 100+ commitments as an asset manager, it has supported only 22% of the climate-oriented resolutions at the General Meetings of the major carbon emitters in which it holds shares. It is ranked 72 out of 75 asset managers worldwide by ShareFinance [6]. 
 
In addition, the bank announced last year at this time, and again last June, that it was exiting coal sector financing [7]. It has also pledged with several international investors not to participate in supporting the multinational coal company Adani seeking to operate the Carmichael mine. However, the analysis of the NGO Market Forces reveals that it has jumped on the financing of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone corporation, which develops the coal transport system from the mine to the port through one of its subsidiaries the Bowen Rail Company. Credit Suisse is helping arrange bonds for this company, which, as of August 2020 is officially part of the Carmichael coal project [8].

Finally, the bank says it is building its climate policy with NGOs, but at the same time it is dragging young climate activists to court for denouncing its disastrous practices for the present of hundreds of millions of people and our common future. Several trials will take place next year. One of them is that of the occupation for a few dozen minutes of the entrance of its headquarters in Zurich in the summer of 2019. Another concerns the bank’s recourse to the Federal Tribunal against Red Hands appeal victory in Geneva [9].
 
For all of these reasons, and until it decides on swift and effective action, Credit Suisse remains one of Switzerland’s leading contributors to the climate catastrophe, which must be stopped as soon as possible. This is why the bank is one of the main targets of the “Merry Crisis” round of action that is taking place on December 21 and 22 in the city of its headquarters, Zürich.
         
BreakFree Switzerland / Collective Climate Justice / Fossil Free Switzerland  / Extinction Rebellion Switzerland / Klimastreik Schweiz – Grève du Climat Suisse