Environment – Frankfurt am Main – Neubauer meets Sewing: criticism of loans for the oil industry – knowledge

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) – The climate activist Luisa Neubauer has accused Deutsche Bank of continuing to finance environmentally harmful business with fossil fuels. “Powerful companies like Deutsche Bank have to withdraw from fossil investments,” said Neubauer from the environmental movement Fridays for Future on Tuesday in Frankfurt. “Hard decisions” are needed against fossil investments, she demanded in front of the Deutsche Bank headquarters. There had previously been a meeting between Neubauer and Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing, which was kept confidential.

Fridays for Future has long criticized a multi-billion dollar oil production project in Uganda and Tanzania involving the French energy group Totalenergies, which started in early February. In the new, 1,445-kilometer-long EACOP pipeline, oil is to be transported from fields near Lake Albert in western Uganda through Tanzania to the Indian Ocean and shipped from the Tanzanian port of Tanga. Environmentalists warned of pollution of Ugandan lakes and habitat destruction of rare species. Climate activist Evelyn Acham from Uganda, who was also present at the meeting with Sewing, added that oil projects claimed many lives in her homeland.

At the Deutsche Bank Annual General Meeting in May, Neubauer had already accused Sewing of indirectly engaging in “Olympic greenwashing”. He wants to be part of the solution, but since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 the financial institution has granted loans worth $1.8 billion to Totalenergies. More and more banks are withdrawing from the fossil fuel business, and Deutsche Bank has hardly done so at all so far.

On Tuesday, Neubauer again called on the group to stop financing Totalenergies and to officially distance itself from the EACOP pipeline. According to reports, Deutsche Bank is not involved in the financing. Deutsche Bank did not comment on Tuesday. The institute explained that it does not comment on individual customer relationships. The conversation between Neubauer and Sewing was constructive and impressive.

A spokesman said that Deutsche Bank was transparent about greenwashing allegations. In March, the Dax group published details of the carbon footprint of its corporate loans for the first time and put them at 30.8 million tons of CO2 equivalents at the end of 2021. The money house wants to reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. A spokesman pointed out that Deutsche Bank is much less committed to financing carbon-intensive industries than its competitors.

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