Big parade against fossil fuel financing through Basel

Basel - 06/22/2023 - The People’s Forum for Climate Justice and Financial Regulation starts today in Basel, culminating with the Peoples' Parade demo on Saturday (June 24).

Peoples' Forum opening workshop

Photo by Caroline Krajcir

The parade and Forum will focus on the experiences and resistance of indigenous and frontline activists who have traveled to Basel and are campaigning against fossil fuels extraction projects and for the preservation of their livelihoods.

Hundreds of marchers will demand that the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) ends fossil fuel finance. The BIS acts as a banking watchdog for central bankers by setting global financial policy and is holding its General Assembly this week. The colorful and creative parade will be a different kind of demonstration in Basel.

It starts at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday (June 24) at the Kaserne and will then move through the city. On the way there will be speeches and artistic interventions by indigenous and frontline activists. During the march there will be a beautiful display visible from the Wettsteinbrücke.

The march will end at 16:30 near the BIS at De Wette Park, where the petition calling for an end to fossil finance with more than 50,000 signatures will be handed over to the BIS.

Patience Nabukalu, climate justice and human rights activist representing Fridays for Future Uganda, says in advance:

"We need to stop the flow of money into all fossil fuel projects. That's why I came here, to a country known for its banks, a center of international capital and financial regulation by the BIS. This has led a shadowy existence for too long. It is time to put it in the spotlight! It is time for its members to take responsibility for climate security and human rights! It's time to end fossil fuel financing!"

Experience of those directly affected at BIS AGM unwelcome

The forum begins on Thursday and includes a series of artistic street actions, stories of resistance to fossil fuel projects, strategic discussions and workshops in addition to the parade (to the program). In addition to activists from the Global South, hundreds of activists from Switzerland and Europe are participating in the forum.

Central bank governors from around the world are meeting at the BIS at the same time as the Forum to discuss the rules of the global financial system. The BIS has already defined crypto investments as high-risk: Banks that invest in these assets must pay for potential losses themselves. The parade calls for the same for fossil fuels, which would de facto halt new investments in fossil fuel projects.

On Tuesday, June 20, the Peoples' Forum delegation met with BIS officials but the BIS has not responded to the demands. The request to allow two activists from the Global South to speak at its General Assembly was also denied.

Further information:

Petition with demands to the BIS

TO: Financial regulators and supervisors: Central bankers, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS).

  1. End fossil fuel finance, exploitation of people and the planet, and: Adopt the one-to-one rule (higher capital requirements for all new fossil fuel projects);
  2. Enforce a new requirement for banks to respect the right of communities and indigenous peoples to speak out against fossil fuel exploitation on their lands;
  3. Rewrite financial regulations to prohibit financing of any industrial development in critical ecosystems.
  4. Put the strongest pressure on G7 and G20 finance ministers to do their part to ensure a just and resilient financial system by immediately addressing the debt of the Global South and repairing the loss and damage caused by fossil fuel exploitation.