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Greenpeace activists land on ECB roof in climate protest

By AFP - Mar 10,2021 - Last updated at Mar 10,2021

FRANKFURT AM MAIN — Two Greenpeace activists paraglided onto the roof of a European Central Bank (ECB) building in Frankfurt on Wednesday, accusing the institution of carrying out environmentally unfriendly bond purchases.

The two protesters landed on top of a building normally used for press conferences before unfurling a banner, an ECB spokeswoman confirmed.

Images posted by Greenpeace on Twitter showed a large yellow and black banner with the slogan "stop funding climate killers".

Greenpeace also published a report on Wednesday claiming the ECB has approved EUR300 billion in loan collaterals from corporate giants which it accused of being polluters, including Shell, Total, Eni, OMV and Repsol.

In a bid to help mitigate havoc wrought on the eurozone economy by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ECB rolled out an unprecedented bond-buying scheme last year to complement existing quantitive easing measures.

Greenpeace on Wednesday called on the ECB to support the transition to renewable energy and to align itself with the Paris climate agreement.

The ECB spokeswoman said climate change was "one of the greatest challenges faced by mankind this century" and the ECB was "contributing to the response within its mandate as a central bank, acting in step with those responsible for climate policy".

ECB chief Christine Lagarde highlighted climate change as one of the key issues to be tackled in a huge strategic review of the ECB's mandate launched shortly after she took office at the end of 2019. 

The results of this review, initially expected at the end of 2020, have been postponed to the second half of 2021 because of the pandemic.

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