Luxembourg's green finance claim unfounded, say groups
By Marlene Brey and John Monaghan
Luxembourg lacks concrete measures to match its claim it is a leading global capital for sustainable finance, six civil society organisations said on Monday, accusing the country of widespread greenwashing.
The six organisations, which include environmental campaign groups such as Greenpeace, presented an analysis of Luxembourg’s Sustainable Finance Initiative (LSFI), which was launched this year with the aim of promoting investments which protect the environment.
The groups hit out at the strategy during a joint press conference on Monday, saying the initiative does not define any criteria which investments must adhere to, and that it does not comply with targets laid out under the Paris Climate Agreement, to which Luxembourg was a signatory in 2015.
Failure to set binding criteria would ultimately mean the country’s financial sector missing out on investment opportunities, Greenpeace said, citing increased interest amongst corporations in reducing pollution.
"If you notice that it's all about greenwashing… (you take a step back) and the location loses credibility for green finance," said Greenpeace’s Martina Holbach.
Luxembourg-based funds are major financiers of carbon-heavy industries, despite the country's desire to be seen as a haven for green investing, a report by Greenpeace said earlier this year.
In 2019, funds domiciled in the Grand Duchy were responsible for the financing of 39 millions tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Another study by Greenpeace in June concluded that sustainable funds in Luxembourg showed no significant advantage over conventional funds when it came to environmental and climate-related activities.