European banks and other financial institutions are investing billions into practices which fuel speculation in agricultural commodity markets. These include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Allianz, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. Free speech radio's Liam Moriarty interviews Friends of the Earth Europe's Daniel Pentzlin on our latest report on the issue.
Brussels, January 12, 2012 – European banks, pension funds and insurance companies are increasing global hunger and poverty by speculating on food prices and financing land grabs in poorer countries, according to a new report released today (January 12) by Friends of the Earth Europe .
New rules proposed today by the European Commission will shed light on betting on food commodities by financial traders, but will not do enough to prevent speculation from fuelling high and volatile food prices. The warning comes from environment and development groups in a joint reaction to the new draft Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and accompanying regulation.
Members of the European Parliament voted today on the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), the first ever legislative proposal put forward by the European Commission to regulate 'Over-The-Counter' (OTC) derivatives markets. NGOs welcome the agreed text as a first step to tackle excessive speculation in agriculture commodities by providing for transparency in completely opaque trillion Euro trade fuelling food price volatility and endangering the food security of millions in developing countries.
Friends of the Earth France and ATTAC launched the joint campaign 'Banks are ours!' today, with local groups in Antony (Hauts-de-Seine) and Paris 13e bringing a game of Bancopoly to Antony's market.
The group involved passersby in the game to learn more about their own banks, and to compare their bank's investments with the social and environmental impacts, while promoting alternatives – such as ethical and transparent banks.
As part of our ongoing sustainable finance work (see, for example, the European Commission consultation responses we have submitted), Friends of the Earth Europe has co-founded the first watchdog focusing on EU financial regulation.
'Finance Watch''s mission is to strengthen the voice of society in the reform of financial regulation by conducting citizen advocacy and presenting public interest arguments to lawmakers and the public. It will act as a counterweight to the private interest lobbying of the financial industry.
Brussels – RWE (npower), Goldman Sachs and derivatives lobby group ISDA have been given the dubious honour of being named the Worst EU Lobbyists of 2010. The results of the dual climate and finance categories of the Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010  were revealed today during a ceremony outside the ISDA office in Brussels.
Business attempts to undermine effective European action on climate change and finance regulation are exposed today with the launch of the Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010 . Corporate influence over governments is blocking desperately needed measures to stop the worsening of the financial and climate crises.
From today, members of the public can vote online at www.worstlobby.eu for the most deserving ‘winner’ in this year’s two categories – climate and finance. Online voting will run until 25 November 2010.
Brussels, September 7 - A broad coalition calling for a European-wide Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) staged an action outside the meeting of EU Finance Ministers today, in Brussels. The group, made up of NGOs, political organisations and trade unions, called on EU Ministers to recognise the merits of an FTT, particularly as austerity measures begin to be felt throughout the EU.
If G20 leaders would agree on a 'Robin Hood Tax' at their gathering next weekend in Toronto, this Summit could help avoid the worsening of the global economic crisis and its social and environmental consequences, according to Friends of the Earth International.
G20 ministers failed so far to agree on a general global bank levy and the European Union promised to push for the plan at the G20 summit in Toronto.