France: Woman environmental defender Lucie Pinson wins 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize for Europe
In 2017, Lucie Pinson’s activism successfully pressured France’s three largest banks to eliminate financing for new coal projects and coal companies. She then compelled French insurance companies to follow suit: between 2017 and 2019, mega insurers AXA and SCOR announced plans to end insurance coverage for coal projects... Despite decades of research and stark evidence of its many dangers, coal remains the world’s primary source of energy, especially in the developing world... The French financial sector has long played a key role in financing and insuring the global expansion of the coal power industry. Every new coal plant depends on financing from private banks and investors, and of the 20 international banks responsible for 75% of coal industry loans, three are French. Between 2007 and 2013, France’s three largest banks—BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, and Société Générale—provided loans of more than $32 billion to the global coal industry.