Swiss bank and tennis legend feel the heat from climate activist
Credit Suisse states its stance on climate concerns after criticism from Greta Thunberg
No one, it seems, is immune from the scathing examination of climate activist Greta Thunberg. Not even the squeakiest clean of sporting legends, Roger Federer.
Federer is a brand ambassador for Switzerland’s second-largest banking group Credit Suisse. He has occupied that well-rewarded role for a number of years and had always floated above any controversy the bank itself may have experienced.
At least that is until the recent turmoil that has hit Australia. With the first tennis grand slam of the year about to begin in Melbourne, the world’s attention has been focused on the country.
With large tracts of the huge nation engulfed by bushfires that have taken at least 27 human lives and wiped out up to a billion animals, climate activists have been attacking the Australian government and institutions they see as undermining the fight against global warming.
Federer came under attack from Thunberg for his ties to the Swiss bank when she recently retweeted a post to him from a climate activist group which condemned Credit Suisse for its multi-billion-dollar funding of fossil fuel companies.
The criticism stung the Zurich-based bank into action and it soon released a fittingly well-timed fact sheet on how seriously it takes climate concerns.
In its announcement, the bank said climate change is a fact and must be fought, and recognized that the financial industry has a key role to play in backing the transition to a low-carbon and climate-friendly economy.
The Asset reported last month that Credit Suisse had lately joined the list of a growing number of major banks now walking away from lending to coal-fired power stations.
At its annual investor event, the bank said it would be working to expand its own role in supporting the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
Banks globally are increasing support for clean energy and lower carbon technologies while pulling project financing or general-purpose lending for new coal-fired power plant projects and thermal coal mines, especially in developed markets.
For his part, Federer has kept his wholesome and caring image intact. Together with peers such as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, he has played a significant part in raising about A$5 million (US$3.45 million) towards bushfire charities.
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