Heard in Europe

Could Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest bank, be preparing itself to divest from its fossil fuel investments?

Yesterday (14 December), the bank joined about 30 other German corporations to call for an overhaul of EU climate and energy policy at Saturday’s landmark deal (12 December) to limit global warming at COP21.

Commerzbank and the other business giants demanded a ramping up of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets in response to the historic pact of 195 nations.

>>Read: Adidas, Puma, Aldi, Commerzbank demand EU policy overhaul after COP21

That has led to speculation that the bank could be building up to making the decision to shed its assets in polluting industries.

If it does so, it will be a high-profile addition to the fossil fuel divestment movement, which has seen more than 200 universities and other institutions globally get rid of such assets.

Such a move would be consistent with its call on German and EU policymakers but, as yet, remains only rumour.

The group backed the European Parliament’s push to increase 2030 EU energy efficiency targets from 27% to 40%.

Today (15 December), MEPs voted by 359 to 335 against for legally binding 2030 targets. They repeated their call to have a 40% efficiency target, and demanded the European Commission carry out research on the impact of 40%.

As EurActiv reported, the Commission was only planning to analyse 33% efficiency increase in its impact assessment, although it has later signalled it would be prepared to model higher.

>>Read: Is #Modelgate energy efficiency controversy over?

Such assessments are increasingly a pre-condition for EU legislation.

>>Read:MEPs go on warpath over energy efficiency days before COP21

Photo courtesy of Richard Thorpe and Flickr. Published under a Creative Commons licence.

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