Activists in dinghy urge Credit Suisse off climate ‘collision course’

FILE PHOTO: Climate protestors sit in a rubber dinghy while others play a song from the film “Titanic” in front of headquarters of Swiss bank Credit Suisse in Zurich, Switzerland February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Climate activists clad in Titanic-era costumes gathered in a rubber dinghy outside Credit Suisse’s headquarters on Thursday, to urge incoming chief executive Thomas Gottstein to steer the bank off a climate “collision course”.

Protesters want the bank to divest from fossil fuels and present a strategy to end its ongoing financing of the industry.

“Credit Suisse is like the Titanic on collision course with the iceberg of climate chaos,” activist Beate Thalmann said.

A man, wearing a captain’s hat, scraped a paddle against the sidewalk of Zurich’s Paradeplatz while other protesters with instruments gestured to Celine Dion’s song “My Heart Will Go On” from the 1997 film about the stricken liner.

Credit Suisse has become a focus for Swiss protesters in recent years, with groups urging the banks to improve its financing policies.

A court in Lausanne last month ruled that a group of young people who had staged a tennis sit-in at the bank’s Lausanne branch were not guilty of trespassing due to the imminent danger posed by climate change.

Credit Suisse said on Thursday it had developed a climate strategy, which included guiding clients through transitions to lower carbon and climate-resilient business models, focusing on sustainable finance and reducing its own carbon footprint.

In December it announced it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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