And what if big tobacco lost the support of the world’s top banks? This trend seems to be on the rise, with the signature of a global agreement to achieve this on September 26th. Over 120 banks have committed to no longer collaborate financially with tobacco companies.
This is a general movement to stop financing tobacco throughout the world. Governments, health associations, and banks have begun to work together in this direction. Baptised the Tobacco Free Finance Pledge, the movement was launched in New York during a UN general assembly.
The call to arms was even given the approbation of the French and Australian governments. Among the big groups who signed the pledge, French banks include BNP Paribas, Allianz, Natixis, Generali or Aviva. The objective: to contribute to the fight against tobacco by focusing on the financial aspect.
An international collaboration to fight tobacco
Signatories justified their decision as based on the necessity of working to stop the health crisis of tobacco consumption. Each year, seven million people die due to smoking-related illnesses. The movement wishes to remind the general public of the “devastating effect of tobacco on society” that must be stopped at all cost.
Banks who signed the pledge want to raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco and the necessity to fight it. They are committed to promoting the values of the United Nations by stopping all loans, investments, and insurance deals with tobacco companies. “Tobacco free” financing will now be a priority for these organisations.
This initiative highlights the major role played by financial institutions in the fight against tobacco. With the Tobacco Free Finance Pledge, a new tool has come to light to help create a truly tobacco-free world.