What is Block Fossils Out?
A set of digital activism tools to help users “block out” the online presence of fossil fuel companies and their financial supporters. It comprises of:
- An extension for Chrome & Firefox. It currently blocks-out specific sites and pages of coal utilities in Germany, Poland, and Czech Republic, and finance companies across Europe & highlights the names of the companies whenever they appear online, creating a popup box with campaign and action information.
- An AR filter for Facebook & Instagram. With this users can target companies by creating Stories and social media posts in an engaging and interactive way. The filter applies a 3D virtual mask over the users’ face in selfie mode and they can choose a coal power plant or wind turbine as a background.
The yellow cross is a symbol used by groups in Germany, such as Alle Dörfer Bleiben (All Villages Stay), to show opposition to coal expansion and the destruction of villages. It stands for “Energy Democracy and people power in the resistance against fossil fuels”. Share it with us in solidarity with them and others fighting for a better future without fossils.
How to block fossils
1. Install the BlockFossilsOut extension by clicking on the Firefox or Chrome icon below:
2. Share that you’re blocking these companies by clicking on the social media share buttons – it’s important to send these companies a loud message!
3. Use our Augmented Reality Filter for Instagram & Facebook, and share with your Facebook and Instagram friends that you are blocking companies that need to take action against the climate crisis. 👇
Try out the Block Fossil Out AR filter on Instagram & Facebook
Follow @europebeyondcoal on Instagram to automatically get the filter in your story filter list, or tap to try it out after viewing an Instagram or Facebook post of someone else using it.
Show others you are taking action for the climate
- Take a photo or video in the Facebook or Instagram camera using the filter, then post it on social media.
- Post to Instagram & Facebook Stories showing you and others Block Fossils Out.
- Use the #BlockFossilsOut hashtag and send the companies messages on their social channels.
Who is blocked?
The extension currently blocks-out specific sites and pages of coal utilities in Germany, Poland, and Czech Republic, and finance companies across Europe. Coal is being prioritised as it is one of the worst offenders, and as phasing out coal plants in Europe by 2030 at the latest is the first and most important step to addressing the climate crisis.
RWE burns more coal than any other company in Europe, and continues to destroy villages, churches, and forests to expand its mines, all while claiming it is a green “Neue RWE”. It has been forced to put a 2038 coal phase-out date in place, but this is far too late, and it is still demanding taxpayer money to close its coal business. To be in line with the Paris Agreement Europe needs to be coal free by 2030.
Uniper has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It is trying to green its image, but has brought the Datteln IV coal power plant online in Germany, and it has sold rather than closed some of its other coal power plants, meaning that they will keep polluting and fueling the climate crisis.
STEAG has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It closed some of its coal power plants, but it continues to operate its most polluting one: Duisburg-Walsum, worsening the climate crisis.
EnBW’s coal power plants in Germany were responsible for an estimated 280 premature deaths in 2016. The current phase-out plan of 2038 that Germany is imposing for its plants is not compliant with the 2030 coal phase out that is needed to reach Paris Agreement goals.
LEAG has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It is seeking millions in taxpayer money under Germany’s late 2038 coal phase-out plan, despite it already planning to close its plants for economic reasons before the government plan was agreed.
EPH has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It is the second dirtiest coal company in Europe that was responsible for an estimated 1,100 premature deaths, and over €3 billion in health costs in 2016.
ČEZ Group has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. Its coal business fuels the climate crisis and produces some of the highest health costs from coal in Europe. The pollution from ČEZ’s plants can affect the health of people across most of Central and Eastern Europe.
While it is talking about a 2040-45 exit, PGE has no official plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. Poland’s PGE generates 91% of its electricity from coal, and owns the most polluting power plant in the EU, Bełchatów. It is even planning to expand its coal business despite the climate crisis.
Enea has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It has been pushing to build a new 1 GW coal power plant in Poland, Ostroleka C and now wants to convert the project into a fossil gas plant. It plans to expand coal mining and pursue coal gasification despite the climate crisis.
Ze Pak has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It was responsible for an estimated 340 premature deaths in 2016 due to air pollution from its plants. ZE PAK claims it is undergoing a green transformation, but it is still looking to expand its coal business despite the climate crisis.
Tauron has no concrete plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It is one of the dirtiest European coal companies fuelling the climate crisis.
Energa has no plan in place to phase out coal by 2030 – the needed end date for coal in Europe. It’s still involved in building the new Ostrołęka C fossil gas plant, and continues operating an old coal plant at the same location.
Deutsche Bank’s coal exclusion policy is weak, and allows it to be one of the biggest investors in Europe’s most polluting coal companies, such as RWE and PGE. More here.
Talanx is one of the very few European insurers that has not ruled out underwriting new coal mines, such as the controversial Złoczew mine in Poland. More here.
Pekao S.A. is a subsidiary of PZU S.A., and like its parent, it does not have any climate-aligned policy or restrictions for coal project finance. It’s the second biggest bank in Poland in terms of size of assets, and is active in arranging corporate bond issues and provides loans for all the coal utilities in Poland.
PZU is one of the few remaining insurers willing to underwrite new coal in Poland, and is able to insure open-pit mines like Turów, despite the climate crisis. More here.
Banco Santander bankrolls Europe’s most polluting coal companies, such as Poland’s biggest coal utility PGE. This enables it to keep its coal business running despite the climate crisis. More here.
Generali has a weak coal exclusion policy in place that still allows it to insure Poland’s PGE, one of the dirtiest coal companies in Europe.
UniCredit is one of the biggest creditors for European coal companies, including RWE and ČEZ Group. Its coal exclusion policy has not adopted an end date for its coal financing, enabling polluters to continue enjoying financial support. More here.
Intesa Sanpaolo is one of the biggest lenders to coal companies like PGE and RWE, and has adopted one of the weakest coal exclusion policies in Europe.
BNP Paribas has been removed from the block list because it has adopted a robust exit strategy for electricity produced from coal, by 2030 in EU and the OECD, and by 2040 in all other countries. RWE, Fortum, CEZ could all be excluded if they don’t commit to exit coal by 2030, in line with Paris Agreement.
Amundi has pledged to exit coal, but has not cut ties with German coal giant RWE. It also invests heavily in other fossil fuels, and holds €3.2 billion (US$3.6 billion) of investment in the shale oil and gas sector, unconditionally supporting giants such as BP, Chevron and Exxon.
- The list of companies was compiled from two recent reports by the Europe Beyond Coal network. The European coal utilities were already exposed for their harmful impact in The Last Gasp report (November 2018) and so were the financial institutions enabling them in the recent Fool’s Gold report (March 2019), Dirty Business (February 2018) and
PZU Group‘s Engagement in Polish Coal Sector (May 2018).