Climate and human rights activists call on AXA to “choose to be green” and stop financing environmental and war crimes

Paris/PNN/

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, AXA held its Annual General Meeting in person. Activists for human rights and climate justice were there to call on AXA to be consistent with its climate commitments: financing an apartheid regime is not “green” at all!

To highlight AXA’s hypocrisy, several protesters donned their costumes and played the role of AXA executives. With consummate black humor, a theatre troupe staged a fake press conference in which AXA’s CEO announced the complete withdrawal of the company from Israel’s settlement enterprise until Israel’s apartheid regime is dismantled and the environmental destruction associated with its aggressive colonial policies has ceased.

A report by the “Don’t Buy Into Occupation” coalition ranks AXA 30th among the 100 largest European investors in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in occupied Palestinian territory. Analysis of the Palestinian human rights organizational Haq shows that these settlements are a colonial enterprise that destroys the environment and makes the Palestinian population more vulnerable to climate change.

Imen Habib, leader of the BDS France coalition says: “AXA emphasizes that there is a need for strong collective action to fight against climate change. The company has decided to invest in green assets, divest from carbon-intensive industries, and support climate change prevention. But can one be a “responsible and green” insurance company when one’s money is invested in the capital that reinforces the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and the environmental destruction that accompanies it?”

For Leyla Larbi, campaign Manager for the NGO SumOfUs, the answer is clearly no: “Three years ago, people’s mobilization was instrumental in making AXA divest from Israel’s biggest arms company, Elbit Systems, and from three Israeli banks financing illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Warfare is a pillar of Israel’s economy and one of the world’s most polluting industries.

Israeli settlements are built on confiscated Palestinian agricultural or grazing lands, ancestral lands for fruit and olive trees: a primary source of food and income for Palestinians.

Since the military occupation regime started, nearly 1 million Palestinian olive trees have been uprooted and destroyed.

Israel dumps 80% of its settlement waste in the occupied Palestinian territory, contaminating all Palestinian natural resources – including water. 97% of drinking water in Gaza is unfit for consumption and is a leading cause of child mortality.

The systematic exploitation of Palestinian natural resources, including water, land, gas and oil, Dead Sea minerals, and stone reserves, creates a coercive environment aimed at driving Palestinian families from their land for the benefit of Israel’s apartheid economy and illegal settlement expansion.

More than 152,000 SumOfUs members are calling on AXA to stop being an accomplice of gross human rights violations and be a real sustainable champion by divesting from Israeli apartheid.”

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