Lucie Pinson, 36, is a bit like the Robin Hood of green times. Winner in 2020, for the Europe region, of the Goldman Prize for the Environment, a kind of green Nobel Prize, she attacks the heart of the reactor by touching the wallet. With her NGO Reclaim Finance created in 2020, the young woman, originally from the Nantes region, attacks banks and large investors to push them to divest from carbon projects.
His interlocutors? The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments of Société Générale, BNP Paribas, Axa, Crédit Agricole, with which, on the phone or by mail, she blows hot and cold. “We are opening up a path for them and providing them with arguments to respect the objectives of the Paris agreement; we inform them about projects that are too risky. When the institution is our adversary, some of our interlocutors can become allies”she explains on the sidelines of the Agir pour le vivant festival, organized each year in Arles by Actes Sud.
Point out bad students
To maintain the pressure, it does not forget to build a balance of power outside that can endanger the reputation of these establishments. If they do not play the game, Lucie Pinson denounces their bad practices on her site, according to the fashionable principle of name and shame (“name and shame”).
It also sends information to regulatory bodies such as the Financial Markets Authority so that they can take over. “They must play their role of monitoring compliance with commitments”she points out.
It is within the NGO Friends of the Earth France, where she joined in 2013, that the activist develops her strategy by focusing first on coal. She managed to convince Axa, which no longer provides any project related to this fuel or even a company unable to get out of fossil fuels in time.
Helped by around twenty young graduates from universities and prestigious schools, Lucie Pinson continues the fight with Reclaim Finance. And even develops its weapons. Using evaluation tables, presentation of very precise criteria, it points in particular to the bad students, such as Natixis Investment Managers and Agirc-Arrco.
The case of Total
The game looks more difficult with gas and oil. “No less than 96% of industries are developing projects that are incompatible with the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. In France, this means attacking Total. However, many of them want to take advantage of the interest in supporting Total in its climate-killing strategy for as long as possible.she points out.
But Lucie Pinson does not give up. Again, she tries to convince players in the banking sector and investors to be in the nails. Then, it establishes databases in which it sifts through the companies’ oil exit policy. A tedious work, but paying: it is looked at with the magnifying glass in the economic circles.
With a degree in history and political science obtained in South Africa after another degree course in an institute attended by Catholics, a double master’s degree in political science and development policy at the Sorbonne, Lucie Pinson learned the vocabulary of finance on the pile.
Passed by Zimbabwe and South Africa, she also made her classes in the defense of human rights: “Corinne Morel Darleux, whom I have just met, evokes “the dignity of the present”. It speaks to me. I strive to lead the most strategic fights possible through a radical-pragmatic approach and with victories on the line. However, I do not resist doubt and see the possible deep vanity of our fight. I don’t know if we will win, but I know we have to fight. »