Advisory: Indigenous delegates at COP26 to endorse campaign demanding banks exit Amazon oil & gas

  • June 29, 2023, Amazon Watch to host press briefing on new campaign calling for global banks to end oil & gas financing in Amazon rainforest

GLASGOW — North American-based environmental advocacy organizations and Amazon Watch will host a COP26 press briefing on Thursday, 4 November, related to their new Exit Amazon Oil & Gas campaign calling for global banks to end financing for all oil and gas industrial activity in the Amazon rainforest.

This new push for a geographical financial exclusion comes at a critical time in the global shift out of fossil fuels, and falls in line with broader calls from Indigenous and environmental activists to protect the Amazon. New research to be released at a COP26 webinar on 3 November shows that the biome has already reached its tipping point in some areas, with some parts of the rainforest emitting more carbon than is captured.

Press briefing: Amazon Oil & Gas Exit Strategy

  • When: Thursday, 4 November, 12:30-1 p.m. GMT
  • Where: Durdle Door Press Conference Room, Area D, Ground Floor. Simultaneous translation in Spanish and English will be available at the following link, which will also be livestreamed, at:
  • What: This press briefing will cover the following topics:
    • Define the new Exit Amazon Oil & Gas campaign and exclusion policy, which calls for global banks to end oil and gas financing in order to help protect the Amazon rainforest. This is part of a broader campaign to protect 80% of the rainforest by 2025, a mandate put forth by Indigenous leaders and approved at the IUCN in September.
    • Announce several new major endorsements behind the campaign; showcase messages from Indigenous partners suffering due to global banks’ continued financing of oil & gas in the Amazon; and discuss the inequitable representation of leaders from the Global South in climate negotiations.
    • Highlight the hypocrisy of major banks including JPMorgan Chase and UBS — both of which are part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, yet continue to heavily finance oil and gas activities on and near Indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest.
    • Connect the Exit Amazon Oil and Gas campaign to the larger youth movement targeting banks to end financing for all fossil fuels and discuss the campaign’s progress thus far in dialoguing with banks.
  • Who: Panelists include:

    • TBC: Gregorio Mirabal, President of the Congress of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA)
    • Jorge Pérez, President of the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP)
    • TBC: Nemo Andy Guiquita, Women and Health Director, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE)
    • Helena Gualinga, Indigenous youth activist of the Kichwa Sarayaku community of Ecuador
    • Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch
    • Tzeporah Berman, International Programs Director,


In September 2021, Indigenous representatives from across the Amazon led the passage of a measure to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025 at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The measure includes a series of important demands that will ensure the protection of the rainforest, but among them includes a call on global financial firms to end financing for extractive industrial activity in the Amazon. The Exit Amazon Oil & Gas campaign — which will be publicly endorsed by leaders from COICA, CONFENIAE, and AIDESEP at the press briefing —  calls on all banks to:

  • Immediately commit to end financing for the expansion of oil and gas activities in the Amazon by the end of 2021
  • Commit to end financing for all currently operational oil and gas activities in the Amazon by the end of 2025, for the purpose of facilitating a responsible wind down of operations
  • Commit to exit all loans, letters of credit, and revolving credit facilities for all traders actively trading oil or gas originating in the Amazon biome by the end of 2022

The push for an Amazon oil & gas exclusion policy follows a precedent set by the successful Indigenous-led push for major banks to exclude financing for oil drilling in the Arctic. The geographic nature of the Arctic exclusions, as well as the climate change, biodiversity, and Indigenous rights rationale behind them, are an example and a broad roadmap for a similar commitment in the Amazon.

The Exit Amazon OIl & Gas campaign comes out of years of research completed by and Amazon Watch that exposes links between leading European and U.S. banks and the Amazon oil and gas trade. Several major European banks committed to end financing for the trade of oil from the Ecuadorian port of Esmeraldas following the publication of an August 2020 report from and Amazon Watch that showed how banks were in violation of their own sustainability commitments by continuing to finance the trade of oil originating from Indigenous territories in the Amazon.

A July 2021 report by and Amazon Watch titled Banking on Amazon Destruction broadened the scope of investigation to reveal the ways that not only European, but also U.S. banks, remain highly exposed to the risks of Indigenous rights violations, environmental degradation, corruption, and other harms due to their ongoing relationships with companies and traders operating in the Amazon rainforest. Campaigners are in ongoing communication with major European and U.S. banks, but as of COP26, no major bank has come forward to commit to a full exclusion of financing for oil and gas in the Amazon biome.

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