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Launch of the Tobacco-Free finance pledge of financing without tobacco

October 11, 2018

On September 27th, the Tobacco-Free finance pledge was launched. The objective of this initiative is to celebrate that the investment associations took a first step towards a tobacco-free world.

The initiative was founded by Tobacco Free Portfolios and developed together with the United Nations' Environment Program Finance Initiative, Principle for Sustainable Insurance, Principles for Responsible Investment, AXA, BNP Paribas, Natixis and AMP Capital. And it is aimed at financial institutions, philanthropic foundations, university endowments; and other organizations participating in loans, insurance and investments.

Among the objectives of the promise are: to collaborate to raise awareness about loans, investments and insurance of the tobacco companies; assist in the transition to tobacco-free financing and generate knowledge about it; and encourage more organizations to be part of the promise.

The involvement of financial institutions to participate on the tobacco control efforts sends a strong message to denormalize tobacco products, their consumption, but also their industry. As stated by the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, there is no point on fighting against the tobacco industry while it is being financed.

The launch of the Tobacco-Free finance pledge takes place one year after the United Nations Global Compact announced banning tobacco companies as participants in the initiative. Both events are a clear message that questions the practices of tobacco companies.

At the same time, this new promise is a great opportunity for more actors to get involved in tobacco control issues and to recognize tobacco taxes as the most cost-effective measure to reduce their consumption. These efforts are fundamental to align the global agenda with the objectives of sustainable development.