Gabrielle
Siry

Project: Dépolluons la finance Paris

Gabrielle grew up in Britany, where she first committed to politically defend the values of equality, social justice, and human dignity. Whilst studying she became interested in economics, as it provided a framework through which to drive the fair reparation of wealth and equal opportunities. After a few months at the European Commission, Gabrielle began to work on financial regulation in Paris after her studies. The backlash from the 2008 economic crisis convinced her of the need for the public sphere to regulate the system, to avoid drastic increases in inequality and critical damage to the environment. She has also worked for the French Ministry for economic and financial affairs on the impact of financial innovation on the environment.

PROJECT

Gabrielle’s project, ‘Dépolluons la finance Paris’ (‘Let’s clean up Paris finance'), encourages green finance in one of the largest financial centres in Europe. It promotes the role of the financial sector in the ecological transition, in addition to campaigning for divestment from fossil energy. Through “DeFi Paris”, Gabrielle organises public meetings and publishes articles on the subject. Actual changes come under pressure from informed citizens, who have the right to know how their bank is using their money. Considering these issues is attractive to the financial centre of Paris, not only to raise public awareness but also to anticipate changes in regulation that will inevitably evolve in this direction. The project also supports Parisian NGOs working on green and social issues who wish to diversify their funding methods, such as implementing donations via text messages, which Gabrielle introduced whilst working at the Ministry for Economic and Financial Affairs.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

One of the biggest challenges of our time is to organize an ambitious ecological transition while keeping the republican promise of social justice. For example, in Paris, the necessary reduction of car circulation is an ecological as well as a social issue, given that those who suffer the most from a polluted air are those with the least isolated housing. I am convinced that in all these fields where an ambitious transformation is necessary, from finance to city planning, there is a need for an unshakable political will.

I have been working in the financial sector for several years to integrate social and financial aspects into financial regulation. The progress of these past few years are not negligible but are insufficient: practices will truly change under the pressure of informed citizens acting as consumers, workers and political actors with high expectations as to fighting climate change and inequalities. I founded DeFi to contribute to raising awareness of the crucial importance of engaging the private sector in ecological transition, at a time when the financing by taxes has reached a political limit if this effort is not fairly organized (see the recent crisis of the yellow vests in France).

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