Siemens finances new fossil fuel projects: Our countermotion

Protest at Siemens AGM 2020. Photo: SumOfUs/Zack Helwa CC BY 2.0

Regarding Agenda Item 3: To ratify the acts of the members of the Managing Board

The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany requests that the acts of the members of the Managing Board not be ratified.


The Managing Board of Siemens AG declines to withdraw from financing fossil energy projects and is therefore not living up to its responsibility to comply with the targets defined in the Paris Agreement.

 Rising emissions in the supply chain

The impact of Siemens’ economic activities on climate change does not come from the direct greenhouse gas emissions caused by Siemens, but mainly from upstream and downstream emissions in the value chain (Scope 3 emissions). The upstream emissions from Siemens’ supply chains, for example, rose to around 10.4 million tons of CO2e in fiscal 2021. The Managing Board claims it is making efforts to reduce them, but has only set a pretty unambitious target of cutting CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. That means young people and future generations will be left to tackle the true challenges and burdens involved in protecting the climate.

Products sold by Siemens in 2021 will produce 453.4 million tons of emissions that cause climate damage

In order to record the full scope of Siemens’ negative impact on global warming, it is also necessary to include the emissions caused by using products from Siemens. For the first time – as required by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – Siemens discloses how many tons will be emitted by the products it sold in fiscal 2021 during their anticipated lifecycle: 453.4 million tons of CO2e. That is more than one percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and more than industrialized countries such as the UK or France emit per annum.

The Managing Board wants to cut these emissions by just 15 percent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. Here, too, young people and future generations after 2030 will be left to tackle the challenges and burdens involved in protecting the climate. The extremely high level of emissions at present from the use of Siemens products, in particular electric motors, can be reduced only by a quick and uncompromising switch from fossil to renewable energies in power generation worldwide. Admittedly, Siemens only has a limited influence on how power is generated worldwide. Siemens claims that it is campaigning for the decarbonization of all sectors at the political level.

Financing of fossil energy projects stands in contradiction to achieving climate targets

The fact that Siemens continues to participate in fossil energy projects and is thus inhibiting the expansion of renewable energies therefore stands in all the greater contradiction to Siemens’ pledges to protect the climate. That not only relates to the supply of safety systems to the Adani coal mine in Australia.

The funding by Siemens Financial Services (SFS) for fossil energy projects in fiscal 2021 is equal to emissions of 5.5 million tons of CO2e over the entire lifecycle – almost ten times the greenhouse gas emissions produced directly by Siemens in 2021 (Scope 1 and 2). According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), no further investments in fossil energy projects such as coal, oil and gas must be made so that the goal of net carbon neutrality by 2050 can be achieved. Siemens is ignoring that.

Siemens is helping finance Latin America’s largest gas-fired power plant project

For example, Siemens Financial Services is involved in the gas-fired power plant project “Superport Porto de Açu” at Campos dos Goytacazes in the north of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Siemens is thus actively helping expand the fossil energy infrastructure instead of renewable energies. This financing also raises the question of how Siemens lives up to its human rights due diligence obligations. It is said that hundreds of families whose property was expropriated so that the port could be built have still not received any compensation to date. They were deprived of their existing means of making a livelihood from their small family farms and fishing. Fishing areas had to be closed because salt water ran over from the dams built in the port of Açu.

 From next year, Siemens must also take preventive action against human rights violations in its foreign business pursuant to the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence in Supply Chains. The expropriation of land without compensation in the above-mentioned port project is a clear violation – and Siemens has a responsibility, in cooperation with the parties involved in the project, to stop that and ensure it never happens again.

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