Who's Bankrolling the Climate Crisis

Submitted by skarimi@greena… on

On June 4, 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institute for Oceanography released their latest findings on atmospheric carbon dioxide. While past reports have been increasingly sobering and distressing, as a global community we can no longer ignore the alarm bell:

Average atmospheric carbon dioxide reached as high as 414 parts per million in May.

This constitutes the greatest level of atmospheric CO2 in the 61 years that it has been tracked at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, and, it marks the seventh consecutive year of major increases in CO2 globally. The safe upper level of carbon dioxide is 350 parts per million. According to NOAA senior scientist Pieter Tans, there is conclusive evidence that human-generated emissions are responsible for the increase.

Given this ever-worsening trend, one would logically expect that are our major financial institutions would be pivoting rapidly from fossil fuel investments and toward investment in the development and installation of renewable energy. This is clearly the only response with the hope of safeguarding people and the planet.

To the peril of human and environmental health, however, banks globally are not only continuing to fund existing fossil fuel industries, but many are even financing the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure into new areas. And the worst bank in the world for climate? JPMorgan Chase.

In the three years since the Paris Agreement on Climate, JPMorgan Chase has become the world’s largest bank funder of:

  • fossil fuels to the tune of $196 billion; outpacing the next highest bank funder (Wells Fargo) by 29%;
  • the expansion of fossil fuels with $67 billion for Arctic drilling, ultra-deep water oil and gas extraction, tar sands oil extraction, coal mining, and support for liquefied natural gas import and export facilities.

We are seeing massive and unconscionable increases in fossil fuel investment, driving the climate to ever greater chaos. US banks are at the forefront of this funding, especially JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America.

While these US mega-banks are leading the way to climate catastrophe, banks globally have followed the same direction, bringing fossil fuel financing to $1.9 trillion since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2018.

What can we do to help stop Big Bank financing of fossil fuels? There are several actions to take:

1. Read Banking on Climate Change, endorsed by more than 150 organizations including Green America, so you have the latest facts from the Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card: educate yourself and your community!

2. Don’t bank with a mega-banks that funds fossil fuels. Get a better bank or credit union that supports communities and the environment. When you switch banks, be sure to tell the bank why you switched. Here is a sample letter.

3. Take our JPMorgan Chase action today! Tell CEO Jamie Dimon to halt investment in fossil fuel expansion, phase out funding for existing fossil fuels in accordance with the Paris Agreement, respect human rights that are regularly abused by fossil fuel extraction, and support renewable energy development and installation.

4. Organize educational events or local leafletting actions at JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Bank of America saying No Thanks, Fossil Banks, using our free downloadable flyers:

                * JPMorgan Chase

                * Wells Fargo

                * Citi

                * Bank of America

We haven’t a moment to lose – and together we can make a real difference for the climate for the sake of people and the planet and future generations.



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