Fossil fuels aren’t extracted from the Earth without money. Pipelines aren’t built without money. Destructive industries, like dirty energy, don’t grow without money.
Banks are financing the climate crisis.
We’ve gone right to the source to challenge the banks that finance fossil fuel projects, and ultimately, climate chaos. As revealed in our 2020 report, Banking on Climate Change, 35 banks have funneled $2.7 trillion into fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement in 2016.
Big banks have epically failed to respond to the climate crisis. Fossil finance is climate damage, and year over year, global banks have ignored the devastating impacts of increasing funding for dirty energy. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America are the top four bankers of climate chaos, accounting for nearly a third of fossil fuel finance from 35 banks.
Many also finance deforestation and peatland destruction, also major drivers of climate change and human rights impacts. And to top it all off, big banks also harm our communities by financing private prisons and guns, engaging in predatory and discriminatory lending practices, and more.
Needless to say, big banks are some of the worst climate, forest, and human rights offenders. Communities across the United States and around the globe are facing the devastating effects of climate change, in the form of wildfires, hurricanes, droughts and floods. Indigenous people are disproportionately on the front lines of impacts from, and resistance to, both climate change and fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.
To address the root causes of climate change, and protect people from the impacts of climate change and pipeline projects, we must stop fossil fuels from being extracted and burned and keep our forests intact. And that starts with banks.
The future is clear: Coal has become unbankable
As banks felt the pressure of people power to change their practices and care about the world, coal has been the first fossil fuel to go. Banks are being forced to face the facts: Mining and burning coal will not create a stable climate.
Coal mining and power have grave consequences for the climate, but also violate fundamental human rights. Banks’ choice to profit from fossil fuels can force resettlement, contaminate critical drinking water supplies, destroy livelihoods that support communities, and provoke a violent response to peaceful protests against environmental damage.
Coal is a bad investment for people and planet, and because people on the frontlines, and supporters around the world, demanded an end to burning coal, it’s now a bad investment for banks. In the past 2 years, the biggest coal companies in the U.S. have gone bankrupt.
In May 2015, after a 4 year campaign by RAN Bank of America became the first major bank to commit to step away from coal mining. Now, all six big Wall Street banks are moving away from coal mining. Globally, 24 banks have policies moving them away from financing coal mining and coal power.
We’re closer, but there’s still crucial work to be done – all 6 big Wall Street banks still allow funding of coal power companies, many of which are building new coal plants.
How we win against big banks.we find the right targets, and we take action. Bank of America, Citi, Chase – when banks are causing the most destruction, we take the fight to their doorstep.
We tackle some of the biggest problems of the 21st century — climate change, extreme fossil fuel extraction, massive deforestation and rampant labor abuse. But we don’t target one company at a time. We target whole industrial sectors. We fight for systemic change because it’s not about what is possible — it’s about what is necessary.
Our demands of the banks funding the climate crisis.
The era of big banks avoiding responsibility for the very real-world consequences of their investment decisions is over. Emissions have to drop by almost half by 2030 and going forward, the banks’ fossil financing has to match that trajectory.
Big banks must take responsibility, and play an integral part in initiating the move away from fossil fuels. We’ve taken on the tasks of pushing these banks to defund climate change, specifically the world’s worst banker of climate change: JPMorgan Chase.
We fight the big fights, we ask the big asks, and with you, we can win. Take action and tell big banks, like Chase, to defund climate change and ditch fossil fuels for good.