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San Francisco – Today, dozens of activists locked down the Chase bank branch in downtown San Francisco at the corner of Powell and Post across from Union Square, half a block up from the Westin Hotel where the Chase Healthcare Conference is underway.
“We’re here to ring the alarm that while JPMorgan Chase pretends to care about health, it’s funneling billions into fossil fuels and fossil fuel mega-infrastructure projects that are contributing directly to the biggest health crisis of our time: climate change,” said Emma Lierley of Rainforest Action Network, one of the protestors arrested this morning.
The World Health Organization’s latest report underscores that the main driver of climate change is fossil fuel combustion, and it’s already having a serious impact on human lives and health. According to the WHO’s report, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths, per year, between 2030 and 2050.
“Major financial institutions like Chase are increasingly being called out as linchpins that must be held accountable for their huge influence in propping up key sectors like fossil fuels, which a consensus of scientists agree are critical to determining the future livability of the planet,” said Laurel Sutherlin with Rainforest Action Network.
Chase is the biggest Wall Street funder of fossil fuels, including the most extreme and destructive kinds: tar sands, Arctic oil; ultra-deepwater oil; fracked gas; liquefied fracked gas (LNG) export; and coal mining and power. It is also a major funder of oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest.
Most recently JPMorgan Chase increased multiple lines of credit to TransCanada, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and according to RAN’s research, Chase was the biggest U.S. backslider (and third biggest global backslider), with extreme fossil fuel financing more than $4 billion higher in 2017 than 2016.
Post-IPCC report, the evidence is clearer than ever that to stay under 1.5 degrees climate change, a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels must occur. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase has greatly increased its financing of extreme fossil fuels in recent years, especially to tar sands oil and coal mining, according to RAN’s report, “Banking on Climate Change 2018.”