Did you hear? Rainforest Action Network is focused on the Bay State now. Massachusetts is home to several of Bank of America’s top executives, and if the company took a leadership role in addressing its financed emissions, other institutions would follow suit. Big banks are instead keeping the most polluting energy companies afloat – and so far, these banks have prevented the least polluting alternatives from growing to meaningful scale.
As both popular and political discussions in the U.S. finally move away from whether or not climate change is happening to which climate policies to adopt, the economics of climate change must remain front and central. Anyone claiming to be a responsible public servant will need to do just that. By working across the public and private sector, lawmakers and financial institutions can speed up the transition.
We have no time to waste. When it comes to taking to bold actions to shift our economy away from fossil fuels, we need leaders who can support solutions to keep the largest banks in check and end the legacy of propping up old energy infrastructure that poses threats to our communities. We need leaders who are willing to commit to the most difficult tasks, deliver truth and invite solidarity.
Constituents are certainly giving their blessing. Americans across generations are volunteering for campaigns, speaking out at rallies and sitting-in, all to demand climate accountability from our elected-leaders and corporate executives. With the prospect of shiny new Massachusetts leadership and an urgent need to move climate action forward in Washington, we all may be in luck.
What if US Senators would lead? Imagine what can happen if Senator Warren (big bank watchdog) teams up with both an interim Senator Barney Frank (big bank insider) and a Senator-elect Ed Markey (climate champion), particularly around holding banks accountable for their climate-forcing role. And imagine what you can do to back them up.
Bostonians at large have a role to play in the green economy expansion too. Over the next couple months in Boston, we are bringing together various local voices concerned about Bank of America’s failure to act responsibly with respect to its direct climate and community impacts. A united Boston voice can accelerate the shift from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable alternatives.
With Bank of America’s customer satisfaction at an 11-year low, and 36 new coal-fired power plants in the national pipeline (and 1,200 proposed worldwide), the time is right for Bank of America to take the lead on financing America’s clean energy transition.