Chase is committing to ending the funding of coal and Arctic oil and gas projects, but MUST go further.

posted by Jason Disterhoft

Breaking news! Last week, JPMorgan Chase said it will rule out funding for coal plants around the world, and for oil and gas projects in the Arctic. It also committed to cutting ties with big coal miners completely.

Yes, this is a major step forward in our efforts to get the finance sector to make the changes we need to heal the climate and protect communities around the world.

Is it enough to make up for the damage Chase has already done to forests and the climate? Absolutely not. But we don’t want to glaze over the fact that YOU moved the #1 fossil fuel bank in the world a little bit closer to fully #DefundClimateChange

*Short dance break*

But, Chase needs to do more for people and planet. WAY more.

Your dedication to people and planet has been incredible. You’ve shown up at Chase branches and shut them down, emailed executives urging them to act for the climate, called Jamie Dimon to tell him how disappointed you are, and you never let up.

After two years of showing up in every way, you moved the #1 banker of fossil fuels in the world closer to our goal. 

Chase has felt that heat. So it’s time to ride this momentum and turn it up even higher. We’re not going to let it off the hook with this weak policy.

Far from coincidentally, this response comes just two months after Goldman Sachs announced similar policies, and less than a week after the leak of a report written by two JPMorgan economists warning of “catastrophic consequences” if emissions are not slashed over the next 30 years. (And — even more breaking news — just yesterday, Wells Fargo became the third major U.S. bank to rule out Arctic oil and gas projects. This is momentum!)

So what did JPMorgan Chase really commit to? I’m glad you asked! Let’s break this down.

What the policy includes

  1. Prohibition on financing new coal-fired plants worldwide.
  2. Commitment to end financing for companies that get a majority of their revenue from coal mining.
  3. Prohibition on financing new oil and gas projects, offshore and onshore, in the Arctic, which includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  4. Prohibition on financing of new pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure projects in the Arctic.

What the policy is missing

More extensively covered in RAN’s briefer on this policy, there are gaping loopholes in this policy.

  1. Allows continued financing of companies that own coal-fired plants AND even companies that are building new coal-fired plants.
  2. Does not cover coal transport and services, like railways and terminals.
  3. Allows continued financing of companies involved in Arctic oil and gas development.
  4. Does not rule out exploration for oil and gas development in the Arctic, which can be destructive in itself.
  5. Does NOTHING to restrict JPMorgan Chase’s funding for tar sands extraction or pipelines.
  6. Does NOTHING to restrict JPMorgan Chase’s funding for fracking.
  7. Does NOTHING to restrict JPMorgan Chase’s funding for enormous liquefied natural gas terminals. 
  8. Does NOTHING to strengthen JPMorgan Chase’s failing Indigenous rights policy.
  9. Does NOTHING to cut funding for companies expanding fossil fuels!

How we move them further

Photo by Erik McGregor

The momentum is real, and now is the time to push Chase to where it really needs to be in this climate crisis: At the forefront of completely defunding climate change. This would take a big shift, which is why our response needs to be even stronger. 

Chase has for decades financed fossil fuel companies that have violated Indigenous rights, destroyed rainforests, endangered species, and wreaked havoc on the climate. It now needs to respond to the climate crisis on a scale equal to the damage it has done.

This campaign is far from over. It’s a major milestone for Chase to end funding of coal and Arctic oil and gas projects, but we need them to go even further. We know you’re going to keep showing up to remind them, and in the months to come the pressure is going to get so hot they’ll move even more. 

Say it loud and proud, “We moved Chase before and we CAN move Chase to defund climate change!”

We have Chase right where we want them, and they need to go further to undo the damage they’ve done.

Tell Chase it must immediately stop financing tar sands mines and pipelines, and stop financing any companies that are building new fossil fuel infrastructure.