Last Friday, members of Rising Tide Boston set up “Green Coal” marketing tables outside branches of Bank of America and Citibank to highlight these banks’ high-risk investments in coal power and mining.
Emulating the coal industry’s marketing pitch of “clean coal”, activists handed out samples of “green coal” while informing fellow citizens not to expect green coal to be clean, safe, or affordable.
“Although we’ve spent a lot of time and resources researching ways to make coal environmentally friendly, or ‘clean and green’, the best way we found to do it is to paint it green,” said Chris Santorum, one of the Green Coal Salespeople.
To watch a video of this event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doWqvWDRDGM
Rising Tide Boston has been working with local housing and poverty advocacy groups to demand that the big banks stop gambling with the future of people and planet. Real solutions to the climate crisis, that are market-ready and viable, would both address economic equity for local communities and directly reduce the disproportionate burden of impacts that working class communities around the world face from fossil fuel industries such as coal.
Despite the coal lobby’s desperate schemes to sell the “clean coal” concept, coal power generation remains dirty, unsafe and unaffordable as the following facts confirm.
- The coal industry is responsible for nearly 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions
- Toxic emissions from coal power plants cause over 26 000 deaths per year in the US alone
- An average coal plant is responsible for externalized environmental and public health costs of over 300 million dollars per year.
- There are currently 110 coal power plants slated for development in the U.S. none of which have the ability to capture the carbon they would emit.
“Without the financial backing of big banks like Citi and Bank of America, the coal industry wouldn’t be able to build over 100 new coal plants. We need real solutions to the climate crisis, not more coal industry greenwash,” said Lulu Debarca of Rising Tide Boston.