We’re three months away from the crucial Paris climate conference, and some major U.S. banks have been taking the lead and committing to get out of coal.1 Here at Rainforest Action Network, we’ve been working behind the scenes to push Wall Street banks to drop coal across the board. We’ve seen positive signs from a number of banks. But in the meantime, we’ve also seen Morgan Stanley continue to finance coal’s worst of the worst.
Morgan Stanley has been banking the global coal industry’s worst corporations for years—and they refuse to face the realities of climate change. Morgan Stanley:
Conducted half a billion dollars worth of coal deals in 2014.2
Has a long-standing relationship with Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal mining company, which produced a quarter billion tons of coal last year.3
Financed $1.2 billion for the largest coal fired power plant operators in the world last year—including RWE, Europe’s largest single emitter of carbon dioxide.4
Continues to finance the horrific practice of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining—literally blowing off the tops of mountains to get at the coal inside, destroying ecosystems, and poisoning communities in beautiful rural Appalachia. Meanwhile, eleven of Morgan Stanley’s competitors have committed to cut financing for MTR.
For fifteen years, RAN and activists like you have been holding the U.S. banking sector accountable for its environmental and human rights impacts. Most recently, you successfully pushed Bank of America to drop coal mining after a four-year RAN campaign.5 Earlier this year, Crédit Agricole, the third-biggest bank in Europe, also adopted a major new coal policy. It’s past time for Morgan Stanley and the rest of Wall Street to meet and exceed these pledges by dropping financing for coal mining and coal power.
In the run-up to December’s vital climate conference in Paris, RAN has joined with more than 130 climate organizations worldwide to call on the global banking sector to end financing for coal mining and coal-fired power.6 We’re seeing a broad call for a comprehensive transition away from fossil fuels, from everyone from communities on the frontlines of climate change to the world’s elected officials. This is a make-or-break moment for the global banking sector to do its part in moving us toward a post-carbon economy. With the Paris climate conference less than three months away, it’s time for U.S. banks to drop coal once and for all.
1. “Bank of America Backs Away from Funding Coal Mining,” Huffington Post, May 6, 2015
2. Rainforest Action Network, 2015 Coal Finance Report Card, p. 34
3. “Peabody Energy Announces Results For The Year Ended December 31, 2014”, Jan. 27, 2015
4. Rainforest Action Network, 2015 Coal Finance Report Card, p. 40
5. Rainforest Action Network, “Bank of America Campaign Timeline”, May 6, 2015
6. Paris Pledge, http://dotheparispledge.org/