Our natural world, and the future of humanity, is in a deep crisis. And it’s not because you used that plastic fork.
We all know the daunting truth: Massive-scale extraction and burning of the earth’s resources, like precious forests and dirty fossil fuels, is driving our climate to a state of chaos. And while the light bulbs and recycling habits of everyday folks do add up, it’s the overall system and those at the top that are destroying our future. If we’re looking for people to blame, our fingers should be pointed at the vile decisions of a few dozen rich guys.
Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. A brilliant resource at Decolonial Atlas names and shames these 100 fossil fuel executives—almost all men—as the Top 100 People Killing the Planet.
Fossil fuel companies can’t destroy the planet without outside help. While some of those companies are government funded, many rely heavily on financing from banks. The map below adds another layer to the entangled web of destructive fossil fuels by naming the CEOs and top leadership of the largest finance companies in the world. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016, these 32 banks have funneled $1.9 TRILLION into fossil fuels.
From New York’s Wall Street, to Tokyo’s Marunouchi District, to France’s La Defense financial center, transactions to the dirtiest companies are approved every day by bank executives, actively undermining efforts to address the key factors of climate change and contributing to a lion’s share of the global climate crisis.
Next to each name is the bank’s rank, #1 being the worst. We calculated this by adding up bank financing to 100 key oil, gas, and coal companies with massive plans to continue expanding fossil fuels around the world. JPMorgan Chase holds this shameful #1 spot. The bank financed over $67 billion to these 100 companies from 2016-2018, empowering fossil fuel companies to keep building new dirty projects.
And if you add up financing to all of the world’s fossil fuel companies in those years, Chase is still the #1 banker of fossil fuels in the world, at a staggering $196 billion in financing.
Chase CEO Jamie Dimon knows his bank is the worst funder of fossil fuels; we’ve let him know over and over and over again. But he still doesn’t seem to care enough. Although he frequently comments on big issues like education, healthcare, and immigration, Dimon hardly ever mentions climate change. And, like all the big banks outside of Europe, JPMorgan Chase has no real policies on fossil fuel expansion and phase-out, meaning Dimon is failing to do his part to slow climate chaos.
To address the root causes of climate change, we must stop fossil fuels from being extracted and burned and keep our forests intact. To do that, we have to push financial institutions to stop funding these projects and companies once and for all.