On the heels of Goldman Sachs and Blackrock announcements to divest from oil and gas, pressure is mounting on JPMorgan Chase, the world’s largest funder of fossil fuels
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 31, 2020 —Dozens of local activists launched the ‘Stop the Money Pipeline ‘campaign in Bay Area today with creative disruption at Chase Bank at [location to be disclosed]. These citizens are demanding that JPMorgan Chase – the largest funder of fossil fuels worldwide – defund fossil fuels immediately to protect the planet. The action was coordinated by the Bay Area Climate Coalition, which includes Extinction Rebellion SFBay Area, Rainforest Action Network, 350 Bay Area, 350 Silicon Valley, XR Youth, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Front Bay Area, and Diablo Rising Tide.
According to the “fossil fuel finance report card” published by a coalition of environmental organizations, JPMorgan Chase is the world’s top banker of fossil fuels. The bank has provided over $195 billion in financing to fossil fuel companies since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. Activist and actress Jane Fonda is helping to lead the call to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to stop funding the destruction of the planet.
Anthropogenic climate change, created by emissions from human activity being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and heating the globe, is causing the collapse of natural systems leading to forest fires, sea level rise, flooding, increasing storm systems and the extinction of species. Communities in California are feeling the impacts of climate change as deadly forest fires.
Other leading financial institutions are recognizing that the risk associated with destroying the planet is bad business. In December, 2019 Goldman Sachs announced that they were formally banning investments in coal and oil, including ceasing to fund Arctic drilling, and would be investing $750 billion in sustainable and climate focused initiatives over the next decade. In January, 2020 Blackrock, the largest asset management firm in the world, joined Climate Action 100+, an global group of investors mobilizing around climate change, and Chairman Larry Fink wrote in his 2020 letter to CEOs “we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance. The evidence on climate risk is compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance.”
While critics maintain that these financial institutions need to do more, it may only be a matter of time before the other shoe drops with mounting pressures from consumers, civil society and the very climate itself.
Chase customers are cutting up their credit cards as part of the #CutTheChaseChallenge. The Bay Area Climate Coalition recommends investing with socially and environmentally responsible banks or local credit unions. “A lot of people don’t know where their money sleeps at night. Moving your investments to align with your values is one of the biggest things you can do for the planet,” said Extinction Rebellion activist Sandra (last name omitted for privacy).