Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/INMSolidaritySF/
San Francisco: Hundreds Demand Wells Fargo Ceases Funding the Climate Crisis; Demand Ousting of Its Board Chair Charles Noski over Failure of Leadership
Broad coalition of hundreds of Indigenous, youth, grandmothers, and other climate activists to block streets, hold rally, jointly painted giant mural outside Wells Fargo HQ to call out megabank for continuing to fuel the climate crisis
Groups are calling for accountability from Wells Fargo leadership, who continue to fail frontline communities, the planet, and future generations
From Wells Fargo HQ, they will march to BlackRock offices to demand the asset manager votes out Charles Noski during shareholder season
San Francisco — On Friday morning, hundreds of activists will take to the streets of San Francisco to demand Wells Fargo takes responsibility for its role in the climate crisis by immediately changing course. The broad coalition of groups are united in a call for Wells Fargo to defund the Line 3 pipeline and hold its leadership to account for failure to act on climate, beginning with the removal of Board Chair Charles H. Noski.
The action will be led by Indigenous, youth, seniors, labor, and other climate advocates, with groups involved ranging from NDN Collective and Idle No More to 1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations, Earth Guardians, Mennonites, and Silicon Valley Climate Action Now. The groups call for urgent climate action, a halting of the Line 3 Pipeline’s construction, and the termination of any corporate leaders not taking definitive measures to reverse their companies’ contribution to global emissions and fossil fuel expansion, on the grounds that they are not only incompetent, but a threat to future generations. The participating groups will jointly paint a 200’ X 25’ banner on Montgomery Street, outside of Wells Fargo HQ.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/282846953288589
The action began with a blockade of Montgomery Street outside of Wells Fargo Headquarters, where ten or more groups will paint large street murals demanding the defunding of Line 3, the firing of Noski, and the defense of land, water, and Indigenous rights. The murals will be surrounded by hundreds of socially distanced people, many holding signs with photos of younger relatives or friends, with the urgent call to “Protect Future Generations.” After a rally with numerous speakers, the groups will continue to BlackRock’s San Francisco Headquarters, where they will again block the street and hold a second rally, calling on the world’s largest investor (as well as Wells Fargo’s second largest shareholder) to use its voting power this shareholder season to vote out Charles Noski for his failure to incorporate climate change into his leadership of the bank.
Background: Wells Fargo has been the world’s third worst banker of fossil fuels since the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, with $223 billion in lending and underwriting between 2016 and 2020. It is the world’s leading funder of fracked oil and gas.
Instead of taking the necessary action to end its funding of fossil fuel expansion, Wells Fargo continues to invest in and profit off the industries fueling climate change. That includes continuing to fund and advise Enbridge on its construction of the Line 3 pipeline, which would pump tar sands, the dirtiest form of oil, from Alberta, across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The pipeline’s route endangers the Great Lakes, home to one fifth of the world’s fresh water, and some of the most delicate soils, aquifers, and pristine lakes in northern Minnesota, It also threatens critical resources on Ojibwe treaty lands, where tribal members retain the rights to hunt, fish, gather, hold ceremony, and travel. The pipeline would have a climate impact equivalent to bringing 50 new coal plants online or adding 38 million gasoline cars to the road. Line 3 and its route have seen escalating Indigenous-led dissent and pressure, with groups on the ground struggling to defend the land, water, and Indigenous sovereignty.
Because of Wells Fargo’s failure to respond to the struggle against Line 3, to stop funding climate chaos, or to realign its fossil fuel financing and policies to limit global warming to 1.5°C, groups like BlackRock’s Big Problem and Majority Action are calling on investors of Wells Fargo to vote hold Wells Fargo’s leadership accountable, beginning with the firing of Charles Noski.
The physical and financial risks posed by climate change to long-term investors are systemic, portfolio-wide, unhedgeable and undiversifiable. Therefore, companies like Wells Fargo that fail to align their business with limiting warming to 1.5°C pose risks to the financial system as a whole, and to investors’ entire portfolios.