As we continue to fight for progress towards a healthy planet and stable climate, there is a group of wealthy, greed-driven corporations that are working against us; and they are given hand-outs by the very banks keeping our money ‘safe’. When I say hand-outs, I am talking BILLIONS of dollars of free money straight into the hands of those running the fossil fuel industry so they can continue to thrive, expand projects and do irreparable damage to our planet.
Let me backtrack. We’ve heard that fossil fuels are bad for the environment, here’s a short version of why: First, the extraction methods like ‘mountaintop removal mining’ (which is as bad as it sounds) and ‘fracking’ are responsible for destroying entire ecosystems and the wildlife living in them. Secondly, we need to burn fossil fuels in order to get energy, and this causes massive amounts of CO2 to be released into our atmosphere which in turn warms our climate – feeding the burning fire, quite literally.
I was curious to see whether my bank was on the long list of fossil fuel financers. Here is a snapshot of the banks and the dollar amounts given between 2016 – 2018:
JPMorgan Chase – more than $195 billion
Wells Fargo – over $151 billion
Bank of America – over $106 billion
RBC – a whopping $100 billion
TD – $74+ billion
Scotiabank – over $69 billion
Banks of Montreal – $56 billion
Since 2016, JUST AFTER the Paris Agreement called for “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”, 33 banks invested 1.9 trillion in fossil fuel financing. COME ON, SERIOUSLY? Banks are the largest financier of fossil fuel projects…
In our current state of crisis, all funding should be directed towards green energy, afforestation plans and all other climate-focused initiatives. Banks have to consider the impact their loans have on the environment and society, not just on their portfolios.