Climate Change Groups Want Action Against Wall Street

A letter submitted to John Kerry by 145 climate change groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth is calling for action to be taken on Wall Street to reduce the amount of money invested in fossil fuel companies and recognize the impact they play in the planet’s changing temperature.

They have detailed their concerns in a letter sent to the Presidential Envoy for Climate, declaring “As long as U.S. firms continue to pour more money into the drivers of climate change, they are actively undermining President Biden’s climate goals.” 

The letter went on to state the ongoing issues with funding the industries that are damaging the environment: “Today we write to request your support and leadership in urgently addressing one of the most important and overlooked drivers of climate change: ending the flow of private finance from Wall Street to the industries driving climate change around the world — fossil fuels and forest-risk commodities,”

“We must recognize that Wall Street isn’t yet an ally,” they stated, naming some of the largest lenders associated, such as New York-based banks notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., for their contributions to industries that are intensifying climate change globally, stating they are “a long way from the leading edge of climate justice.”

Respectively, they requested that John Kerry act and press U.S. corporations to seize from investing further into “pure-play” coal, oil and gas. They highlighted this by stating Kerry should be applying pressure to banks and insurers who have already pledged their corporations to have net-zero fossil fuel emissions and to further promote their efforts, including by “an immediate end to financing for fossil fuel expansion” and “a phase-out of all financing for fossil fuel projects.” 

“Until we can hold Wall Street firms to account, no amount of new green-finance commitments can credibly undo the damage that their fossil-fuel financing is doing to the climate, to U.S. climate leadership, and to our chances of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement,” the collective stated.

The State Department spokesperson, which includes Kerry’s office, said “There’s no question the climate crisis requires assertive government action. But given the global funding gap, we cannot look to the government alone to deliver the resources we need. We also need the full engagement of the private sector. So even as we work to pursue the most ambitious climate agenda in history, we are focused on mobilizing public and private sector financing alike”.

The letter comes as the Biden administration praises its efforts to tackle climate change, such as re-joining the Paris climate agreement, a key goal of which was pushing financial markets away from fossil fuels, and ordering the creation of a climate plan, which Kerry said would include “ending international financing of fossil fuel projects with public money.

By Tim Strange

Tim Strange is Director of US Sales and Operations. While at NGP he has supported the roll out of its online price-comparison engine, BusinessEnergyQuotes.com, which is tailored to SMEs and sole traders. He has also managed our sales operation based in Leeds, helping them outperform their targets. Tim is now focused on driving further growth in Texas, with our US operation.

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