Denver, April 10, 2019 –– A large coalition of activists and community leaders rallied today in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs and 20 other locations across the country for a national day of action holding the world’s worst funder of fossil fuels, JPMorgan Chase, accountable for its financing practices. Since the Paris Agreement, JPMorgan Chase has provided $196 billion in finance for fossil fuels.
Chase branches shut down temporarily in Colorado Springs and Boulder in response to the peaceful protests, not allowing customers or anyone else in the offices. Managers took letters from those gathered demanding that they stop funding fossil fuels and thereby the climate crisis. In Boulder, protestors held a “die in” in the lobby for eleven minutes, signifying that this is the 11th hour and referencing the 11 years scientists say we have to rapidly decrease greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid climate catastrophe.
“JPMorgan Chase must take responsibility for being the top financier of climate disaster that is destroying lives and entire communities, contributing to ocean acidification and a global species extinction crisis, and has already cost our nation an estimated $350 billion over the last decade in disaster relief,” said Micah Parkin of 350 Colorado, a climate movement organization that is one of the organizations planning three April 10th actions in Colorado. “We and numerous partner organizations call on Chase to stop financing fossil fuel projects. Until that happens, we suggest banking elsewhere.”
According to the Banking on Climate Change 2019 report, Chase is by far the world’s worst banker of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion, making it the worst banker of climate change. JPMorgan Chase’s volume of finance for fossil fuels 2016-2018 is a shocking 29% higher than the second placed bank, Wells Fargo; and it’s $67 billion in finance for the companies expanding fossil fuels is 68% higher than that of Citi, in distant second place.
Demonstrations spanning from New York to California sprung up outside Chase branches throughout the day. Most relevant here in Colorado is the fact that Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America are together funding ⅓ of all fracking, which is raising serious concern over threats to health and safety of Colorado communities. Across North America, Chase is also funding three proposed tar sands pipelines that threaten natural ecosystems, violate Indigenous people’s rights, and further lock us into fossil fuel dependency at a time when we know we must rapidly phase out of coal, oil and gas and transition to clean energy.
“Chase is funding this climate crisis at an increasing rate and we need to call them to account for their actions,” said Tess Geyer, Climate and Energy Organizer at Rainforest Action Network, who along with 350 Seattle helped spur the Nationwide Day of Action. “Today’s funding of these industries equals tomorrow’s climate chaos.”
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report makes it clear that we only have a little more than a decade to halve emissions in order to limit the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This means banks must end their support for fossil fuels and cease financing further expansion of any fossil fuels.
“When I learned that JP Morgan Chase Bank is the largest bank in the world contributing to fossil fuel projects, that was enough for me to want to take our funds out,” said Neshama Abraham, a customer of Chase Bank in Boulder and co-founder of the Athena Gold Holdings Group, a $200,000 investment fund that supports sustainable activities like regenerative farming, local food production, and entrepreneurial technology solutions. “Ours is a decision to align our money with our values. We move our money as we encourage the world to move away from fossil fuels and toward a renewable energy economy. We hope other investors and bank customers will consider a similar action.”
Check out our Facebook Live Video from the Boulder Action Here
- Environmental Activists Target JP Morgan Chase Over Fossil Fuel Investments – KGNU Denver/Boulder
Climate activists protest JPMorgan Chase at downtown Boulder branch – Boulder Daily Camera, By Cassa Niedringhaus
- Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Boulder Weekly, by Will Brenza