On March 20, 2023, the world’s top scientists from the IPCC told us we have less than 7 years to cut global fossil fuel use in half if we have any chance of keeping our climate from overheating past the 1.5°C danger zone. We’re already seeing crop failures, increased food prices, and climate disasters at just 1.2°C. Without rapid action, we’re on course to surpass 2°C or more — with devastating consequences for all of us.
Given this urgency, it is unacceptable that U.S. banks — including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs — are continuing to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into fossil fuel companies and their dirty expansion projects, being responsible for 26% of the $150 billion in fossil fuel expansion financing by 60 global banks in 2022.
The Big 6 U.S. Banks are some of the world’s biggest bankers of fossil fuels, and as such, we have a set of clear demands for you:
1. Prohibit all finance for fossil fuel expansion immediately
2. Adopt absolute financed emissions reduction targets
3. Demand robust transition plans from all existing fossil fuel clients
4. Establish zero-tolerance policies and due diligence mechanisms to protect Indigenous peoples’ and human rights
5. Scale up financing for a just & fair transition
These are necessary steps for aligning the Big 6 U.S Banks with a world in which climate change is limited to 1.5°C and human rights are fully respected.
Judged against this benchmark, all Big 6 U.S Banks’ recent 2030 targets are clearly inadequate. Reduction in carbon intensity still allows for expansion of fossil fuels and increases in absolute emissions, during the decade when we need to cut absolute emissions in half.
We are now in the decisive decade for the climate, and we need to see meaningful policies NOW.