Senior Communications Strategist
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PLANO, TEXAS, May 15, 2018 — The quickly growing international campaign pressuring JPMorgan Chase to end its massive funding of extreme fossil fuels continued to escalate today as a delegation representing Indigenous and nonindigenous communities from Canada to Ecuador and across the U.S. gathered at Chase’s annual shareholder meeting in Plano, Texas. The delegation represents the broad range of people suffering harm from the environmental, Indigenous rights and climate impacts connected to the bank’s financing of the most dangerous and polluting forms of fossil fuels.
Among major U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase is the biggest funder of extreme fossil fuels: tar sands, Arctic oil, ultra-deepwater oil, liquefied natural gas export, and coal mining and power. It is also a major funder of oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest.
An open letter penned by the delegation to shareholders, spotlights JPMorgan Chase in particular because of the unique scale and seriousness of the consequences stemming from its funding choices. “Jamie Dimon opens his most recent shareholder letter by boasting that JPMorgan Chase has ‘helped communities large and small.’ He omits mention of the other side of the balance sheet – the harm that his bank has done to communities like ours through its fossil fuel financing,” reads the delegation in the open letter.
Today’s protest comes just one week after a nationwide day of action saw hundreds of people engage in demonstrations at Chase branches in cities across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Minneapolis. In downtown Seattle, 14 arrests were made after demonstrators staged a dramatic action that shut down the streets outside while others occupied Chase’s regional headquarters.
A briefing paper released recently by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) reveals that in spite of the urgent climate crisis and a public commitment to the Paris Agreement, JPMorgan Chase is doubling down on some of the most carbon-intensive, financially risky, and environmentally destructive fossil fuel sectors. According to the paper, which highlights data from Banking on Climate Change 2018, Chase is the biggest U.S. backslider, with extreme fossil fuel financing more than $4 billion higher in 2017 than 2016. For coal mining, the bank’s financing in 2017 was a startling 21 times higher than the previous year — this despite the bank’s policy to reduce its credit exposure to coal mining companies. And in the Amazon, a report from Amazon Watch shows that the bank invests heavily in companies with licenses to explore and/or drill in the Amazon rainforest on or near the territories of Indigenous nations that oppose oil extraction on their lands.
Delegates attending the AGM include Joye Braun of Indigenous Environmental Network, Tara Houska of Honor the Earth, Cherri Foytlin of Louisiana Rise, Cedar George-Parker of the Indigenous Youth Council, Bryan Parras of Sierra Club and Deyadira Arellano of the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS), Jessica Lorena Rangel of Eyes of a Dreamer, Paul Corbit Brown of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, Yolonda Bluehorse and Frankie Orona of the Society of Native Nations, Manari Ushigua of the Sápara Nation in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Juan Mancias of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas and Patrick McCully of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Diana Best of Greenpeace USA and others.