At least 40 climate activists were arrested on Friday at the New York offices of JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America, organizers said, as activists across the United States called on financial institutions to stop supporting destruction of the planet.
“We need our heads of government to act immediately … The climate crisis is here now.”
—Christina See, XR NYC
“People deny the mess we find ourselves in,” Kerith Creo of Extinction Rebellion (XR) NYC said. “We are sending the message loud and clear that the little action greenwashing politicians and CEOs have taken so far is not starting to address the scale of this crisis.”
The protest actions included the handing over of 150,000 petition signatures as part of the Stop the Money Pipeline (STMP) coalition’s ‘Deadline Glasgow: Defund Climate Chaos’ campaign to pressure banks ahead of the summit COP 26. of the United Nations which is due to start on October 31.
Despite promises of net zero emissions from financial institutions by 2050, the petition points out, “they provide loans, insurance and billions of investment capital to companies developing the fossil fuel industry and deforesting the Amazon. and other tropical forests, companies guilty of human rights violations and violations of indigenous sovereignty.
The petition calls for specific projects – such as Line 3 – and urges banks, insurers, asset managers and the Biden administration to “end their support for companies engaged in climate destruction and violations of human rights law. human rights “ahead of the two-week UN summit in Scotland.
The upcoming negotiations in Glasgow “are the most important international climate talks since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015,” STMP said in a statement Friday. “It’s also supposed to be ‘the COP on climate finance’.”
The coalition continued:
Scientists say that nearly 60% of oil and gas reserves and 90% of coal must remain in the ground to keep global warming below 1.5 ° C. This follows a groundbreaking report from International Energy [Agency] earlier this year who said “there is no need to invest in new supplies of fossil fuels in our trajectory of net zero”. Yet not a single bank on Wall Street has committed to reducing its oil and gas investments, and all still have some exposure to coal. In fact, the biggest fossil fuel financier, JPMorgan Chase, has publicly committed to funding oil and gas for years to come.
In New York, climate activists have set up a boat outside JPMorgan Chase’s office, urging the bank to “stop greenwashing”, and draped a banner that read “# 1 Funder of Climate Death” over the entrance to the building.
At the Bank of America office in Manhattan, “a half-dozen women blocked the entrance and a seventh woman sat in a hammock supported by a large tripod on the sidewalk,” according to XR. Outside the Citibank building, “militants set up camp on the lawn near the entrance and set up a tripod on which they locked themselves.”
“We’ve reached the breaking point,” said Christina See of XR NYC. “We need our government leaders to act immediately. The New York area killed more than 40 in record flooding just a few weeks ago. The climate crisis is here now.”
The remnants of Hurricane Ida, which originally made landfall in Louisiana on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, caused deadly flooding in the northeast, triggering warnings not only from climate activists, but also political leaders on what the future holds for them.
During a damage tour in New York and New Jersey, President Joe Biden said, “We need to listen to scientists, economists and national security experts. They all tell us it’s code red; the nation and the world are in danger. And this is not hyperbole. It’s a fact.”
Climate activists have responded to Biden’s comments by urging him to declare a national climate emergency and stop all fossil fuel projects, stressing his refusal to block the Line 3 oil sands pipeline that the people oppose. Native leaders and environmentalists in Minnesota.
The protests came as the US president held a climate meeting with leaders of major economies and confirmed a new global commitment to reduce methane pollution by at least 30% by 2030. The Biden event followed his leaders’ summit in April, in which he pledged to cut the global heating emissions in half by half during this decade.
Activists on Friday “closed 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle and disrupted the business of the Canadian Consulate, Chase and the Bank of America,” according to the Washington city arm of 350.org.
STMP Explain that “they are targeting the world’s largest funders of climate chaos, as well as the Canadian government, which bought the ailing Trans Mountain pipeline in 2018.”
Protests in New York, Seattle and beyond came as a new UN analysis found that recent emission reduction pledges made by governments ahead of COP 26 are far from ambitious enough to meet the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Agreement.
According to the new report, the world is on track for a 2.7 ° C warming or warming by 2100 – a revelation that prompted UN Secretary-General António Guterres to warn that a failure to reaching the Paris temperature target “will be measured by the massive loss of human life”. and livelihoods. “