Letter: Banks shouldn’t support an ‘unsustainable future’

Editor,

Scientists and climate activists all over the world, including Greta Thunberg, have warned us that it’s past time we all do something about the climate crisis.

We are guilty of living in a system set-up to consume goods and services that contribute to ever-growing fossil fuel emissions.

Every time we use a gasoline-powered car or carry produce in another plastic bag we’re contributing to that same crisis.

The system is set up so that it’s harder for us to control our carbon footprint. Society has been greatly influenced by dominant corporations who make obscene amounts of money through the fossil fuel industry.

The greatest guilt is placed upon those who plunder these fuels from the earth, refine and transport them.

These corporations, banks included, put fossil fuels at our disposal without considering the impacts to the environment and communities.

As of right now, we need these fuels to function as a society. So we, as a community, must induce policy change within our banks and local governments.

In the three years since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, big banks worldwide invested $1.9 trillion into extreme fossil fuels, e.g., tar sands, Arctic oil, fracking and more.

These projects will cause more CO2 emissions, resulting in catastrophic damage. Chase Bank alone is responsible for 10 percent of that $1.9 trillion dollar total, pouring most of its investments into new projects.

Wells Fargo has invested roughly 8 percent, making it the second top contributor of all banks worldwide.

These huge sums of money are why we, Whidbey’s own youth activists, are targeting both banks.

You may have noticed banners in front of these banks in Freeland declaring “This Bank Funds Fossil Fuels: Move Your Money.”

We have been protesting for 22 weeks, trying to let these banks and our community know that we will not stand by while Chase and Wells Fargo use our money to invest in an unsustainable future.

We want everyone to know that we are not protesting against the employees at either location, but that we are protesting the large amounts of money that these banks invest in fossil fuels and we encourage these institutions to transition their investments to clean energy.

So, what can you do?

You can choose to move your money to one of the many local banks and credit unions who will invest your money more responsibly.

Please tell Chase or Wells Fargo why you’re moving—and spread the word.

Annie Philp and Maggie Nattress

Langley

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