Last month, over a hundred climate activists, religious leaders, and community members kicked off a week of action in front of U.S. Bank headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, to call on the bank to stop toxic practices that harm our climate and communities. We’re still waiting for an answer.
U.S. Bank claims to take climate change seriously, yet they continue to provide billions of dollars in financing to the fossil fuel industry (including extensive financing for Enbridge Energy, the company behind the Alberta Clipper “secret Keystone” tar sands pipeline).
Right now, fossil fuel companies and risky oil and gas extraction projects are losing money. That means we have a real opportunity to hit them where it hurts — the financing.
Meanwhile, banks are in a unique position to help stall fossil fuel extraction and speed up the transition to a renewable energy economy. How fast we can make that transition is going to be key, and we need banks to be putting their resources in the right projects and industries, not digging us deeper into a hole.
While many banks are responding to the growing demand to divest from fossil fuels, U.S. Bank has so far failed to divest from even the worst fossil fuel offenders — like coal and tar sands — despite growing evidence that these industries are on their way out.
And fossil fuels aren’t the bank’s only problem: U.S. Bank also invests in predatory payday lending companies that trap people in a cycle of debt, and engages in unsound foreclosure practices that disproportionately affect families of color.
That’s why MN350 — together with a local coalition of racial and economic justice groups, as well as divestment groups around the country — is ramping up the pressure.
These toxic practices don’t work for us. They don’t work for people, they don’t work for our economy, and they don’t work for our climate.
U.S. Bank representatives promised to set up a meeting with us by March 5th to discuss their commitment to addressing climate change. They broke that promise.
The bank will only change its practices if we make it clear they can’t ignore us.
Your voice is important, so thank you for raising it.