Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tell America's Banks: Clean Energy Now!

Co-Op America, one of my favorite non-profit organizations on the planet (that serves to help the planet!) is urging us to tell America's banks that we want clean energy now. We CAN make a difference and sway the organizations we support to continue to serve our wants and needs.

The tide is turning for coal, which is a devastating environmental call (if you have ever seen a coal plant live, it is the most disgusting thing ever!) Good new is that three of America’s biggest investment banks – Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan Chase – announced that they have developed new “Carbon Principles,” calling for increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and limited investments in coal.

The door is still open for these three banks to invest in coal – if it can be shown to turn a profit – and their new standards don’t go far enough in limiting other polluting technologies, or in funding green energy solutions, so we need to communicate our desire as customers of all institutions that we won't settle for pollution.

A recent study released by Ceres ranked the world’s banks on their commitment to addressing carbon emissions, with European banks taking the top five slots in their survey. And compared to community investing banks and credit unions nationwide, which set the standard for lending that helps communities and the environment, America’s largest banks are in the dark ages.

Help Co-op America help you as a banking and financial services customer, to reach out to four of America’s largest banks – Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia – and tell them they need to do more on climate change. They need to end all financing of coal, set targets for the reductions of CO2 emissions for all their borrowers, and set targets for investments in energy efficiency and renewables.

A few years ago, 150 new coal-fired power plants were proposed across the country. Co-op America’s members and e-activists raised their voices to say to no to the utilities that propose coal plants and the banks that finance them, and in the last two years, 15 plants opposed by Co-op America have been canceled – with dozens more canceled after local and national opposition. We need to keep the momentum up to convince banks that coal is never a good investment.


No comments: