How to Choose a Bank That Doesn’t Profit From the Climate Crisis

If you’re trying to live a lifestyle that helps mitigate the effects of climate change, you may decide to fly less often or eat less meat. But what about changing banks?

As author and ecologist Bill McKibben explains in The New Yorker , financial institutions play a more significant role in climate change than we think:

Consider a bank like JPMorgan Chase, which is America’s largest bank and the world’s most expensive by market capitalization. In the three years since the conclusion of the Paris climate talks, Chase is reported to have pledged $ 160 billion to finance the fossil fuel industry, much of which has gone to fund extremely new ventures: ultra-deep drilling and drilling. Oil production in the Arctic and so on. In contrast, in each of these years, ExxonMobil has spent less than $ 3 billion on exploration, research and development. One hundred ninety-six billion dollars more than the market value of BP; it overshadows coal companies or oil companies. By that measure, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is almost unmatched in the oil, coal and gas tycoon.

His 6,000-word essay, “Money is the Oxygen That Burns the Fire of Global Warming,” is worth reading in full, but if you just want to summarize, here it is:

It is nearly impossible for most of us to stop using fossil fuels immediately, especially since in many places fossil fuels and utilities have made it difficult and costly to install solar panels on your roof. But changing bank accounts is simple and effective: Local credit unions and small-town banks are unlikely to invest in fossil fuels, and Beneficial State Bank and Amalgamated Bank provide fossil-free services on the West and East coasts, respectively. while Aspiration Bank offers them online. (And they are all connected to ATMs)

In addition to examining McKibben’s shortlisted credit unions and green banks ( Beneficial State Bank , Amalgamated Bank, and Aspiration Bank ), you can use the Rainforest Action Network Climate Change Banking report to see where your bank is at. ratings such as “Total Fossil Fuels Funding by Year”.

We also have guides to help you make your credit cards and investments more environmentally friendly:

As McKibben reminds us, it is nearly impossible to live a life completely cut off from fossil fuels. You might prefer to focus your green efforts on cycling rather than bank optimization – we all make those choices and make compromises. Think of it as another way to live an environmentally conscious life while spending and saving money in line with your values.

Lifehacker and our parent company, G / O Media, are involved in a global collaboration of more than 250 Covering Climate Now news agencies to increase coverage of the climate crisis. You can read more about the effort and other contributors here .


Leave a Reply