WASHINGTON – Stop the Money Pipeline, a coalition of dozens of groups dedicated to ending the financing of climate destruction, is announcing a major Day of Action for this April 23, 2020, as part of three days of youth-led Climate Strikes around the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.
Stop the Money Pipeline organizers are expecting hundreds of events to take place on April 23rd targeting the financial institutions who are doing the most to wreck the climate. There will be sit-ins, teach-ins, and petition deliveries at bank branches; protests outside of company headquarters; actions on university campuses; and more.
At the top of its target list is JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank financier of fossil fuels. In the three years following the Paris Climate Agreement, Chase poured over $196 billion into new fossil fuel projects, according to the Banking on Climate Change fossil fuel finance report card released by the Rainforest Action Network. Chase has come under increasing pressure from activists over the past few months, with demonstrators interrupting a recent speech by CEO Jamie Dimon in Florida this February, and nearly weekly demonstrations at bank branches across the country. The Stop the Money Pipeline campaign began with a sit-in at a Chase Bank branch in Washington, D.C. that garnered national media attention.
Other targets for the April 23rd day of action include: Liberty Mutual, a leading insurer of fossil fuel projects; BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, who despite its recent announcements, continues to pump billions of dollars into fossil fuels and deforestation; and universities and pension funds who have failed to divest from fossil fuels. At many universities, students have given their administrations until Earth Day to divest or face protests on campus. Last week, there were divestment rallies on over 50 campuses across the country for Fossil Fuel Divestment Day.
The April 23rd Stop the Money Pipeline day of action is being organized as the second of three days of Climate Strikes that young people are planning around the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. The three days will demonstrate the growing power of the climate movement and go after the two drivers of the climate emergency: money and politics.
On Day 1 of the strikes, Earth Day, the mobilization will begin with actions designed to show the breadth and depth of the climate movement, centering the leadership of Indigenous people, frontline communities, and people of color. Day 2, Thursday, April 23, will be Stop the Money Pipeline Day, focused on ending the financing of climate destruction. Day 3, Friday, April 24, will target elected officials and include a massive voter registration push.
The April actions will be accompanied by a major online push to get individuals and institutions to ditch their banks, insurance companies, and asset managers that are fueling the climate crisis and switch to sustainable alternatives. A video of Jane Fonda cutting up a Chase credit card has already been viewed nearly a million times and inspired hundreds of comments from people saying that they’re prepared to do the same if Chase doesn’t stop funding fossil fuels.
The Stop the Money Pipeline Day of Action will take place just weeks before shareholder season, when JP Morgan Chase and others are expected to come under pressure from shareholders to do more to address the climate emergency. Last week, Majority Action, a member of the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition, launched a campaign to oust former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond from his position as chair of the board of JP Morgan Chase. Meanwhile, at Barclays a group of influential shareholders is pressuring the bank to cut its ties with fossil fuel firms. And all eyes will be on BlackRock and State Street, as this shareholder season is the first test of recent announcements from both asset managers that they will starting using their voting power to push companies on climate change and vote out corporate leadership that doesn’t act on climate.
According to the organizers at Stop the Money Pipeline, this is just the beginning. Now that the climate movement is following the money, it won’t let up until not a penny more is invested in climate destruction.