According to a new report by Rainforest Action Network the banking sector is a major source of climate disruption, perpetuating the reliance on dirty energy sources and enabling polluters. The report states that despite the fact that the insurance industry has identified climate change as a significant risk of loss, banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase continue to invest in polluting energy industries like coal at the expense of renewables like wind and solar.
“Banks will need to shift financing from fossil fuel-based power sources to low-carbon energy infrastructure for our communities and the climate,” said Ben Collins, Research and Policy Campaigner for RAN in a statement. “One way of doing that is by measuring the climate impact of investments and committing to reduction targets for financed emissions, now.”
The report also points to the fact that despite the “reputational and financial risks [associated with financing dirty energy], the world’s largest banks have yet to measure the greenhouse gas emissions induced by their investing and financing relationships.”
Wall Street is hardly alone in its dangerous enabling of climate change and climate change denialism. The media has been all to willing to grant equal time to climate change denialists in the name of “fairness” and without holding those “skeptics” to any level of rigor in fact-checking. Let’s be frank, even having one of these climate truther theories pass the “smell test” would be an improvement in the overall reporting by the mainstream media on the issue of climate change.
The big banks will do whatever the big banks need to do to turn a profit. And that usually comes at the greatest cost to middle class lives and livelihoods. In that respect Hurricane Sandy is a little like the foreclosure crisis: both were created by Wall Street and in both Wall Street has somehow managed to escape accountability.
Photo from Alex E. Proimos via flickr.