Krista Kurth, Ph.D.
Join the National Day of Action on 3/21/23 to Stop Major Banks Funding Fossil Fuels
6 Ways You Can Participate
The science is clear. We must stop burning fossil fuels. Even the IEA, created to secure the global oil supply, agrees. In their last analysis, called NZE2050, they state there is “no case for further expansion or exploration of fossil fuels anywhere from now on.” Yet, the major banks (specifically Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo) continue to fund new oil and gas development. In 2021 alone, they provided $742 billion to the fossil fuel industry, about the same amount as 2020.
Do you want your money and retirement savings to be used to further the climate crisis or do you want to help stop the fossil fuel industry from adding more fuel to the climate fire?
If, like me, you want the world to phase out fossil fuels, then I encourage you to use the power of your money to do so. The oil and gas industry can't exist without money from banks, which get their lending resources from all of us. You can wield your personal power by joining me at the National Day of Action to Stop Dirty Banks that Third Act is organizing. Other climate advocacy groups, like 350.org, Stop the Money Pipeline, and Greenfaith, are supporting the effort to demand the four “dirtiest” banks stop funding the climate crisis.
On 3-21-23, people from across the country will gather in front of local branches of the four major banks for a non-violent demonstration. I will be at the event in Washington, DC, where I will take part in a rally, a March of Action (stopping at all four bank’s branches) and getting the message out loud and clear. The message we will send is “If you don’t move money out of fossil fuels, we will move our money out of your banks.” I plan on having a lot of fun.
At the events, many participants will cut up their credit cards and close their accounts with these banks. Don’t worry, if you are not yet ready to do that, you can still show up and do it symbolically. You can find out what events are happening in your locale by going to Third Act’s event page. There, you can use the filters to find activities in your area you can sign up for. If there is no event currently scheduled in your area, you organize your own by gathering a few friends to stand with you outside one of the bank branches. Third Act provides a toolkit to help you with materials, connections, and ideas to get local media attention.
If you can’t make an event (for instance, you must work or live outside the U.S.), you can still take part in other ways.
5 Other Ways to Tell the Banks to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels
Move your banking (accounts, loans, investments, credit cards) on 3-21-23, or anytime, to an institution that doesn’t finance fossil fuel companies. You can transfer your accounts to a community bank or credit union or another regional bank. There are even new banking institutions being established, like the Climate First Bank and Beneficial State Bank, that focus on environmental sustainability. Green America provides resources, like a tool for finding a better local bank and a Guide, that help you take step-by-step action. They also help you find credit cards that support environmental work. Third Act also has resources to help you find better banks and credit cards and make the switch.
Educate yourself. Learn more about how the world’s largest banks are funding fossil fuel companies by reading this article or watching this 1 minute video on commercial banks’ role in funding climate change.
Sign a relevant pledge or petition. For instance, take the Bank on Our Future Pledge and leave a comment. You can sign even if you are not a customer of one of the “dirty banks.” Or sign the Global Call on Banks petition to stop financing fossil fuels or the Rainforest Action Network's petition.
Begin a conversation within your broader community. Talk with your faith community about moving their money to support climate solutions. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility has resources useful for these groups. Write to your mayor or county executive asking them to move their bank accounts and/or divest from fossil fuels. The C40 Cities coalition has information on cities pledging to divest and the Divest-Invest site has more information on the moral imperative, financial prudence, and our legal duty, as well as resources for a wide range of institutions. Share this information with your local leaders and ask them to join their peers.
Send a message to your congressperson, via Greenpeace, asking them to end fossil fuel subsidies and fund a just transition.
For more ideas, check out two of my past posts, Harness Your Monetary Power in Support of the Climate and Keep it in the Ground.
I hope you will join me and many other concerned citizens in acting to stop the funding of fossil fuels on 3-21-23! After all, as former President Barack Obama said, “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
I wish you all the best,