Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Gabby Brown, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org, 914-261-4626

Press Release

Citigroup is Latest Major US Bank to Rule Out Funding for Arctic Refuge Drilling

WASHINGTON -

Today, multinational investment bank Citigroup released an updated energy policy that rules out financing for oil and gas exploration, development and production projects in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The policy also rules out direct funding for new thermal coal mines or coal-fired power plants worldwide, or expansions of existing mines or plants, and sets a timeline for ending financing of coal mining companies. However, the policy fails to rule out funding for fracking or tar sands. 

The release of this change to the bank’s policy comes in the wake of similar announcements by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, as well as more than a dozen global banks. Over the last two years, leaders from the Gwich’in Steering Committee and the Sierra Club have met with representatives from major banks to discuss the threats fossil fuel operations pose to the Arctic Refuge and why action by the financial industry is necessary. 

Citigroup was set to face pressure at its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow over Arctic drilling. Tens of thousands of Sierra Club members and supporters have sent messages to Citigroup, and the bank faced a digital ad campaign this week calling for a change to its policy on the Arctic. Activists and shareholders plan to continue to turn up the heat on Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, the two major American banks that have yet to rule out funding for Arctic drilling. 

“The dominoes continue to fall, and now four of the top six American banks have recognized that Arctic drilling is a toxic investment to be avoided,” said Sierra Club campaign representative Ben Cushing. “Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would be a disaster for wildlife, the climate, and the human rights of the Gwich’in Nation, and any company associated with this destruction will suffer a massive public backlash and long-lasting damage to their reputation. Banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America should act immediately to follow along with their peers or risk getting left behind.” 

“For years, we have been speaking out about the need to keep drill rigs out of our sacred lands in the Arctic Refuge, and it’s amazing that a growing number of major banks are listening,” said Gwich’in Steering Committee Executive Director Bernadette Demientieff. “The Arctic Refuge is critical to our people’s food security and way of life. Our human rights will not be dismissed. The fight to protect this place is far from over, and we will continue to hold accountable any bank, oil company, or politician that seeks to benefit from its destruction.” 

###

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.

Fears of Escalation as Ukraine Answers Russian Missile Onslaught With Strike Deep Inside Invader's Territory

Ukrainian drones bombed two air bases more than 300 miles inside Russia, reportedly killing three soldiers, wounding four others, and damaging multiple warplanes.

Brett Wilkins ·


Patient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

"As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration's citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars."

Brett Wilkins ·


10,000+ Sign Open Letter Demanding Biden Order Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers

"No one, especially in the world's richest nation, should have to choose between forgoing pay or working through severe illness and family emergencies," says The Lever's letter.

Jessica Corbett ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo