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Stop The Money Pipeline Coalition Issues Statement Ahead of Biden’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk

Coalition representing more than 160 groups expects Executive Order to ensure all U.S. financial institutions are firmly on a path to real zero greenhouse gas emissions before COP26 in November.
WASHINGTON -

President Biden is expected to issue a new broad-ranging Executive Order (EO) on Thursday titled “Climate-Related Financial Risk,” that among other items, directs top administration officials to develop a government-wide strategy to mitigate climate-related financial risks to public and private financial assets.

According to a previous report of the draft, officials would have 180 days to deliver the report to the President. Notably, the most important international climate talks since the Paris Agreement will begin at the United Nations climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021. If this timeline remains in the final EO, the Administration’s report would likely be released after the COP26 Glasgow climate talks.

The outcomes of COP26—including public and private sector commitments—will go a long way to determining our ability to combat the climate crisis. U.S. banks, insurance companies, and asset managers are the world’s largest financiers of the corporations driving climate chaos. In the 5 years since the Paris Agreement, the four largest U.S. banks were the world’s top four funders of fossil fuels, collectively financing $976 billion, which comprised more than 25% of the total fossil fuel funding from the world’s 60 biggest banks. 

The Stop the Money Pipeline coalition has maintained that President Biden must ensure that all U.S. financial institutions are firmly on a path to real zero greenhouse gas emissions before COP26. On Tuesday, the International Energy Association published a roadmap for the world to keep global warming below 1.5°C.  One of the more striking findings of the report affirmed, “There is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathway.”

President Biden won the 2020 presidential election with the strongest climate mandate in history. Fulfilling that mandate requires urgent action from his administration to stop supporting new fossil fuel projects and to phase-out public and private financing of fossil fuels. For that that reason, Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition will be looking for the Executive Order to confirm that:
 

  1. Addressing climate change is a central part of financial regulators’ missions. This includes ensuring that the Financial Stability Oversight Council and its member agencies begin work right away on climate plans, and that they are implementing the plans by COP 26;
  2. Financial regulators should immediately start collecting the data and doing the analysis necessary to integrate the climate crisis fully into financial regulation, and empower investors to invest their values;
  3. Financial regulators should restrict and phase out finance for fossil fuels and deforestation; and
  4. The Treasury (and the Federal Reserve) should stop using emergency rescue and recovery programs to subsidize fossil fuels and deforestation. Instead, they should invest in a productive, just, clean recovery.

Details of these demands can be found at stopthemoneypipeline.com/federal-policy. The coalition has also issued the following set of general demands for the Biden Administration in advance of the Glasgow climate talks in November.

Moira Birss, Climate and Finance Director, Amazon Watch

“It’s great that the Biden administration is catching up with frontline communities, climate advocates and even the IEA in recognizing that investments in the industries causing climate change are a major loss for pocketbooks and the planet. But plans to make plans in no way matches the urgency of the climate crisis; we need action from regulators now to stop the money pipeline to climate chaos.”

Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN): “The Biden Administration has a responsibility to ensure financial institutions align with the Paris Agreement, respect human rights, and invest in a just and sustainable future for our communities and our planet. Financial institutions must be held accountable for their role in financing the destruction of the climate, the violation of human and Indigenous rights, deadly pollution especially in communities of color, and increased rates of violence toward Indigenous women associated with fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure. With the escalation of the climate crisis, business as usual must not and cannot continue, we need bold regulation now. "

Erika Thi Patterson, Climate and Environmental Justice Campaign Director, Action Center on Race and the Economy 

“The fossil fuel industry and Wall Street have been extracting from Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities for decades and driving our climate crisis off a cliff. From Day 1, President Biden should have used his full executive authority to avert further climate devastation and minimize harm to frontline communities. Yet, over 100 days into his presidency and we’re still hearing about plans to release plans. This pace fails to match the urgency of our crisis — we need immediate, bold executive action to stop Wall Street from financing climate catastrophe.” 

Jason Opeña Disterhoft, Climate and Energy Senior Campaigner, Rainforest Action Network:

“Wall Street includes the biggest set of fossil and deforestation bankers, insurers and investors in the world. It’s a central part of the U.S. carbon footprint, and the Biden administration must put it firmly on the path to zeroing out its climate impact. We’ll be judging President Biden’s executive order against that benchmark.”

Tracey Lewis, 350.org Senior Climate Finance Policy Analyst:

“This week’s IEA report underlined the writing that’s been on the wall: fossil fuels are an existential risk to our climate, communities, and economy. Today’s executive order must mobilize the entire finance sector to build back fossil free and end fossil fuel finance. Instead of using public money to bail-out fossil fuel corporations, the Federal Reserve must act on its key role in tackling the climate crisis, including Biden appointing a real climate leader to reimagine the Fed in its role as the Peoples’ Bank.”

Matt Remle (Lakota) Co-Founder Mazaska Talks:

“I will believe that the Biden Administration is serious in their commitment to address the climate crisis when the flow of oil stops in the illegally built, illegally operating, and treaty rights violating Dakota Access pipeline. I will believe them when construction stops on the Line 3 and TransMountain pipeline. Until then words are just words.”

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The Stop the Money Pipeline coalition is over 160 organizations strong holding the financial backers of climate chaos accountable.

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