To Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase,
We – the members of 350 Madison Climate Action Team – are writing to express our alarm at your bank’s role as the world’s largest funder of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion. This makes you the primary banker of the ongoing climate crisis, and the suffering and destruction that comes with it. We are particularly concerned about your financing of Enbridge’s tar sands pipelines crossing through the state of Wisconsin.
As humans sharing the same earth with you we ask that JPMorgan Chase cease funding projects that drive climate chaos, including activities related to tar sands. We recognize that you have an obligation to your shareholders, so we ask that you allow us to present the facts about the climate crisis to your shareholders at your annual meeting on May 19 2020, so they can make informed decisions about how to bring profit to Chase in a changing world.
Your bank’s increased funding of fossil fuel-related projects needs to peak immediately and start dropping sharply because the UN’s climate scientists have found that rapid action is needed to prevent the catastrophic consequences of global temperature increases of 1.5° Celsius over pre-industrial levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C shows that carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced by more than half over the next decade, and to reach zero by 2050.
Such drastic cuts will not be possible if banks like yours keep increasing the capital they are providing to the fossil fuel industry. These include projects like Enbridge’s tar sands pipelines which run through our beautiful state of Wisconsin.
If you increase funding for Enbridge’s tar sands pipelines through Wisconsin and throughout the US, we assume you do not anticipate an end to tar sands activities in the near future and that you are planning to continue to profit from these activities. We would like you to think about the fact that funding such projects and the resulting carbon emissions would be supporting the eventual displacement of billions of humans; worsening floods, hurricanes, and droughts; armed conflict over diminishing resources; the loss of untold numbers of species; and the destruction of irreplaceable natural habitat.
Mr. Dimon, you have said in the past that your “heart is a Democrat but [your] brain is kind of Republican.” We believe that the issue of the ongoing climate catastrophe transcends party lines. You have expressed your concern about climate change and your support for the Paris Agreement. We see your bank has spelled out its human rights policies. It even has sustainability programs in place to reduce its carbon footprint and to increase sustainable funding. All of these efforts are rendered useless by your continued funding of projects like Enbridge’s pipelines. If you remain the leading funder of fossil fuel activities, it will be clear that your words of environmental and social concern are not sincere and that when push comes to shove your concerns for short term profit outweigh all else.
Obviously, as a for-profit corporation, profit is your goal. However, it is not too late for Chase to demonstrate that you care about the future of humanity and this planet with a profound investment in sustainability. We in 350 Madison Climate Action Team, and myriad other climate action groups, will continue to bear witness to the harm you are doing to the planet. How will you and your colleagues answer your children when they ask why you didn’t take a stand in acting to mitigate the climate crisis while there was still a chance? How will you tell them that instead, you chose to profit from the suffering of billions of humans and other living species around the world?
We look forward to your response to this letter.
350 Madison Climate Action Team