Loosening Big Oil’s stranglehold on Wall Street
Wall Street is funding climate destruction — and Chase Bank is the worst offender. Since the Paris Climate Accords, JPMorgan Chase has provided $268 billion in financing fossil fuel expansion. Chase is massively funding oil, gas, coal and tar sands projects that are destroying our climate, wildlife and vulnerable communities.
None of this is surprising when you find out that a radical, climate denying, Big Oil exec was lead independent director of Chase’s Board of Directors for nearly 20 years.
For 15 of those years, former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond oversaw Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. As a result, Chase became the number one banker of companies expanding fossil fuels. As a climate denier who bears responsibility for misleading the public on the dangers of climate change for decades, Raymond has no business overseeing anything — let alone the board of the largest fossil fuel banker in the country. And, thanks to the power of grassroots activists, we’re one step closer to achieving that goal!
Friends of the Earth joined the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition — a movement of over 100 organizations fighting to hold Wall Street accountable for financing the climate crisis. And our first target was Chase and Lee Raymond.
Before coronavirus, Friends of the Earth staff teamed up with Stop the Money Pipeline and Fire Drill Friday and took over Chase’s bank Washington, DC to draw attention to the bank’s toxic ways. Friends of the Earth activists sent more than 27,000 to JPMorgan Chase, demanding that they kick Raymond off their board. And, during coronavirus, we took part in a digital organizing action to pressure Chase to clean up its dirty act. Bowing to pressure from climate and shareholder activists, Chase listened to our demands, demoting Raymond on the board.
Raymond exemplifies the fossil fuel industry’s decades of climate denial. His retreat under pressure from the climate movement in a historic win, showing that fossil oligarchs’ and climate deniers’ stranglehold on Wall Street is waning.
This demotion is a massive victory and shows that financial institutions are listening to our voices. However, we will continue to fight for Raymond to be off the board completely and push Chase to stop its flow of money to those driving climate crisis. Chase cannot continue to have a climate denier in any position on their board.