How the fossil fuel industry drives climate change and police brutality



  • Public Accountability Initiative and LittleSis released a new report detailing how oil companies fund police foundations across the country
    • These foundations are non-profits that raise money to buy weapons, equipment, and surveillance technology for police departments
  • Some fossil fuel companies have also supported legislation that would criminalize protesting pipelines
  • Big banks with fossil fuel investments as well as some private utilities have also donated to police foundations 
  • Activists, including the authors of this report, are connecting the dots between policing and environmental justice:

“…divesting from fossil fuels and fighting to end environmental racism goes hand in hand with defunding the police in the fight for racial justice and reinvestment in Black and Brown communities.”

Increased air pollution from fossil fuel emissions disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Divestment from big oil and securing  100% clean energy in California’s frontline communities is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.

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Arctic Drilling

Wall street is bending to pressure to halt Arctic-oil loans

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg Green


Environmental activists are fighting oil companies to keep drilling out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by putting divestment pressure on banks.

  • Tribal representatives and other environmental activists pressed banking executives about their policies during shareholder meetings and in conversations with sustainability directors
  • Morgan Stanley has announced that they will not be financing arctic oil and gas development, becoming the fifth major U.S. bank to announce it will no longer support drilling in the arctic
  • Many large banks have made the same promise, with Bank of America being a major holdout 
  • Though the Interior Department is preparing to sell drilling rights along the arctic coast, the lack of infrastructure makes it hard to locate crude oil, making potential investors have second thoughts
  • Potential drilling could have dire impacts on native wildlife
  • Alison Kirsch, the lead researcher in the Rainforest Action Network’s Climate and Energy Program, says that by cutting off funding, these drilling projects can’t continue:

“A fossil fuel project needs three things to go ahead…It needs government approval– or a permit– but it also needs capital and it also needs insurance. And those last two pieces mostly happen in the private sector. So if you can intervene there, you can stop projects.”

  • Promises by these banks to divest in individual projects does not prohibit the banks from lending to these companies altogether

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is a major step towards achieving The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

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Could coronavirus forever alter the fossil fuel era?

By Justin Guay, Medium


The current pandemic could be an opportunity for the US to eliminate our use of fossil fuel dependency and transition into a clean energy economy

  • The US fracking industry is in a tricky place – facing negative pricing and less demand, indicating that the industry wasn’t viable to begin with and signals its potential downfall once the pandemic is over 
    • Even so, the infrastructure such as oil wells or coal mines would likely remain if these companies go bankrupt
  •  Quantitative Easing (QE) programs from banks have the potential to allow “stealth bailouts” to specific industries by issuing or purchasing debt
    • BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, recently announced they would focus on green investments focused on decarbonization. If BlackRock keeps their word then this could be an important push for the renewable energy sector
  • Governments and banks should mitigate the end of the fossil fuel industry by managing their steady decline and promote more Paris Agreement standards 
  • The Obama-era stimulus package helped boost the modern American solar industry. The US has another unique opportunity to expanding renewable, clean energy due to the current pandemic and the resulting stimulus packages

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean electricity a major step towards achieving the Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

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Divest and Invest for a climate-safe future

by Stacey Meinzen, The Climate Center

Follow the money, divest from fossil fuels and invest in a healthy, climate-safe future for all. It’s a win-win for our collective future and for your pocketbook (see additional info here).

Chevron just posted $6.6 billion in losses for its fourth-quarter earnings due to troubles with shale gas and bankruptcies are multiplying for the fracking sector. And coal is on a one-way street to financial ruin.

In California, the Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) and State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which together are valued at over $600 billion, are losing money on fossil fuel investments. Had they divested from fossil fuel stocks a decade ago, they would have generated an additional ~$17.4 billion in returns, per a recent analysis. And the University of California system recently announced it is cutting its investments in fossil fuels because they are a losing financial proposition.

Meanwhile, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest public bank, recently declared that they will cease financing most fossil fuel projects as they hope to become the world’s first ‘climate bank’.

Black Rock Financial, the world’s largest money manager, will make climate risks a key tenet of their investment strategy going forward and their $7+ trillion in assets will no longer support projects like coal-fired power plants. In addition, 631 institutional investors managing more than $37 trillion in assets recently urged governments to step up climate ambition.

Here on the West Coast, Beneficial State Bank, a member of The Climate Center’s Business for Clean Energy (BCE) network, has made a “do no harm” policy that excludes investments in fossil fuels a core part of their business.

Thanks to forward-thinking investors, global renewable energy has quadrupled over the last decade. The urgent need to keep remaining fossil fuel stocks in the ground and to invest in the transition to a clean energy economy is rapidly gaining traction due to economics alone.

You can take action today. Divest from the four largest banks in the United States– JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America– which together poured $1.9 trillion into fossil fuels between 2016 and 2019. Invest your funds in and switch your credit cards to banks and fund managers that are committed to an equitable, climate-safe future. Support divestment campaigns that help speed up and scale up greenhouse gas reductions globally and nationally.

And support The Climate Center’s rapid decarbonization campaign in California to accelerate climate policy timelines, setting an example for the nation and the world that together we can secure a vibrant, healthy future for us all.

Support Rapid Decarbonization for a Climate Safe California