Banks can't just be ratcheting up their alternative energy or green investments while still pouring trillions of dollars into fossil fuels as well. It has to be one replacing the other. — Valerie Rockefeller, fifth-generation heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller
Banks can't just be ratcheting up their alternative energy or green investments while still pouring trillions of dollars into fossil fuels as well. It has to be one replacing the other. — Valerie Rockefeller, fifth-generation heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller

The banks, the fossil-fuel companies, everyone has known the science for decades now. ... It is our money that you're making money off of, when it comes down to it. — Valerie Rockefeller, fifth-generation heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller
The banks, the fossil-fuel companies, everyone has known the science for decades now. ... It is our money that you're making money off of, when it comes down to it. — Valerie Rockefeller, fifth-generation heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller

Rockefeller heirs are taking aim at JPMorgan and other banks for pouring trillions into fossil fuels by bringing other rich families into the battle
  • The Rockefellers have been tied to JPMorgan for a century.
  • The oil heirs are pressing the bank to divest from fossil fuels or risk losing their business.
  • Valerie Rockefeller told Insider that banks aren't moving quickly enough.
At the UN climate change conference COP26, a consortium of banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions, representing $130 trillion in assets, pledged to meet net-zero greenhouse gas emissions targets by 2050.

Valerie Rockefeller is not impressed. For nearly two years, the fifth-generation heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller has been putting pressure on banks to stop facilitating trillions in funding to the fossil fuel industry through lending, investing, and underwriting. The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero asks that members curb emissions from their lending and investing portfolios, but it does not require members to stop funding new fossil fuel projects, she noted.

"Banks can't just be ratcheting up their alternative energy or green investments while still pouring trillions of dollars into fossil fuels as well," the special-education teacher turned climate-change advocate told Insider. "It has to be one replacing the other."

Since the Paris Agreement, an international treaty requiring countries to set climate goals, came into effect in 2016, the world's 60 biggest banks have contributed $3.8 trillion in fossil-fuel financing, according to the Rainforest Action Network. Rockefeller and two of her cousins started BankFWD, an initiative to pressure banks to divest from fossil fuels in early 2020, and convinced 85 of their 300 family members to join them.

They started with JPMorgan Chase, which has been tied to the family for a century since John D. Rockefeller invested in the bank. It has provided $317 billion in capital to the fossil fuel industry since effect in 2016, the most of any bank, according to study.

BankFWD has since broadened its scope to the entire banking industry , and Rockefeller's colleagues are at the Glasgow conference to urge the Net Zero Banking Alliance to set more ambitious goals, and to find more supporters beyond high-net-worth families to corporations, public and private.

"We will go anywhere progress is being made, and work with them on talking to their banks," said Rockefeller, one of BankFWD's co-chairs.

... "The banks, the fossil-fuel companies, everyone has known the science for decades now," she said. "Clients are just holding you accountable for not acting on information that you had before and demanding it now. It is our money that you're making money off of, when it comes down to it."

Rockefeller said that banks should act not only because of the 2030 deadline – the estimated "point of no return" for climate change – but also because Millennial and Gen-X heirs are willing to ditch their parents' bankers.

"So many next-gens are focused on sustainable investing," she said. "They shop sustainably and eat sustainably, or at least they try to or talk about it. And they are simply not going to want to be affiliated with dirty banks."
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/rockefeller-heirs-pressure-jpmorgan-banks-divest-fossil-fuels-cop26-2021-11