NEW YORK – Stop the Money Pipeline, a diverse coalition of over 130 mainstream and grassroots climate groups committed to pushing financial institutions to end support for the fossil fuel and other climate-harming industries, yesterday in a letter to the Biden/Harris transition team urged the adoption of strong climate action criteria regarding appointments to financial regulators and the Treasury Department.
The letter asks Biden to adopt universal green principles that ensure all appointees to the Treasury Department and financial regulatory agencies like the Federal Reserve Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission reflect his campaign promises to comprehensively address the climate crisis, including transitioning the economy away from fossil fuels.
“For President-elect Biden to fulfill his climate mandate, his financial appointees’ actions must match the scale of the crisis,” said Ginger Cassady, executive director of Rainforest Action Network. “By financing fossil fuels and deforestation, Wall Street banks are among the biggest global drivers of climate chaos. We urgently need regulators who will ensure banks zero out their climate impact on a 1.5ºC-aligned timeline — anything less would be failing in their responsibility to safeguard the financial system.”
The Stop the Money Pipeline coalition includes organizations such as 350.org, Sierra Club, Amazon Watch, Action Center on Race and the Economy, Global Witness, Public Citizen, and Indigenous Environmental Network.
“The leaders of financial regulatory agencies need to be committed to taking on climate,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “The climate crisis is the biggest threat to financial stability, as well as the broader economy. Financial regulators who ignore it are simply failing at their missions.”
A key part of the group’s strategy is to end the cozy, revolving door relationship between government and Wall Street in a clear and public way and replace it with one of accountability.
“Leadership is essential to impactful change. Financial regulators must serve on behalf of the people, the frontline communities, and working people impacted by financial greed and Big Oil’s abuses — not the industries they need to aggressively regulate,” said Rebecca Concepcion Apostol, program director at Oil Change U.S. “We and the climate movement will be strongly opposing any appointees with ties to Wall Street or the fossil fuel industry.”
The groups call for appointees willing to take bold climate action, not baby steps.
“Acknowledging climate risk is important, but we’re long past the point where that’s sufficient to address the climate crisis,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. “The world is burning. Any financial agency or department appointee to a Biden administration must commit to making climate and the global target of limiting warming to 1.5ºC a core part of their regulatory framework.”