March 22, 2023

Minnesota elders pull their money out of banks that finance fossil fuels

Against the backdrop of a flailing financial sector and the latest distressing report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 50 people gathered in front of Wells Fargo Center in Minneapolis. Their rallying cry: Stop financing fossil fuels or we’ll take our money elsewhere.

A recent study found that, if the US financial sector were a country, it would be the fifth-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world.

“Ending these loans [to fossil fuel companies] will play a big part in speeding the energy transition. And that’s where we older Americans are crucial. … After a lifetime of work, our savings and retirement accounts contain many of the assets that back these loans.

Chase, CitiBank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo need us much more than we need them. … These big four banks are considered too big to fail, but currently, they’re failing all of us on climate and a livable future. We don’t want our money and savings to be used to bankroll the climate crisis.”

—Amy Blumenshine

This gathering in Minneapolis was part of a national day of action catalyzed primarily by people involved with Third Act, an organization founded by veteran environmental activist and writer Bill McKibben aimed at activating baby boomers and members of the Silent Generation to organize against climate change.

“We are here to protect future generations,” read one sign held by protesters at Tuesday’s rally.