Monday, February 10, 2014

Turning Up Heat on Banks Funding Fossil Fuels

Michael Winship
Common Dreams
(Source: Moyers Media)
Bill Moyers speaks with climate activist Bill McKibben. As the heat increases on the planet, the political and financial pressures of the climate movement are also turning up. As environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben tells Bill Moyers on this week’s Moyers & Company about the student movement for colleges and universities to divest themselves of stock from companies that produce or burn oil, gas and coal, The Wall Street Journal reports another front in the fight against climate-changing fossil fuels: the banking industry.
Investors “have filed nonbinding shareholder resolutions urging at least four banks to shed more light on loans they make to oil, gas, coal and other companies whose practices create carbon emissions. They are also pressing the banks to develop strategies to address climate-change risks…”
The pressure on banks gained traction after a Securities and Exchange Commission decision last year allowed shareholders to advance a climate-change resolution at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Agency staff denied PNC’s request to ignore a proposal that sought to shed light on the Pittsburgh-based bank’s role as a lender to the coal industry in Appalachia, saying the resolution “focuses on the significant policy issue of climate change.” The nonbinding resolution garnered support from 22.8% of the bank’s shareholders at its April annual meeting—above last year’s 18.1% average for climate and energy-related proposals tracked by proxy adviser Glass, Lewis & Co.—but wasn’t adopted by the bank.
 Read More