Corporate Accountability Team

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Photo Credit to Fibonacci Blue

Intro

MN350’s Corporate Accountability Team is working to shift economic power in Minnesota. We’ve joined forces with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE) on a campaign targeting U.S. Bank. Together, we’re influencing real policy changes – including U.S. Bank’s new public stance against future project financing of oil and gas pipelines.

The Corporate Accountability Team meets every other Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 at the MN350 office, 2104 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN, 55404. For specific dates, check out the Events Calendar or our Weekly Action Alert

Why It Matters

We are at the tipping point of creating a green energy economy, and banks have a key role to play. The price of wind and solar power have fallen dramatically in the past year. Major improvements in grid storage are also set to make renewables cheaper than building new gas plants. It’s time to turn off fossil fuel addiction and turn on 100% renewables for all. Making this transition will require shifting billions of investment dollars from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Our work is part of a national divestment movement urging big banks to end fossil fuel financing.

Photo Credit Jeff Schad

Photo Credit Jeff Schad

Background

At this historic moment, banks are in a unique position to help speed the transition to a renewable economy. Commercial banks play a central role in distributing financial resources for the private sector, and they have a large influence on policy with their lobbying activities. Many big banks are already responding to popular demands to divest from coal and other fossil fuels.

U.S. Bank is at the heart of corporate power in our region and holds disproportionate influence in local politics. Despite their stated concern for climate change, U.S. Bank is heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry and provides direct financing to Enbridge Energy. This financing supports new and expanded pipelines like Line 3 – dirty oil projects that threaten our communities, water, climate, and the rights of First Nations people.

At the same time, U.S. Bank Executive Chairman Richard Davis has stated, “It’s our role [as bankers] to get in the community and give back.” It’s time for U.S. Bank to put their money where their mouth is and to join in building the safe and just world we all want to live in.

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Photo Credit to Dennis Lee

What We’re Doing

Since 2015, the Corporate Accountability Team has put pressure on U.S. Bank through public actions, meetings with bank leadership, and collaborative organizing with MFE (a coalition of faith, community, and labor organizations).

  • We hold U.S. Bank accountable for their promises by engaging with their Social  Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability departments, and by bringing climate concerns to the table publicly at shareholder meetings
  • We negotiate stronger sustainability policies by presenting demands to end fossil fuel financing, invest in renewable energy, and respect the rights of all Minnesota communities
  • We amplify the climate conversation through marches, bank actions, and creative events to keep Minnesotans aware of U.S. Bank’s fossil fuel connections
  • We build partnerships for climate justice by joining in trainings and campaigns with activists working for social and economic equality

 

Meet the Team

Photo Credit Rebecca Ulasich

Photo Credit Rebecca Ulasich

Calls to Action

  • Move your money: U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and other big banks use deposits from customers like us to support their investments. Don’t let your personal accounts fund continued fossil fuel extraction in Minnesota! Find a local community bank and learn how to move your money at BankLocal.
  • Come to a meeting: The Corporate Accountability Team meets every other Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 at the MN350 office (2104 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN, 55404). For specific dates, check out the Weekly Action Alert
  • Join our email action list: Want to stay updated on meetings and action projects? Email Kate at Kate@MN350.org to join the Corporate Accountability Team list.

 

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Photo Credit by Emma Fiala

 Accomplishments/Highlights:

  • October 2015 – MN350 releases Financing Climate Chaos report on U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo’s fossil fuel investments
  • February 2016 – U.S. Bank agrees to the first of a series of meetings with representatives from MFE and MN350
  • June 2016 – U.S. Bank releases an updated Environmental Policy, including protections for Indigenous people and increases to coal restrictions requested by the coalition
  • December 2016 – NoDAPL direct actions held outside 15 U.S. Bank locations around the Twin Cities, in partnership with regional and national activist groups
  • April 2017 – U.S. Bank takes a public stance against future project financing of oil and gas pipelines, becoming the first major bank in the country to do so
  • BREAKING! As of November 2017, US Bank has ended its credit relationship with Enbridge, the Canadian company responsible for Line 3!

 


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