MN350 has joined forces with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE), an exciting coalition of faith, community, and labor organizations, on a campaign targeting U.S. Bank. MN350 is working in partnership with MFE and divestment groups across the country to call on U.S. Bank to follow the lead of other financial institutions to end financing for extreme fossil fuel projects.
- In October 2015, MN350 released the report Financing Climate Chaos: How Minnesota’s Banking Giants Prioritize Profit in the Face of Climate Change, and joined hundreds of Minnesotans to March on U.S. Bank calling for workers’ rights, fair wages and climate justice.
- On December 12, MN350 joined 1,700 MFE members at a People’s Congress to launch a common path that shifts power toward a democratic people’s movement and away from the economic and political elites.
- On January 26 and February 16, 2016, MN350 held actions to let U.S. Bank know we want them take action to protect our water, climate and communities.
- February 16-21: MN350 held a Corporate Accountability Week of Action with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, calling on U.S. Bank to stop practices that are harmful to its workers, the community, and the environment.
Tipping Point to a Renewable Future
We are at the tipping point of a renewable energy economy. The price of wind and solar power have fallen dramatically, in the past year, much faster than predicted, and in many parts of the world installing solar is now cheaper than electricity from the grid. It’s time to turn off fossil fuel addiction and turn on 100% renewables for all. Making this transition will require shifting billions of dollars of investment from fossil fuels to renewable.
Unique Opportunities for Banks
At this historic moment, banks are in a unique position to help speed the transition to a renewable economy. Through lending, investment and with their lobbying activities, commercial banks play a central role in moving and allocating financial resources for the private sector, and have a large influence on policy. Many big banks are already responding to popular demands to divest from coal and other fossil fuels.
Why U.S. Bank?
U.S. Bank is at the heart of corporate power in Minnesota and holds disproportionate influence in our political system. Despite a stated concern for the effects of climate change, U.S. Bank is heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry, providing direct financing to Enbridge Energy, allowing for new and expanded pipelines that threaten our communities, water, climate, and the rights of First Nations people. U.S. Bank acts as the trustee for fossil fuel corporations, including nearly $2 billion in securities issued by Enbridge and its subsidiaries. At the same time, U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis has stated that, as bankers “It’s our role to get in the community and give back.” It is time for U.S. Bank to put their money where their mouth is and to join in building the safe and decent world we all want to live in.
We Are Stronger Together
Minnesotans for a Fair Economy is an innovative and leading-edge alliance of strategic partnerships across labor, faith, and community-based organizations, that has garnered national attention. The coalition works by identifying where members’ campaigns have common targets, and supporting each others’ demands for justice. Past campaigns have resulted in unprecedented victories with corporations such as Target and U.S. Bank. By joining MFE, MN350 is allying and building relationships with an all-star local team including ISAIAH, Take Action Minnesota, SEIU Local 26, the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC).
Our Issues Are Deeply Connected
Corporations that seek to profit at the expense of low income families are also willing to despoil the one world that sustains us all. All of the organizations on the U.S. Bank campaign are working to build a world of dignity and respect for our environment and each other. Far from being equitably distributed, the greatest burden of environmental destruction is carried by low income communities and people of color. Fair wages and lending, racial equity, and responsible investment practices are indicators that we are on a new path free from systems that cause climate change and injustice. Standing together, we have a chance to learn and support one another, to build the kind of movement that will shift the balance of power from profits to people and the planet.
To get involved contact Ulla at Ulla@mn350.org