Rainforest Action Network Statement on Bank of America’s New Emissions Commitment

In late May, Bank of America announced a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitment covering its ‘operational’ emissions coming from the company’s  global facilities. The announcement can be found here: http://mediaroom.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=234503&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1565219&highlight.

Amanda Starbuck, Energy and Finance Program Director at Rainforest Action Network, issued the following statement in response:

“While we welcome Bank of America’s continued acknowledgment that reducing greenhouse gas emission is critical to combating the climate crisis, the bank must move quickly to address the much larger carbon footprint coming from its role as a lead financier of the coal industry. RAN estimates that Bank of America’s financing climate footprint is to be one hundred times larger than the size of its operational carbon footprint.

“Bank of America’s new climate announcement is nice but not nearly enough. Bank of America is one of the largest financiers in the world. If it really wants to get serious about stemming global warming it should look at who it is lending money to, namely the largest coal companies in the country. Not just its light bulbs.

“We need to see a commitment from Bank of America that would help the country dramatically reduce its climate emissions. This means immediately developing a more robust climate policy that includes shifting the balance of financing in its utilities portfolio from dirty power sources, like coal, to cleaner, renewable energy.

“Bank of America is at risk of misleading the public as to the true climate impacts of the company’s business. Publicizing its efforts to address the climate emissions from internal operations does not diminish the billions of dollars that the bank provides each year for the extraction and burning of dirty fossil fuels like coal.  

“Since 2009, Bank of America has provided financing for ten of the largest utilities operating coal-fired power plants, the biggest source of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Bank of America’s financing relationships in the U.S. power sector alone contribute to the release of more than 10% of total U.S. emissions.”

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