Check out this excellent article by Andy Kroll at Mother Jones that examines how “Wall Street darlings” JPMorgan Chase are “underwriting environmental Armageddon” by funding mountaintop removal coal mining companies, such as Massey Energy and Arch Coal.
This may not be news for regular readers of the understory, but there is a significant revelation here. The article includes an interview with Credit Suisse, one of the world’s largest private banks.
“a Credit Suisse official says the bank has a “global mining policy” that ensures “we explicitly do not finance the extraction of coal in a mountaintop removal setting.”
Congratulations to our friends at the Sierra Club, who raised the issue of coal financing with Credit Suisse back in 2008 and worked with the bank on the development of the global mining policy.
Here’s a statement from the Sierra Club’s Mark Kresowic in response to the news:
“We’re pleased to see Credit Suisse take this important step, especially as the situation in Appalachia becomes increasingly intense. Today’s statement, added to the steps Credit Suisse has already taken to ensure enhanced review of coal-fired power plant investments, and set internal greenhouse gas neutrality goals puts Credit Suisse at the front of the fight against global warming in the financial sector.
“We urge other banks, especially JPMorgan Chase to follow the lead of Credit Suisse in practicing responsible investing, and transparently implement policies that end financial support for destructive mountaintop removal coal mining,”
I couldn’t agree more.