It’s not just oil and gas companies that are causing the climate crisis — the financial sector has played a role, too. A new report from the environmental advocacy group Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network International, or WECAN, outlines connections between the banks, asset managers, and insurance companies that finance oil and gas development and the damage inflicted by the fossil fuel industry — in particular to women, hitting women of color hardest. It also lays out how the financial sector can clean up its act.
The report examined projects that produce significant harm to frontline communities in the United States and parts of Canada, ranging from intensive oil extraction in Kern County, California, to the construction of Minnesota’s Line 3 pipeline, to chemical plants in St. James Parish, Louisiana, an area known as ‘cancer alley.’ It then identified the financial institutions that enabled those projects through both direct and corporate-level financing, including the banks that funded those projects, the asset managers that invested in them, and the insurance companies that underwrote them.
Based on an examination of 30 c... Read more