Banking/Climate Change/ Rainforest Action Netwrok


Dear Readers (from RAN),

There are many things causing rainforest destruction, but the root cause is always the same: greed. Money-hungry banks are fueling the aggressive expansion of agribusinesses in Indonesia. That’s why we’ve been going hard on Japanese megabank MUFG, who’s been bankrolling massive palm oil and pulp and paper operations at the cost of the dwindling rainforests and we need your help to keep up the pressure.

The good news is that thanks to YOUR hard work and resilience, MUFG recently updated and improved their policies for palm oil financing! The bad news? Pulp and paper operations were excluded from these changes.

In other words: MUFG might not loan money to the worst palm oil producers anymore, but rainforest-burning, climate-wrecking, human rights-abusing pulp and paper companies are still on the bankroll. For example, from 2018 to 2020 alone, MUFG was the top funder of Indonesia’s second worst pulp & paper company – and it’s still lending the company hundreds of millions of dollars RIGHT NOW.

This kind of short-sighted, ruthless financing is exactly what keeps on destroying the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous communities like Pargamanan-Bintang Maria and fueling the climate crisis on a large scale. 

But we’ve moved MUFG and other banks before, so we can do it again. And we have to, because many of the pulp and paper plantations stand on peatlands, which globally store nearly HALF of all soil carbon! Cutting down and burning these forests to replace them with monocultures is literally setting off carbon bombs.

Right now, MUFG is working on the annual update of their forest protection policies, so now is the time to ramp up the pressure. If we can keep up the pressure and send a clear message to the MUFG execs responsible for financing these destructive businesses, they will have to listen.

When big banks like MUFG change their financing policies, it matters, A LOT. By stopping the flow of money to companies that are literally burning our planet, we can force the companies to change their practices. So let’s put the pressure on MUFG and stop the money pipeline to rainforest destroying companies!

For the forests,

Tom Picken
Campaign Director Forests & Finance
Rainforest Action Network

At RAN, we take the “Network” in our name seriously. It is only through your support that we are able to fund major campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life. Please consider joining RAN as a Member by making a gift today.

425 Bush St, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94108, United States

Earth Day Every Day Action #1: Banking (See P.S. just added)

A few days ago I received a letter from Rainforest Action Network (, about the work they are doing and asking for a donation. In the letter was a paragraph letting us know that the 13th Banking on Climate Chaos has been released. At the end of the paragraph is their website just for this project:

On this website you can sign a petition that goes to four major banks that are involved with fossil fuels:

1. J.P. Morgan Chase

2. Bank of America

3. Citigroup

4. Wells Fargo

In Jane Fonda’s Book, What Can I Do? she writes about credit cards and recommends you do some research to see if your credit card is affiliated with banks supporting fossil fuels, and if so, consider changing to a “green” bank. Here are four links that I plan to investigate and make any necessary changes to my credit cards:

  1. Jun 07, 2021 · Green Banking is a type of banking that provides sustainable financial services. Green Banking can provide these sustainable financial services by using green finance to promote sustainability in the following areas: lending to companies and individuals who are committed to environmental responsibility;

  2. Jan 20, 2022 · Green banks are an alternative solution, prioritizing finance and sustainability. These institutions invest in clean energy, climate action, and eco-conscious projects, ensuring your money is sustainable for both you and the planet. Here’s how it works and how you can get involved. Why Green Banking > Climate-Threatening Banking

  3. Sep 18, 2017 · Green banking is a new financing trend where banks shift their investment strategies to focus on sustainable technologies and environmentally-friendly initiatives. It became widely popular among banks following the Paris Climate Agreement and has since helped promote investments in renewable energy, reforestation projects, and carbon offsets.

  4. May 21, 2021 · How Can Banks Be Green? It’s clear that a sustainable global economy needs a transparent banking system. Our economic system must be revised to prioritize ecological.

    P.S. You can also Google your credit card and ask if it is green. I Googled American Express and a great deal of info came up. Here is just one excerpt:

    Climate Partnerships and Pledges from American Express:

    • Joined RE100 in 2020, a global initiative of businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity.
    • Committed to set targets aligned with the Science Based Target initiative and joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C in 2021.
    • Joined the Race to Zero in 2021, established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to rally leadership for a zero-carbon recovery.
    • Became a formal TCFD Supporter in 2021 to work toward building a more resilient financial system through transparent, climate-related financial disclosures.
    Earth Day concept. Hand holding a leaf and earth.

    P.S. Personal Example from today: I have a credit card that I use for shopping at Banana Republic, The Gap, and Athleta because these stores (I believe one company) give you points that equal money that I can use at any of the stores. This group of stores is changing from Synchrony Bank to Barclay Bank. I went to my local Gap and the sales person looked up Barclay Bank: bad news! I told her she just lost a customer!

    Then I came home and Googled Barclay Bank and Fossil Fuels and came up with lots of info on this non-green bank. Below is just a sample of some of the info.

    Feel free to write Barclay’s or just don’t use a credit card from this bank. Put your money where your heart is!

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