Posted on May 10, 2023
CREDO members are helping to power big victories for Rainforest Action Network
Our long-time grantee partners at Rainforest Action Network preserve forests, protect the climate and uphold human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.
In October 2022, CREDO members voted to donate $31,833 to help strengthen RAN’s organizational capacity to push for systemic institutional change and help it exert public and inside pressure on corporations, banks and other institutions to stop environmentally destructive practices. RAN was also the recipient of our special $10,000 Earth Day donation last month. In total, CREDO members have donated nearly $1.5 million to further RAN’s critical climate justice work.
Powered in part by the generosity of CREDO and our members, RAN had some recent victories and launched some great new initiatives. Here’s a quick report on how your donations are making an impact:
CREDO’s generous general operating support grant provided critical support to several greater organizational outcomes over the past five months, including:
- Building off the March 2022 Banking on Climate Chaos report, RAN released a briefer on the precipice of COP27. It highlights that six years since the Paris Agreement, the world’s 60 largest private banks financed fossil fuels at $4.6 trillion, with $742 billion in 2021 alone;
- As a result of intense campaign pressure, in March 2023, US Insurer, Chubb, announced new policies that restrict underwriting oil and gas extraction based on conservation and emissions criteria. Chubb will not insure new or existing oil and gas extraction projects that are located in specific protected areas or do not have plans to manage methane emissions. This is the first policy from a US insurer that applies to conventional oil and gas underwriting;
- RAN escalated public pressure on Forests campaign target, Procter & Gamble (P&G), showing up in Cincinnati twice, supporting members of the P&G family to meet with the CEO and deliver our Carbon Bombs report, highlighting persistent deforestation;
- In the lead-up to the COP27 in Egypt and in light of increased financing to forest-risk commodities, RAN released a finance policy assessment report in October 2022 with key findings and a deep dive into the Indonesian pulp sector and Brazilian beef sector; and
- RAN distributed over $775,000 in small grants to over 80 Indigenous, frontline, grassroots community groups in North America, Latin America, and Indonesia, resisting fossil fuel extraction and deforestation. Our 2022 grantmaking highlights are described in our recent blog, 2022 A Year in Review: Report Back from the Frontlines.
Since its CREDO grant was delivered in December 2022, RAN released a groundbreaking case study from the frontlines of the Long Isun Indigenous Community in Indonesia and its hallmark Banking on Climate Chaos annual fossil fuel finance report.
On February 14, 2023, RAN launched a new Case Study report in partnership with the Dayak Bahau Indigenous Peoples of Long Isun and local Samarinda-based NGO Perkumpulan Nurani Perempuan, titled “Keep Forests Standing: How local community resistance is saving the last rainforests of Borneo.” The report sheds light on the Long Isun community as an example of how Indigenous land stewardship keeps forests standing and the community thriving. Despite their decade-long resistance and objection, timber concessions controlled by the Indonesian conglomerate Harita Group have held on to their licenses to log over a quarter of their territory. Harita Group’s palm oil division Bumitama Agri Limited supplies palm oil to global brands like Mondelēz and P&G – two of RAN’s KFS targets.
On April 13, 2023, RAN in collaboration with BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club and Urgewald released the 14th annual Banking on Climate Chaos report, which has already been endorsed by more than 625 organizations from 75 countries. Data in the 2022 report reveals that banks profiled funneled $150 billion in 2022 into the top 100 companies expanding fossil fuels, including TC Energy, TotalEnergies, Venture Global, ConocoPhillips, and Saudi Aramco. Of the 60 banks in scope, 49 have committed to net zero emissions and yet, our data calls those commitments into question, since these 49 banks provided 81% of the financing to the 100 top expanders in 2022. Key findings include:
- In the 7 years since the Paris Agreement, fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest banks has reached USD $5.5 trillion, with $669 billion in financing in 2022 alone.
- Fossil fuel financing continues to be dominated by a handful of banks based in the United States, Canada, and Japan. For the first year since 2019 when we began reporting on financing for all fossil fuels, a Canadian bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), ranks #1 as the worst financier of fossil fuels.
- The top bankers of liquefied “natural” gas (LNG) in 2022 were Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Mizuho, ING, Citi, and SMBC Group. Overall finance for LNG increased 49% from $15 billion in 2021 to $22.6 billion in 2022.
- According to Rystad, the oil and gas industry’s own database, while there was a drop in fossil financing in 2022, as the fewest (other than 2020) projects reached Final Investment Decision (FID) since 2015, industry projections are that 2023 and 2024 will be the largest years for approvals (via barrels of oil equivalent).