Against the backdrop of ongoing extreme weather events, climate change, and pointed demands for unprecedented action on climate, the world’s biggest bankers continue to fund the biggest drivers of the climate crisis –– fossil fuels and deforestation.

While our personal choices of light bulbs and recycling habits may overtime make a dent in the global economy, we now know we have about a decade to halve our emissions and in order to do so we need significant and systemic shifts. Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, and these companies rely heavily on financing from banks. Without funding from major financial institutions, fossil fuel expansion would come to a grinding halt. 

Yet, since the Paris Agreement was signed, the world’s biggest banks poured $1.9 trillion dollars into fossil fuels. It's shocking. It’s infuriating. And it’s unacceptable. The science couldn’t be more clear. There is no room for new fossils in the world’s carbon budget. Emissions just from the oil, gas and coal reserves already in production would take the world well beyond 1.5° Celsius. Yet banks are continuing to pump billions of dollars into the companies engaged in fossil fuel expansion and rainforest destruction. And these bank CEOs are real people who have a choice. 

From New York’s Wall Street, to Tokyo’s Marunouchi District, to France’s La Defense financial center, transactions to the dirtiest companies are approved every day by bank executives, actively undermining efforts to address the key factors of climate change and contributing to a lion’s share of the global climate crisis.

As Utah Phillips once said, “The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” Right now, 32 people, which all happen to be men, are funding climate chaos and they have names

The worst banker in the world when it comes to funding the climate crisis is JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Chase is the world’s worst funder of fossil fuels and the world’s worst funder of fossil fuel expansion –– by a large margin. Under Dimon’s leadership, Chase poured $196 billion it poured into fossil fuels between 2016-2018 –– that’s nearly a third (29%) higher than the second-worst bank, Wells Fargo. Despite Dimon’s words of support for the Paris Agreement, under his reign, his bank actually increased its funding of fossil fuels every year since the agreement was signed. 

Who will hold these 32 bank men, the CEOs of the world’s biggest banks, accountable? Thousands of people across the country have taken action on banks to defund fossil fuels. Meanwhile millions of young people are rising up to demand real action on climate this week. At this pivotal time, will these 32 men step up for our future? Or will they continue to recklessly profit at the expense of all people, all wildlife, and life as we know it. 

We need an immediate end to the expansion of fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure. We need a historic redirection of capital towards a Just Transition to renewable energy. If you’re in a hole and you want to get out, the answer is to stop digging. Reckless expansion of fossil fuels threatens will not only further lock in our fossil fuel dependence, it will be game over for our future. 

To address the root causes of climate change, we must stop fossil fuels from being extracted and keep our forests intact. Financial institutions, and the 32 men who head them, must act now.

Lindsey Allen is Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network