Climate Diet #4: Money, Property, Investments

Money is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns” ~ Bill McKibben.

Money, property, investments. All have a part to play in “going clean”. In the fourth summary of “Climate Diet” you’ll find tips to save and spend in ways that can help mitigate climate-related issues.

  1. Pressure your financial institutions to be better. If your money is with JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, or Bank of America, you are banking with the top financiers of the fossil fuel industry. Write to or call your branch manager, account rep, or corporate headquarters to say your continued business depends on a plan to end support of the fossil fuel industry. Get your friends and family to do the same.
  2. Put your money in a cooler place. Consider closing your account if your bank continues and put your money in a bank or credit union that does not finance fossil fuels.
  3. Ensure environmental responsibility when you insure your property. The largest insurance companies continue to underwrite fossil fuel exploration and invest in fossil fuels at the same time they are paying huge amounts out for wildfires and other climate-related disasters – and limiting their exposure by pulling out of some areas where climate effects are the worst.

(Lemonade is a new insurance company that is a non-profit that will never invest in fossil fuels and like Thrivent financial, shares their profits with charities.  They are not available in Washington yet, but you can leave your email on their website, and they will notify you when they enter our market.)

  1. Divest when you invest. Talk to your financial advisor to make sure your investment portfolio is not subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. Put your investment dollars into clean energy!
  2. If you own stocks in publicly traded companies, you can vote on shareholder resolutions. Watch for proposals that are climate related and vote on them. Put pressure to have fossil fuel friendly board members removed.
  3. Invest in a forever forest. Make a charitable contribution to a land trust that has the designation “Forever Wild”. This means that the trees will never be cut.
  4. Reward transition. Check out companies on CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to see who is making a transition from fossil fuel dependence to renewables. Reward them by investing in them.