Rainforest Action Network Campaign Pushes Bank of America to End Financing of Coal

Posted May 13, 2015

MP3 Interview with Amanda Starbuck, climate and energy program director with the Rainforest Action Network Grassroots Campaign, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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Bank of America has joined several other financial institutions in the U.S. that have recently made policy decisions to stop financing coal production. The bank announced its new policy at its annual shareholders meeting on May 6 in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it's headquartered.

Institutions such as banks and universities are rethinking their ties to coal companies, based on several factors. One is that coal has become a risky investment, due to environmental regulations and increasing concern that coal assets could be "stranded" – i.e., left in the ground – because of its major contribution to global warming. Research data has revealed that the atmosphere held more than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide for the entire month of March, 2015, whereas 350 ppm is considered the safe upper limit before massive climate disruption becomes inevitable. The mining and burning of coal also creates pollution that causes serious and even deadly human health impacts.

Bank of America’s policy change comes after a four-year campaign waged by the Rainforest Action Network and other groups, and is the strongest corporate policy of its kind to date. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Amanda Starbuck, climate and energy programdirector with the Rainforest Action Network, who talks about her group’s successful campaign and what comes next.

Learn more about Rainforest Action Network by visiting RAN.org.

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