Green Money Management: Defunding Fossil Fuels

Aside from going green in our diets, electrifying our homes and cars, and choosing greener travel options, how can we mitigate climate change in a big way? Good news: with changing options in the current banking system, we can make a big change from the money lending side by banking outside the financial giants that have traditionally supported fossil fuels.

The big bad four in the U.S.:

  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Citibank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bank of America

According to the Banking on Climate report, these banks have invested the most in and earned the most from the fossil fuel industry, with JP Morgan Chase leading the way at $63 billion a year on average over the past five years.

So what’s the alternative for climate conscious investors? Many people are switching to one of the new Green neo banks, similar to the traditional bank, except in using customer funds to support green industries rather than fossil fuels.

Though most neo banks are exclusively digital, most have wisely partnered with brick-and-mortar banks for holding and insuring customer funds under the FDIC we in the U.S. have come so much to trust.

Here are three neo banks that commit to actively reducing emissions in the energy, construction, transportation and agricultural sectors. They also promise to avoid supporting fossil fuel exploration, extraction, or production efforts. Each of them has a positive profile on Mighty, a website that collects information on banks:

  • Ando Money
  • Aspiration
  • Atmos

See bank profiles on Mighty

Been meaning to make the change and feeling better about the new green options? When you’re ready to switch, be sure to let your current bank know that you’re leaving them because they’re funding the climate crisis. Maybe it will affect how they do business in future.

And it’s important to know that your checking and savings accounts have nothing to do with your credit score. You’re simply moving your money from one bank to the next. Here is a nifty article from Experian on how to safely close your bank account.

Thanks to the blog for some of this content and to Mighty for the bank profiles.

Good suggestions from the Atherton Hall interactive exhibit on fresh water conservation:

“Plant native plants. Once established, no watering is needed.”

“Use only the water you need while cooking – then re-use the water for something else.”

“Invest in desalination research.”