Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a pioneering pair of bills that aim to “protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos” by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels. “How we invest our money reflects our values today and will drive our future tomorrow,” the Oregon Democrat said in a statement about his new legislative proposals, citing a September report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission warning that the human-caused climate crisis endangers the U.S. financial system.
“Fossil fuel investments play a key role in accelerating climate chaos, which continues to spiral further and further out of control and claim lives and livelihoods in the process,” Merkley added. “It’s time to prioritize the interests of the American people and the planet above the wishes of fossil fuel CEOs who want to hold our economy hostage.”
The Protecting America’s Economy from the Carbon Bubble Act of 2020 “would help safeguard the economy by prohibiting financial companies from making new investments in fossil fuels,” according to his office. The Sustainable International Financial Institutions Act of 2020 “would elevate that priority to the international stage by ensuring that the United States uses its voice and vote in international financial institutions to divest from fossil fuel investments.”