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Chase Bank is working to flood their own downtown bank branch…

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Our demands are one, that [Chase] stops funding new projects; two, they end their old projects; three, they reinvest the money that went into those old projects… into renewables; and four, that they make reparations for all these lands that are going to be underwater.


Members of Climate Action Rhode Island (CARI) continued their months long campaign of holding Chase Bank accountable for the climate devastation their lending polices are enabling in downtown Providence on Monday. 18 people held signs outside the new bank branch located on corner of Westminster and Orange Street around lunchtime.

CARI writes, “If we stay on the current trajectory of fossil fuel usage, by 2075 Rhode Island will experience five to seven feet of sea-level rise, and nine feet by 2100 which will permanently inundate half of downtown Providence, 90 percent of Wickford, and submerge the ports of Providence, Galilee and Quonset. Downtown’s hurricane barrier can handle storm surges, but not rising seas.”

UpriseRI spoke to CARI member Jen Long, who also leads The Whale Guitar project, about the irony of setting up a new bank branch here, a part of the state that that will be underwater if current trends in climate continue.

“We’re here to continue to apply pressure to Chase Bank because they are the number one investor in fossil fuel infrastructure in the world. Recently [Chase] made statements that they’re contributing a billion dollars to renewable energy and that they plan to abide by the Paris Accord but there has been no definitive action – and one billion from a company that invests $65 billion a year in fossil fuel expansion, is like a penny. It’s nothing.

“Our demands are one, that [Chase] stops funding new projects; two, they end their old projects; three, they reinvest the money that went into those old projects… into renewables; and four, that they make reparations for all these lands that are going to be underwater.


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The protest included a sea level rise indicator of 11 feet. UpriseRI asked if that’s accurate.

“It varies,” said Long. “It depends on what report you read. Recently I read one that debunked the idea of 11 feet, but that was based on not increasing our CO2 releases into the atmosphere, but because we are continually increasing…”

“It’s not going in the right direction,” said UpriseRI.

“It’s going in the wrong direction,” said Long. “And it may actually be worse than 11 feet… but we’re sticking with 11 feet for now.”

“But even half that means we’d be wading through the water,” noted UpriseRI.

“It’s terrible,” agreed Long.

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com