Protesters gathered Tuesday in Washington, D.C., outside several major U.S. banks, where they cut up their credit cards and called for the institutions to stop spending money to promote the fossil fuel industry.
Videos taken at the scene show climate activists of the ''Old & Bold Third Act'' movement using scissors to chop up credit cards outside Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. They also chanted about wanting "climate justice" and to shut down the "big bad climate banks."
Natalie Pein, a retired public school teacher and environmental scientist from Virginia, said she was challenged to consider how banks were spending the money consumers like her give them and how that money is impacting the environment.
"You know, think about it. Think about, you know, instead of just your kitchen table budget thing, think a little bigger, you know, how is your bank money being used as for the planet and people, or is it being used for corporate profit," she said.
The protesters marched and chanted from one bank to the next, located within a block of each other and a block of the White House.
"What do we want?" the protesters chanted. "Climate justice. When do we want it? Now. If we don't get it, shut it down!"
Cheryl Barnds, a coordinator of Honor the Earth Coalition from Maryland, told Reuters that banks were responsible for damaging the environment.
"I'm dressed like fire because our big banks that we have trusted with our money, have been using our money to burn the planet," she said.
Reverend Neal Christie of the Baltimore-Washington Conference similarly said banks were making "billions and billions" off the planet and urged more people to consider "how they invest their money."
"Make sure the banks know that we care, that we're watching them. We're watching how they invest their money. What's interesting is that the US banks have chosen not to follow European banks in terms of divestment from dirty energy, from fossil fuels. They know better, and they're making billions and billions of dollars off of harming our planet when there are other ways to do good business, to do it ethically for the common good for generations to come," Christie explained. "That's why I'm here."
In 2022, Rainforest Action Network and other environmental groups released a report on banking and the climate that found large banks have trillions in fossil fuel businesses.