Scientists Urge Citi to Stop Financing Fossil Fuel Expansion

Open Letter Part of Summer-long Campaign Challenging Financial Industry’s Role in Fueling the Climate Crisis

Published Jun 10, 2024

A group of scientists affiliated with universities, research organizations and nonprofits, sent an open letter to Citi CEO Jane Fraser and Board Chair John Dugan today, urging the company to stop financing new fossil fuel projects.

“The financial industry must recognize the physical harms and economic risks it is exacerbating by enabling fossil fuel expansion, and rapidly adopt new policies that align with a safer climate future,” according to the letter, which was signed by more than 750 scientists and experts and organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Citing the 2024 Banking on Climate Chaos report, the scientists pointed out that Citi is the second-largest financier of fossil fuels since the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, having poured $396 billion into the industry since 2016.

The letter also will be hand delivered to Citi headquarters on June 12 during a “Scientists Speakout” as part of the “Summer of Heat on Wall Street” campaign taking place in New York City throughout the summer to draw attention to the banks, insurance companies and investors fueling the climate crisis. The campaign is led by Stop the Money Pipeline, New York Communities for Change, Climate Defenders, Planet Over Profit, and Climate Organizing Hub.

The letter called on Citi specifically to:

• Stop financing and supporting coal, oil, and gas companies that are engaged in upstream oil and gas development, and all other companies investing in fossil fuel expansion.

• Strengthen sectoral finance exclusion policies, including ending funding and financing services for new and expanding LNG projects and their parent companies.

• Increase financing for renewable energy in line with what is required for the world to make a clean energy transition and limit global warming to as close to 1.5°C as possible.

• Ensure that human rights, Indigenous sovereignty, and the rights of workers are respected by every company financed, including renewable energy and battery mineral mining companies.

• Take steps to acknowledge and make restitution for the bank’s role in fueling climate chaos and environmental racism around the world and pay into a fund to support those bearing the brunt of extreme climate impacts, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Loss and Damage Fund.

Additional UCS Resources and Analyses:

• A peer-reviewed study by UCS titled “The Fossil Fuels Behind Forest Fires: Quantifying the Contribution of Major Carbon Producers to Increasing Wildfire Risk.”

• A UCS report, “The Climate Deception Dossiers: Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation.”

• A UCS blog documenting disinformation claims by oil and gas company executives.

• A UCS Blog on why banks should stop financing fossil fuel projects.