Target: Jean-Paul Chifflet, CEO of Crédit Agricole
Goal: Demand that France’s largest bank stop funding mountaintop removal coal mining
Mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) releases toxins into the air and water, destroys unique habitats and increases the risk of birth defects and disease in nearby communities. A growing movement to stop MTR by getting large banks to refuse funding has already succeeded in gaining commitments from major banks like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, but other large international banks have yet to get on board.
MTR is a relatively new type of coal mining gaining popularity in the Appalachian region of the United States. The entire tops of mountains are literally blown off releasing toxic dust into the air and revealing coal buried beneath. After the coal is extracted the leftover debris is typically dumped into neighboring valleys, burying some of North America’s most biodiverse forests, filling in over 1,000 miles of Appalachian streams and leaching toxic waste into local drinking water. A variety of studies have also linked MTR to increased risk of birth defects, heart, lung and kidney disease.
Activists are now focusing on Crédit Agricole, the largest bank in France and 8th largest bank in the world, which currently funds major MTR companies Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal. Last year Crédit Agricole promised to adopt new environmental policies addressing MTR, however the new guidelines only prevents the bank from doing business with companies which produce more then 20% of their coal using MTR. This has not been enough to prevent them doing business with any companies currently using the technique.
Charities and concerned citizens have teamed up to pressure Crédit Agricole, recently confronting the bank’s CEO at the annual general meeting. They are feeling the heat. Make your voice heard and help stop mountaintop removal by urging Crédit Agricole to end its funding of the destructive practice.
Dear Mr. Chifflet,
I am writing you to urge you to take decisive action to stop Crédit Agricole’s financial involvement with mountaintop removal mining. Mountaintop removal destroys critical ecosystems, poisons nearby sources of drinking water and increases the risk of birth defects and disease in neighboring communities.
Your bank’s current regulations have not changed the reality of your support for the practice. Because of the great harm it inflicts on human health and the environment I implore you to follow the example of BNP Paribas and other banks and cut all ties with companies like Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal who depend on mountaintop removal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Universal Pops via Flickr