Citigroup Yields to Pressure by Environmentalists
Citigroup – the financial services conglomerate – has announced it will engage
in dialogue with environmentalists regarding its social and environmental
policies. This stunningly positive development – hopefully the precursor to a
permanent victory – is largely the result of relentless pressure by the Rainforest
Action Network (RAN). RAN and others have highlighted
Citigroup's “disproportionate support for extractive industries around the world,
particularly fossil fuels and logging”. As a result of Citigroup's agreement to
talk, RAN has agreed upon a 90 day campaign suspension.
Some, including myself, had been critical of RAN for focusing too widely on
finance rather than rainforests. Clearly I was wrong. Over the past few years
RAN has done their homework, and shown that large financial companies –
Citigroup in particular – are major funders of rainforest and other habitat
destruction, and energy projects that release high levels of greenhouse gases
that contribute to climate change. In so doing, they have innovatively opened a
new “financial front” in the battle for global forest and ecological sustainability.
On occasion, we have passed along information on this campaign, and the
Forests.org network has taken part in campaign alerts and actions.
Congratulations to the forest conservation movement!
Now we depend upon RAN sealing the deal with Citigroup, and achieving firm
commitments that get Citigroup out of the rainforest and climate destroying
businesses – and into the business of supporting ecologically sustainable