Our fossil free Fed is possible

The Fed can bring an end to fossil fuel finance

If We The People can force the Federal Reserve to end fossil fuel finance, we can send a global signal for financial, regulatory, and community institutions everywhere: the end of the fossil fuel era is here.

Throughout history — from fossil fuel divestment to Civil Rights to Marriage Equality — any massive policy change was sparked by movements of ordinary people. The Federal Reserve itself was established in response to the 1930s Great Depression and labor movement. It’s our time to redesign the Federal Reserve and our economy to work for all of us. 

We’re demanding the Fed steer relief funding towards racial and economic justice, including money, resources, and services to Black, Indigenous, and communities of color most historically marginalized.

What is the Federal Reserve Bank?

The Fed is the central bank of the U.S. (in other words, it’s the bank for banks). The Fed supervises the nation’s largest banks and provides financial services to the U.S. government. It also promotes the stability of the economy as a whole.

What does the Federal Reserve do?

The Federal Reserve has four functions:

  1. Manage inflation. As part of this function, the Fed also provides maximum employment and ensures interest rates are stable over time.
  2. Supervise and regulate the nation’s largest banks to protect consumers.
  3. Maintain the stability of the financial markets and constrains potential crises.
  4. Provide banking services to other banks, the U.S. government, and foreign banks.

How can the Federal Reserve impact climate?

There are many things the Fed can do to stop or disrupt the flow of money from large banks to fossil fuel projects. They have the legal authority to set limits for major banks on financing fossil fuels and can make lending to fossil fuel projects more costly.

They also have the power to make funding available to overhaul our energy system and dramatically shift our transportation and buildings infrastructure. We know this will take a massive investment of resources, the likes of which we haven’t seen since President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal economic reforms in the 1930s.

Historically, the Fed is quick to dump billions into the Wall Street credit markets during moments deemed “emergencies.” Imagine instead if the Fed provided local governments, tribes, and territories access to funds to rebuild our economy and provide millions of good paying, union jobs.

Imagine a Federal Reserve System that worked to build a stable, just, and equitable carbon free economy.

Why would they do this?

If the goal of the Fed is to manage “risk” to our economy, there is no greater threat than planetary collapse.

Our demands

  1. President Biden: appoint a real climate leader to Chair the Federal Reserve.
  1. The Federal Reserve:
    • END BANK FOSSIL FINANCE: Use existing regulatory and supervisory tools to begin limiting and phasing down the financing of emissions. 
    • DIVEST AND INVEST: Align Fed spending and asset purchases with the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C
    • PUSH BANKS TO INVEST: Encourage and support bank investment aimed at limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C, with an emphasis on lending to low-income communities and communities of color.
  2. Congress: expand The Fed’s mandate to eliminate racial, gender, and class disparities in jobs, wages, and wealth.

End Fossil Fuel Financing

People across the world are already struggling with the impacts of the climate crisis: extreme droughts, wildfires, storms and floods.

We must demand that rich funder countries pull money out of fossil fuels, and use it to fund a just, clean, renewable energy transition everywhere.

Take Action