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INDIGENOUS leaders directly affected by oil extraction funded by JP Morgan Chase protested outside the bank’s HQ in Glasgow today, demanding that it stop bankrolling fossil fuels.
JP Morgan Chase is the biggest financier of the fossil fuel industry, channelling billions into oil extraction projects that have damaged indigenous lands, including those of the Wet’suwet’en in North America and the Sarayaku and Waorani in the South American Amazon.
Speaking to the Morning Star after the protest Maricela Gualinga, Vice-President of the Kichwa Sarayaku people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, said the bank has been financing oil projects that have entered her community.
“The oil companies spill oil into our territories affecting our water resources,” she said, adding that the community is also feeling the impact of the climate crisis in the form of floods and heatwaves which have destroyed crops.
Last week JP Morgan Chase signed up to a pledge to align its investments with net-zero emissions by 2050 as part of the Net Zero Banking Alliance.
But Ms Gualinga said this “does not really mean anything” because the bank is still funding oil and gas extraction.
“What we really want is for the banks to listen to us,” she said.
“We’ve already been excluded, we’ve always come to Cop as outsiders.
“What we really want is to have a face-to-face meeting with the leaders of the banks. We’re just seeing on social media and on television the nice things they have to say, but they are not actually listening to or speaking directly to us.”
The aim of today’s protest was to “make the banks listen to us,” she said, and see how they are affecting indigenous people in front-line communities.
Other speakers at the protest also stressed that “net-zero is not zero” — claiming that pledges from world leaders will allow the expansion of fossil fuels to continue. They called instead for fossil fuels to stay in the ground.
JP Morgan is also funding the pipeline which cuts through Wet’suwet’en territory in the north of Canada.
“The pipeline has not only destroyed large amounts of our territory but has essentially split our territory in half,” a representative of the Wet’suwet’en nation told protesters outside JP Morgan’s HQ in Glasgow. “It’s also split our people in half.”
The indigenous representative said that the pipeline has forced the displacement of people in her community.
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