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VIDEO: Century City Protesters To Morgan Stanley – Stop Bankrolling Coal Pollution

Activists from the Rainforest Action Network dressed in business attire to hand-deliver a simple message: Morgan Stanley needs to stop financing coal (Mariella Rudi).
Activists from the Rainforest Action Network dressed in business attire to hand-deliver a simple message: Morgan Stanley needs to stop financing coal (Mariella Rudi).

Weeks away from the Paris climate summit happening now, a band of activists canvassed outside 1999 Avenue of the Stars in Century City to hand deliver a simple message: Morgan Stanley needs to stop financing coal now.

“They’re literally funding the worst of the worst when it comes to energy,” said activist Paloma Henriques with the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). “They have affiliations with energy companies that have a long record of human rights abuses, and they’re essentially bankrolling the pollution of our air, water, and shared climate.”

RAN activists at 15 Morgan Stanley locations nationwide delivered a petition with 11,000 signers Nov. 19, urging Morgan Stanley to stop funding coal in mountaintop removal mining.

“People don’t want coal anymore,” Henriques said. “We want renewable energy like wind and solar, and we want to show Morgan Stanley that now, more than ever, that they need to clean up their act and stop funding coal.

“This is an unacceptable investment.”

Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. became the latest big banks Monday to promise to cut their support for the coal industry in the name of reducing the pollution blamed for global warming.

Morgan Stanley, the sixth-biggest, pledged to reduce its exposure to coal-mining across the globe and also said it would apply more scrutiny to financing coal-fired power plants, in a new policy statement.

“We will continue to shift our lending and capital-raising efforts toward cleaner and renewable sources of energy and reduce the proportion of our energy financing to coal mining and coal-fired power generation,” New York-based Morgan Stanley said in the statement.

The two companies join a growing list of lenders, including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., that have pledged to stop or scale back support for coal projects in recent months. The latest announcements came on the opening day of a United Nations summit in Paris where leaders from more than 150 nations are seeking a worldwide agreement to rein in climate change.

While the coal industry argues it’s a vital source of affordable electricity for poor nations, critics have targeted it as the most polluting of the fossil fuels blamed for skewing the Earth’s climate.

Morgan Stanley said any financing of coal-mining companies will now require “escalation and senior approval.” The same requirements will apply to financing that directly supports new or expanded coal-fired power projects in the developing world, according to the statement.

For more information about RAN or to call Morgan Stanley to tell them to drop coal, visit www.ran.org/callmorganstanley or call (866) 227-2256.

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