U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced last week legislation to address international financial institutions financing fossil fuel projects, which the legislators maintain is expediting climate chaos.
The Sustainable International Financial Institutions Act of 2021 prioritizes the transition to global clean and renewable energy sources via the United States using its voice and vote to divest from fossil fuel investments.
“Fossil fuel investments play a key role in accelerating climate chaos, which continues to spiral further and further out of control and claim lives and livelihoods in the process,” Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said. “As we gather as an international community next week, it’s time for global leaders to rethink the role that international financial institutions play in financing fossil fuel projects. We should be building out the energy sources of the future, not trapping developing communities and nations with outdated and dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure.”
Huffman said the United States rejoined the Paris Agreement earlier this year and renewed its commitment to meeting global climate targets and reducing emissions.
“It is clear, we must pursue bold action, both at home and through our investments abroad, to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis,” he said. “As the United States looks to reassert global climate leadership at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, our government must work to assist other countries in their transition away from dirty fossil fuels and toward a clean and sustainable future. This means putting an end to American taxpayer-funded dirty infrastructure projects abroad, and instead channeling assistance toward sustainable development.”