Tens of Thousands Will Call on D.C. City Council to Cut Ties with Wells Fargo and Put a Price on Carbon, as They Pass John A. Wilson Building During March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice
WASHINGTON — On April 29 during the Peoples Climate March, two D.C.-based climate justice campaigns will engage tens of thousands marching down Pennsylvania Ave. past the John A. Wilson Building to call on D.C. City Councilmembers to support two related campaigns for climate justice. One campaign, led by 24 local organizations in the “Put A Price On It D.C.” Coalition, aims to place a fee on carbon emissions and equitably rebate the revenue back to D.C. residents. The other, led by the D.C. ReInvest Coalition, is advocating for D.C. to divest city funds from Wells Fargo over its investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Volunteers will display banners on the steps of City Hall, lead chants and speeches, and distribute flyers giving marchers instructions to take action.
The action will take place during the highly-anticipated March for Climate, Jobs and Justice, where tens of thousands of climate justice activists will march against Donald Trump and his climate science-denying cabinet. D.C. ReInvest Coalition and the Put a Price on It D.C. Coalition are joining forces to ensure that this national mobilization remains rooted in local campaigns for climate justice and propels its host city forward.
- What: Thousands of marchers at Peoples Climate March take action at City Hall demanding D.C. City Council support local carbon rebate and Wells Fargo divestment campaigns
- When: Saturday, April 29, 2017, 12:30 – 2:30 PM
- Where: Steps of Penn. Ave. entrance, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004,
and Jumbotron in Freedom Plaza at 13th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW
- Who: Put a Price on It D.C. Coalition, D.C. ReInvest Coalition, Peoples Climate Movement, and tens of thousands of marchers for climate justice
D.C. has continually surpassed the the federal government—and most states—on climate and clean energy policy. However, existing local legislation is insufficient to meet the City’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 2006 levels by 2032 and 80% by 2050. At the same time, D.C. continues to suffer high income inequality, among the nation’s highest rates of homelessness, and lack of access to quality food, among other issues plaguing D.C. residents.
The two campaigns leading direct action at City Hall aim to take D.C. back from the grip of polluters responsible for climate disruption and help empower D.C. communities by returning money back to residents. The D.C. ReInvest campaign seeks to divest City finances from banks that support unjust dirty energy projects such as the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and reinvest in institutions that will revitalize D.C.’s most vulnerable communities. The Put a Price on It D.C. coalition proposes a local Carbon Fee and Rebate policy, which would be the country’s strongest and most progressive mechanism to price carbon pollution, providing deep economic benefits for D.C.’s most vulnerable residents.
The movements to price carbon pollution and divest from fossil fuels are natural allies. Divestment forces institutions to take a stand against dirty energy and their financiers — and for good reason. For example, Wells Fargo — D.C.’s bank of record and a financial supporter of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines — is also a major investor in private prison corporations that are in part responsible for mass incarceration of people of color, and has settled with the federal government for racist, predatory lending practices. Choosing to divest signals readiness for an economy rooted in health and sustainability, not racism, greed, and destruction.
In effect, those who divest are ready for a price on carbon. This indispensable climate policy would hold polluters accountable by making them pay for dumping their waste into our shared atmosphere. Carbon pricing generates revenue that can go back to households, making it a uniquely progressive and politically salient climate solution.
Divesting from dirty energy projects, pricing carbon, and reinvesting in D.C. communities will provide cross-cutting benefits for local residents in addition to advancing the global effort to fight the climate crisis. Pollution from dirty infrastructure, as well as discriminatory practices by major fossil fuel supporters such as Wells Fargo, disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color that already lack economic and political resources and pathways to resilience and sovereignty. Making polluters pay their fair share and returning capital to disadvantaged communities therefore has cascading benefits for racial justice, economic opportunity, and social equity.
The two coalitions are honored to present a unified front—backed by thousands—for responsibility, transparency, and climate justice in D.C. government.
Denise Robbins; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; 608-620-8819; email@example.com
Camila Thorndike; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; 541-951-2619; firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Jiang; DC ReInvest Coalition & 350 DC; 773-930-6723; email@example.com