Ending Amazon Crude Key to Fossil-Free Movement, Say Leading Environmental and Human Rights Groups

BlackRock, JP Morgan Chase and Amazon.com Challenged to End Their Support of Oil Drilling in the Amazon for the Good of Indigenous Rights and the Climate

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Paul Paz y Miño, +1.510.281.9020 x302 or paz@amazonwatch.org


Oakland, CA – Over fifty environmental and human rights organizations have signed on to an open letter in support of Amazon Watch's campaign to End Amazon Crude, recognizing it as a crucial component of the global movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground and protect the climate and indigenous rights.

The campaign, supported by groups such as 350.org, Greenpeace USA, Indigenous Environmental Network and Sierra Club, calls on U.S.-based corporations and California policymakers to take action to stem the inflow of Amazon crude oil into the U.S. Oil drilling in the western Amazon has devastating impacts on local communities, the rainforest ecosystem and the global climate – and about 60% of oil exports from the region end up in the United States, mostly in California.

Amazon Watch research has demonstrated that U.S. financial institutions BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase bankroll oil companies operating in the Amazon, even in places where indigenous communities adamantly oppose drilling on their ancestral territories, and that U.S. corporations with large transport footprints, including Amazon.com, are using Amazon-derived fuel in their transport operations.

This sign-on letter release comes in response to the continued silence from these companies complicit in Amazon destruction, in spite of public pressure and numerous attempts to request meetings.

In the case of BlackRock, Amazon Watch and CREDO Action delivered over 120,000 petition signatures to its San Francisco office in January, along with a meeting request, and has yet to hear back from the company. This, despite the fact that in CEO Larry Fink's recent letter to companies in which BlackRock invests he urges companies to "begin discussions early" with activists.

Amazon.com, for its part, has built human-made rainforests in its Seattle headquarters – the ‘Spheres' – rather than take substantive action to protect its namesake and the global climate.

The letter also calls on California policymakers to take leadership in regulating the state's use of Amazon crude, a fuel source that currently makes up about 10% of fossil fuels refined in the state.

Ecuador announced last week that it would move ahead with a new tender of sixteen oil concessions, over 6.6 million acres of pristine, roadless rainforest where indigenous peoples have not been consulted and adamantly oppose oil drilling. Additionally, new wells have recently come online inside Yasuní National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that is believed to be the most biodiverse place per hectare on Earth, and home to indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. Much of that crude oil is already on its way to California.

Quotes:

"A healthy future for the planet lies not in short-term profits but in the protection of rights, the environment, and the climate, and in bold investments in renewable energy. It is high time that BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, and other financial institutions put their money where their mouths are and stop bankrolling the road to climate chaos in the Amazon and beyond." Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch
"While creating an urban rainforest as part of its Seattle headquarters is a lovely gesture for employees that pays homage to the beauty, biodiversity, and calm of tropical rainforests, Amazon.com must not ignore the fact that its namesake is under threat due in no small part to the oil extracted there, shipped to California, and used in transport operations by companies like Amazon.com." Zöe Cina-Sklar, Amazon Crude Campaigner, Amazon Watch
"Large corporations and financial institutions like Amazon.com, BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase need to take responsibility for their impacts on the Amazon and the global climate. The End Amazon Crude Campaign is an important way to hold these institutions accountable." Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace
"Oil drilling in the heart of the Amazon provides yet another reason why we must rapidly transition away from a fossil fuel economy. As one of the major importers of Amazon crude, California can't be allowed off the hook for it's part in this destruction. California policymakers have a responsibility to take a closer look at the state's role as a large oil and gas producer and processor, and the impacts that fossil fuel infrastructure has on local communities from the Amazon to the Golden State." May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org

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