UPDATE – FEBRUARY 3, 2020. Today, Goldman Sachs responded to the letter (see below) from over 550 Alaskans applauding its decision to stop funding fossil fuel projects in the Arctic. In a short letter, Goldman Sachs Chairman & CEO David Solomon wrote “climate transition is a critical priority” for the company. While this of course is a small step in the monumental fight to protect Alaska and the world from the ravages of a changing climate, it’s important to see some of the world’s largest capital investors waking-up to the realities of a rapidly-warming planet. So, thank you, to all you Alaskans who took time to sign our letter. We’re confident the tide has turned, and a clean energy future is within our grasp.
ORIGINAL STORY: On January 28, 2020, over 550 Alaskans from 68 communities sent a letter thanking investment bank Goldman Sachs for its recent decision not to fund oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The letter recognizes that while our state and federal governments remain mired in denial around climate science, sources of capital investment can and should be playing a leadership role. The letter was also sent to Governor Dunleavy and all Alaska lawmakers, so they know Alaskans care deeply about climate change and the future of our great state.
In December, Goldman Sachs announced it would stop funding oil and gas drilling in the Arctic due to climate change. Not surprisingly, Governor Mike Dunleavy lashed-out, threatening retaliation if Goldman Sachs did not change its position.
Following Goldman Sachs’ announcement, the world’s largest investor – BlackRock – announced that it too would be moving away from fossil fuel investments.
So, the transition away from dirty energy is happening. But based on what Alaskans witnessed this past summer – from raging wild fires to fish kills across the state – it’s not happening nearly fast enough.
Alaska is blessed with world-class renewable energy assets, and from tidal and hydropower energy, to wind, geothermal and solar, Alaska can and should be a leader in the rapidly unfolding transition to a clean energy economy.
At Cook Inletkeeper, our vision for a healthy future rests wholly on clean energy. Because while fossil fuels have done some remarkable things for our society, we now know they are killing our planet.
So, thanks to everyone who signed onto the letter to Goldman Sachs. And to anyone who reads this – don’t ever stop pushing back against the entrenched forces of the status quo. Because the transition is happening.