Blog: Orange skies over New York

Greetings from New York, where the sky is orange and the air quality index hit a staggering 484 on Wednesday afternoon – nearly 200 points higher than what is considered hazardous for all living beings. 

The immediate cause of this crisis is wildfires in Canada, the real cause is the climate crisis. New York is not the first place to experience dangerous air due to pollution and wildfire smoke in recent years, nor will it be the last unless we stop extracting and burning fossil fuels, immediately. 

But dirty fossil banks like Citi continue to pour money into the fossil fuel industry and have a huge part in fueling this crisis. They try to greenwash their actions, saying they care about climate change, but actions – and dollars – speak louder than words, and Citi is responsible for more than $330 billion in funding to fossil fuel companies in the last seven years. 

Will you write to Citi’s leadership calling them out for their complicity in the climate crisis today? Their CEO is Jane Fraser (jane.fraser@citi.com), their CFO is Mark Mason (masonm@citigroup.com), and board chair John Dugan (john.dugan@citi.com).

New York might be the center of the financial industry, but it is also home to millions of people, including unhoused people, mail carriers, deliveristas, sanitation workers, and others who have no choice but to breathe in this toxic air. Hopefully, people like Citi’s CEO Jane Fraser saw the yellow sky outside of their window yesterday and vowed to change their ways. What she may not have seen is how environmental racism, perpetuated through her bank’s years of redlining, subprime mortgage lending, and denial of credit have created a city where Black and brown people are especially vulnerable to the climate crisis she is helping to fuel every single day. 

Today, my eyes are red, I have a headache, and my lungs are sore. I’m also spitting mad at the fossil fuel companies and the banks that enable them. Will you join me in writing to Citi’s CEO, Jane Fraser (jane.fraser@citi.com), CFO Mark Mason (masonm@citigroup.com), and board chair John Dugan (john.dugan@citi.com) to let them know they have to stop financing fossil fuels now? 

Citi is the world’s second largest funder of fossil fuels, responsible for over hundreds of billions in funding to companies like Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and Enbridge since 2016. They say they care about the climate crisis, but they’re directly responsible for ensuring these companies have money to build new pipelines, oil rigs, and power plants. 

New Yorkers don’t deserve this – no one deserves this. And we know who is to blame. Call them out, demand they stop, now. 

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